Friday, 29 January 2010

I've been "Mr. Linky"ed


Somehow, when I wasn't looking, friend and fellow blogger Marta Stephens (of Marta Stephens's Prose & Musings and other swell blogs) named me as a "prolific blogger" (see her post:  http://mstephens-musings.blogspot.com/2010/01/2010-day-27-prose-musings-got-mr-linky.html) and I'm now the recipient of the Prolific Blogger Award.  I have the honour of a "Mr Linky" badge and get to pass the award on to other bloggers.

Here's the scoop and the official award rules:

  1.   Pass this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers.
  2.   Link to the blog from which you received the award.
  3.   Link back to this Prolific Blogger post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
  4.   Add your name to the Mr. Linky.



So here are my lucky recipients, a motley bunch of writers who chat about everything from recipes to werewolves:

Pat Bertram:  http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/
Sheila Deeth:  http://sheiladeeth.blogspot.com/
Eva Gordon:  http://evagordon.blogspot.com/
Martha Cheves:  http://marthaskitchenkorner.blogspot.com/
April Robins: http://redriverwriters.typepad.com/red_river_writers/
Christine Bode: http://scullylovepromo.wordpress.com/
Margay Leah Justice:  http://moonlightlacemayhem.blogspot.com/
 



Thursday, 28 January 2010

Capturing Characters: A Chat with K.M. Daughters


A great treat today, for we are a stop on the virtual book tour for K.M. Daughters, celebrating the release of Capturing Karma, the newest book in their award winning Sullivan Brothers series.

Blurb for Capturing Karma:
"Veterinarian Matty Connors’ visions lead her to homicide detective Brian Sullivan once again despite her resolve to remain anonymous the past four years.  Her official work with the police in California resulted in the brutal murder of her fiancé, and since, a recurrent nightmare she barely survives.  Brian, the reputed ladies man of the Sullivan family, has yet to give his heart to a woman until Matty lays claim to it.  His black-and-white approach to solving crimes doesn’t jibe with Matty’s spooky pronouncements or her reputation for alleged infallibility.  A wild goose chase searching for a murder weapon casts doubt on Matty’s “truths” and threatens their smoldering romance.  Is Brian her nightmare slayer and ultimate truth?  When the puzzle pieces fall in place for Brian, will it be too late to save Matty?"

As well as the wonderful article following, there is an excerpt from the book and don't forget to comment for the chance to win an autographed copy of Against Doctors Orders, the first book in the Sullivan Brothers Series.  Also up for grabs are two sterling Chamilia “Sisters” charms and a Claddagh charm that fit Pandora style bracelets.

So welcome our guests and read their thoughts on the intricacies of writing those characters we love.  



“Real” Characters

Our characters are so real to us that we expect them to ring the doorbell someday.  Hopefully we succeed in word-painting vivid portraits of them so that the characters are alive for our Readers, also.

Our team writing process involves as much pre-writing as writing.  Since we divide chapter writing responsibilities evenly, on an alternating basis, we write all characters’ POV’s.  We need to know our characters intimately before we can begin building the scenes architecture.

Before we draft our outline, we discuss the characters who will live in our books, and develop personal histories for each of them.  We delve into their pasts, at least until early adulthood, frequently as far back as childhood.  For our romantic suspense villains – we consider their lives from birth on, fascinated with their motivations and the foundational causes of their brands of insanity. 

CAPTURING KARMA is the third book in the Sullivan Boys series.  We’re delighted that in succession we’re discovering intertwined character elements in the family dynamics, and the brothers’ diverse personalities.  We recently contracted on the 4th book in the series (COMING SOON FROM THE WILD ROSE PRESS), entitled ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND LAW.  Our hero, Patrick Sullivan, surprises us by shedding more light on childhood experiences and history. 

We truly love these people, and as we work on the fifth and final installment in the series, we dread the day when we’ll close the book on the family, and say, good-bye.  Maybe one of them will ring the doorbell, and tell us how they’re doing.





Excerpt from Capturing Karma:

Matilda braved a glimpse in her dresser mirror and assessed the toll nightmares had etched on her face this time.  The cut over her eye had scabbed over.  Were those dark circles under both eyes from the accident or lack of sleep?
Her finger traced around the scalloped rim of the framed picture of her and Eric.  Smiling, carefree, linked together side by side in the blazing sunshine—foolishly in love and unaware that there wouldn’t be a long string of lazy days at that beach in their future. Who could have guessed that three weeks after the picture was snapped Eric would be dead and she would be alone?
Tears welled.  Four years, eight months and twenty-two days without you, and I wish I could stop counting.  Maybe then the nightmares would stop.
Brian Sullivan’s request had triggered a cyclone of dreams: Eric-haunted nightmares and Brian-laden fantasies. Dreams featuring Brian admittedly caused most of the tossing and turning last night, but she wouldn’t linger on that.  If she did, she’d have to acknowledge the heady reawakening of his fantasy kisses, the yearning he stoked in her while defenseless in sleep.
Dreams could be denied and forgotten in daylight.  But she couldn’t deny how many times thoughts of Brian had upped her pulse and shot suggestive musings through her brain during her routine yesterday.  Why am I letting this happen?  Tempting as the man is, I can’t risk the danger.
A red rubber ball bounced against her foot.  Clyde clamped his mouth around the ball, lifted it off the ground with a yank of his neck and dumped it again on her foot, demanding her attention.
She stooped and picked it up.  “Want to play?  Dumb question, right Clyde?”
The Boston terrier cocked his head, trained his screwy eyes at her, dashed out of the room and took off down the hall.  Nails clicking against hardwood flooring, Clyde pulled up short, skidded to a halt and turned around toward Matilda, anticipating her toss.  Bent halfway out the door, she pitched the ball; he retrieved it, raced back into the bedroom and dropped it on her foot again.  The mind-numbing game of fetch continued as Matilda varied the directions she heaved the ball, in the intervals applying her makeup and managing to finish dressing.  Clyde was Eric’s dog. Eric and Matilda would sit for hours in their backyard in California sipping wine, watching the sunset, and throwing the ball for the then frisky puppy until they both ran out of steam—Clyde always won the fetch “endurance” contest.
“OK, kiddo, time to go to work,” she commanded. 



K.M. Daughters are the writing team of of sisters Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare.  They have authored the acclaimed Sullivan Brothers series, as well as other highly-praised novels.  You can find information on them and their books on their website:  http://www.kmdaughters.com/index.html
The Sullivan Brothers series of books can be found at http://thewildrosepress.com/ and other online retailers.

You can check out the rest of the tour stops here:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2009/12/virtual-book-tour-km-daughters.html
  







Thursday, 21 January 2010

What if... A Writer's Tale.


Today, romance and imagination is in the air as author Linda Poitevin stops by my blog as part of her virtual book tour.  She has brought with her a lively discussion on the topic "what if" and a sneak peek at her debut novel, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn.
 There are also prizes (artisan-crafted earrings and a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press) up for grabs, so don't forget to comment.

Join in, and glimpse into the mind of a writer...





What If? (Two words that are a writer’s best friend)



Waiting at a traffic light, I see a leather-clad woman astride a Harley Davidson motorbike. My first thought: cool. My second: what if? What if she was really an undercover cop? What if she saw an accident and stopped to help? What if she saved a man’s life and he - ?

A few years ago, this was my actual thought process not a block from my home. It was also the first time I realized how big a role these two little words played in my life as a writer. What if? They can happen out of the blue, when I’m least expecting them, or I can call on them when I’ve hit a road block in a story.

What if, really, can provide the inspiration for any story element. Need a character? What if that harried-looking woman in front of you at the coffee shop just inherited her sister’s five children but no means to provide for them? Or maybe you need a story starter. What if she was on her way to an interview that would mean moving them into a decent home? What if a man ran into her at the door and she spilled her coffee down his shirtfront,  and then twenty minutes later discovered he was her potential new boss?

I began to realize the full potential of the what if tool in A Fairy Tale for Gwyn. The inspiration for the entire book began with a beautiful heritage home in my neighbourhood – what if a single mom lived there, and that gorgeous addition on the back was her own work, because she’s an architect? – and the story unfolded from there.  Whenever I found myself stuck and unable to move forward, what if provided the impetus I needed. When my critique partners pointed out a fatal lack of internal conflict, what if gave my hero a secret past. When I needed to slow things down between my hero and heroine, my critique partner asked, “what if he had to leave town unexpectedly?” and just like that, I was back on track.

Inspiration, problem-solving, motivation, and so much more. Two words, small, deceivingly simple, and backed by a whole world of story possibilities. Try it yourself, if you don’t already, and let me know where your answers lead you.  What if...?





About the Author:

Linda Poitevin lives just outside Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and  starts way  more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.


You can find all the information on A Fairy Tale for Gwyn at the author's website:
http://www.lindapoitevin.com/


You can find all her blog tour stops here:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2009/12/virtual-book-tour-linda-poitevin.html







A Fairy Tale for Gwyn:

Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.

Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak...until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap -- and the hero won’t take no for an answer!







 Excerpt:
      “It’s me. Did I wake you?” Rich, dark tones washed over her, velvet-smooth.
      Gwyn clutched at the duvet and dragged it up to her chin. Her traitorous heart thudded against its confines. She swallowed. Cleared her throat. Managed a barely coherent, “No. I was awake.”
      “Me too.”
      Silence.
      She wiped sweaty palms against the duvet, one at a time.
      “I miss you,” he said.
      She squeezed her eyes shut and coached herself through the forgotten art of breathing.   Inhaleexhale…                                               
      Gareth’s voice deepened, roughened. “Tell me you’re suffering as much as I am.”
      “I…uh…”
      “The truth.”
      The ache that had started in her belly spread relentlessly outward. He wanted the truth. But how could she tell him something she was still trying to avoid acknowledging?
      “Gwyn?” the deep voice prompted, with an edge to it that startled her. A rawness that echoed her own state.
      “I’m here.”
      “And?”
      She exhaled shakily and tightened her fingers around the receiver. “And I’m suffering, too,” she whispered.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Poetry to Whet Your Appetite



A Book Review by A. F. Stewart:

Take Out from the Writer’s Café by Rie Sheridan Rose.



Succulent, sweet and tangy, such descriptive words capture the essence of the poems in Take Out from the Writer’s Café the wonderful book by Rie Sheridan Rose.
The verse entwines itself along the pages, weaving a mellow, gentle flavour, constructing an inspired atmosphere. Each poem is a visual delight, evoking luscious scenes in vivid reflections, building panoramas with emotions, memories and subtle colors of stardust.
“A heavy lace shawl
cast aside by Titania
on a moonlit stroll...”
The book is divided into several sections, all listed under the heading, Menu. In Appetizers, you are served tiny, savoury bites; in Salads, more chewy fare, with a touch of tang; in Classics, you receive literary nourishment to sink your teeth into; Entrees gives you a spread of words to linger over; with the Specials, you get familiar victuals served well; Desserts ends the poetry banquet with fluffy confections.
“Wispy clouds flitting across the moon, giving me the shivers ...
 I peer through shadows of the night, ghost ships haunt the rivers.

 I seek for someone that was lost, who rode before the mast...
 I fear he comes not home to me, that life for him is past.”
Take Out from the Writer’s Café is a scrumptious book, brimming full of verse, waiting for you to feast upon. I can only give it the highest recommendation and a five star review.

You can find the book at Lulu.com:
http://www.lulu.com/content/4388414

 Note:  A free e-copy of the book was provided by the author for review.