March 3, 2015

The Beast of Raventson by Kelly Martin Release Day Blitz


He could very easily picture his life like this. 
With a woman who loved him and smiled at him like he wasn't a monster.
Except he was.


The Beast of Ravenston takes Elizabeth from Betraying Ever After and throws her into a place she fears more than any other... Ravenston. A small town in the middle of a thick forest, Ravenston is home to the Duke-- Nicholas Wellington-- a man who not only has been scarred by a fire but is a man to be feared. He lives up to his reputation as 'The Beast'.

Nicholas wants to know who set the fire that disfigured him which means helping Mr. Dodsworth. Help Mr. Dodsworth-- get the name-- get his revenge
Except what Mr. Dodsworth wants Nicholas to do is worse than anything he's done in his past: make the girl pay.

Can Nicholas do what needs to be done to get his revenge? Or will Elizabeth steal something he didn't know he still had-- his heart?


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~Kelly Martin's Internet Dwellings~

March 2, 2015

Naliyah & the Beast : Indie News & Highlights

I had a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend with a dear friend, so today's post is late.

A couple of quick highlights...


A great author friend of mine, Shauna Kelley, has her latest book, Naliyah, with YA Reads Book Tours and is looking for reviewers. It's an amazing read. And here's a little exclusive... I just beta read book 2, and it's just as amazing.


About Naliyah

Lenora Scheid can tell you much of human nature. After more than a century of traveling from war zone to war zone, she has experienced more than she can handle of mankind’s thirst for blood and power…she cannot, however, tell you what she is. 

Not exactly human, but not precisely vampire either, Lenora’s whole life has been spent under the watchful eye of her father. With only her dreams of a mysterious blue‐eyed man as company, she has little choice but to follow her father across the world despite his refusal to help her understand her true nature. 

As Lenora reaches the end of her tolerance with their life of travel and death, she comes face to face with her blue‐eyed man and everything changes. Can this man save her from a life of brutality? Or will the secrets kept from her for so long destroy them both?

You can read my review here, and signup at YA Reads here.

*****

And don't forget to hop on over to Facebook tomorrow and have some fun with Kelly Martin at her The Beast of Ravenston Facebook party tomorrow, March 3 from 6:00pm-8:00pm CST. Find out more here.

Tomorrow, I'll have a release day-specific post for the book as well, so check back for that.

*****

If you have any Indie news to share, please let me know. I hope everyone has an amazing week full of great new finds.

February 27, 2015

Character Connection: The Writing Life

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had an amazing week full of uplifting experiences and building memories.

Last Friday, I shared a line I cut from my latest piece, Chasing Forgiveness. If you missed out, check it out here.

Source
Chasing Forgiveness is told in first person from two different points of view--Madeleine and Amelie. Thanks to beta comments, I realized I needed to flesh out one of the characters a bit more, as she was lagging behind her story partner.

In the process, I discovered something: the character who needed more details was the one I identified with the most. I found it more fascinating to dive into the mind of Madeleine, because she's less like me. Amelie, on the other hand, is very much like me. 

Madeleine embodies many traits I admire but don't always emulate. She's eager to embrace change and power, she follows gut instincts and enjoys spontaneity, and she doesn't let fear rule.

Amelie is the older sister and more level-headed. She wants to be needed, trusts her heart, and is more guarded.

I love both characters, but I found Madeleine more exciting to write, because I want to incorporate more of her qualities--ones I have but are more dormant--into my life. Still, Amelie is the voice of reason and the nurturer, which we all need to be in touch with as well.

Do you find yourself more drawn to characters who are like you or different?

Next week, I will share which actresses would play Madeleine and Amelie in a movie adaption. Until then, have an awesome weekend and beginning to March.

February 25, 2015

Pronouns: Grammar & Editing Tips

Ah, the pronoun. Such a nifty way to avoid repetition. Thanks to she (and others like he, I, you, it, we, they), authors don't have to constantly reuse character names or bog down story with repeating nouns. 

wigflip.com
Sometimes, pronouns cause confusion because they take ownership of the closest, preceding noun (antecedent), and the last thing a reader wants to do is go hunting for that noun or be utterly confused.

So, a writer should make sure the pronoun is clear.

Example:

David and Bill went to the store, and he enjoyed his newly purchased candy bar and cherry pie. It was the best thing he ever tasted.

He = Bill
It = Cherry Pie

If that is the meaning the author intends, the sentence works. However, if he is meant to be David and/or it refers to the candy bar, then some reworking is needed. The his and he subsequently used refer to Bill as well. 

Okay, so just remember... the pronoun refers to the closest, preceding noun

Sometimes, the pronoun is used correctly, but the sentence is still suspect.

Example:

Several Miami strippers donated boxes of clothing, and they can be viewed at the church bazaar next Saturday.

Whoa. Wait a minute. Yes, they = boxes of clothing, but a reader might do a double take and think the strippers can be viewed at a church. That's a whole different story. *snickers*

Better to rework the sentence for clarity...

Several Miami strippers donated boxes of clothing, and these items can be viewed at the church bazaar next Saturday. 

Also, if it's been a while since the noun the pronoun refers to was used, clarify by repeating the noun. You don't want to make a reader search back a couple of paragraphs to figure out who he/she/it is. 

Furthermore, pronouns should not refer to something that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Example:

If it's cheaper, then definitely buy the red blouse. 

Instead...

If the red blouse is cheaper, then definitely buy it.

I could go on forever about pronouns, but the examples above cover a lot of material. 

An exception (because there's always one, right?)...

Dialog is independent of prose. A noun mentioned in dialog, would not be the closest, preceding noun for the sake of a pronoun in prose.

For example, if a main character (Kevin) is highlighted in prose but mentions a Gary in dialog, Kevin is still the he when prose begins again.

For more information, visit this great post by Grammar Girl: Pronouns and Antecedents

Is there an editing/grammar issue that's always caused you trouble? If so, share it in the comments so I can feature it in a future post. 

February 23, 2015

UtopYA Sale & The Beast of Ravenston : Indie News & Highlights

Good Monday morning!

It's time for another installment of Indie News & Highlights, and I've got some good stuff today. 

Let's get it started (feel free to sing along)...

Early Bird Ticket Prices for UtopYA 2015 end on 2/28/151

Please don't miss the opportunity to come to this inspirational, empowering, creative, cutting edge, and uplifting conference. If you love the written word--whether an author, a reader, a blogger, an editor, and so on--please come. It's an amazing community and atmosphere.

heart emoticon I went last year, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I make lifelong friends, I came away a better person/writer/word lover. 



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Keynote speakers: Denise Grover Swank, Kim Holden, and Lauren Miller. In addition there will be many exhibitors (including me/IBGW!). Find the complete list here

If you have any questions, please let me know. I love talking UtopYA! Buy your tickets here

*****

The awesome Kelly Martin is at it again. The Beast of Ravenston (A Shattered Fairy Tale #2) debuts March 3, 2015, and she's hosting an awesome Facebook party to celebrate. Click here to RSVP and find out more.

About The Beast of Ravenston

Elizabeth Adams, a former maid of the evil sin collector Frederick Dodsworth, is sent to the isolated town of Ravenston to be the servant of notorious duke Nicholas Wellington -- nicknamed "The Beast" because of his bad temper and scars that have disfigured him from a fire. Nicholas makes a deal with Mr. Dodsworth: the name of the person who set the fire in exchange for making Elizabeth's time at Ravenston a living hell.

After seeing what he's capable of, Nicholas fears he has truly become the beast he is rumored to be and tries to make the consequences of his horrible actions up to Elizabeth somehow. Spending time with her causes feelings he'd long forgotten, and he finds himself falling for the gently beauty. He can't let that happen, however, because he has to know who set the fire. He has to know who to punish. And he has to atone for his part in his wife's death.

Years old lies are revealed.
Secrets are uncovered.
And one man has to choose between the family he desires and the revenge he's waited so long for.

After all, a beast is always a beast.
 


Add it on Goodreads

*****

If you have any Indie news to share, please let me know. I hope everyone has an amazing week full of great new finds.

February 20, 2015

Let it Go: The Writing Life

I just sent Chasing Forgiveness, a Tala Propehcy novella, to my editor (the amazing Jo Michaels). I spent over a week editing based on my beta reader comments (even added a chapter).

I love editing, but sometimes it means letting go of lines, scenes, or chapters you love.

So, I thought... why not share one I really hated letting go.


This one was tough to let go, because it means so much to me personally. 

It's a wonderful reminder to be careful what we say. If someone thinks you hate them, it's easier than knowing it. Trust me. I'm all about hope.

Chasing Forgiveness is written in first person, past tense with alternating point of views. It taught me a lot about my writing. Tune in next week to see what.

Have you ever had someone confirm something you wished they hadn't, something that forever changed your relationship?

February 18, 2015

Apostrophes: Grammar & Editing Tips


Isn’t it amazing how important the smallest of punctuation marks can be? 

Consider the apostrophe--small in stature, a simple ’, but huge in importance. After all, an apostrophe either takes the place of missing letters or assigns ownership. It is also used to show multiple letters, such as the student received many A’s on her report card. More on that in a moment.

If Charlie has a dog, it’s Charlie’s dog. The only somewhat confusing aspect to making names possessive… names that end in s. According to AP Style, the newest consensus is to leave off the additional ’s. So it would be Charles’ dog and not Charles’s. However, it is not incorrect to say Charles’s, and that style is favored by Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, although to me it is quite clunky.

In the case of biblical references, everyone seems to agree—Jesus’ and Moses’ is the way to go.

Interestingly, this was a debated enough issue that the Arkansas House of Representatives introduced a bill to clarify the state’s possessive, known as the Arkansas’s Apostrophe Act.

And of course there is the exception of it’s. Since it’s is it is, the possessive of it is its, no apostrophe.

Back to the student that received many A’s on her report card. The A is not A is and it’s not possessive, so why the apostrophe? Because otherwise it is the word As (same problem for the letters I and U which would become Is and Us without an apostrophe).

How big of a deal can a misplaced or missed apostrophe really be?

Let me give you a quick example…

The girls decision meant life would never be the same.

In a story, it’s important for the reader to know if that sentence should read girl’s or girls’ (one girl or multiple girls). Writers don’t want their readers scratching their head for too long, because then readers disconnect from the story. Never a good thing.

How can anybody remember all these rules, especially ones that the grammar experts disagree on? 

That’s just one of the reasons a good editor is important. They do the research and give you their advice. Just as importantly, they make sure it is consistent throughout your work. Your readers will thank you for it.

*****

I originally published this post on the Indie Books Gone Wild website here.  

Another great graphic...


Is there an editing/grammar issue that's always caused you trouble? If so, share it in the comments so I can feature it in a future post.