Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gearing Up for 12 Days of Review Requests Event

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger this week, trying to get everything in order for both NaNoWriMo and the BIG December event here on the blog. Because it's almost October, I'm opening up the signup form for participating authors (for the daily prizes).

Please note: This is not to get your books considered for purchase and review! This is ONLY if you'd like to do a giveaway during the event or support the big prize.

Without further ado, here's the form!

Are you excited? I am! This year will be AWESOME!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Term "Housewife" and What We Need to Add

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, I have some inner-musings about words for you all. There's your fair warning; you're about to read an opinion piece. But bear with me, and maybe (just maybe) you'll get a chuckle and your brain will churn. Ready? Grab that cup of Jo and let's get going!

Starting off with why I began down this line of thought.

This morning, I say to The Best Husband in the World, "You may have married the best housewife on the planet."
He says, "I know I did."
It made me smile. Then, it made me think about the term "housewife."

Here's the definition from Google: a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.

Okay. There are women out there who want that to be their only occupation, and it's perfectly acceptable. Please note: I'm NOT bashing housewives. I think everyone should do precisely what makes them happy. 

So, being me (slightly neurotic and curious from head to toe), I did a Google search on another term: Working Housewife.

I gasped at the results. There's no such term! My heart stopped, and I glared at my iPhone screen. Not only is every housewife on the planet a working one, their jobs are often thankless. Still, you have those women who excel at running a household and managing a career.

What I found were articles like: Perfect 50s Housewife Myth Busted. Do You Want to Have a Working Wife or a Housewife? Is it Better to Have a Working Wife or Housewife When Raising Kids?

How dare they? What the hell is the world coming to? Was there crack involved in the writing of these articles?

Because, I assure you, there is such a thing as a Working Housewife.

Then, I reconsidered (because that's what we do when we try to make sense of something nonsensical and we're about to have a stroke), and I tore apart the definition, thinking of this part separately: Main Occupation--means that's what you consider your primary job.

I pondered. I struggled. I chewed my nails. Then, I did a search for the term "working." Here's what I got: having paid employment.

Paid. So one must be paid in order to be considered working. Need I tell you how, at that point, I really got my panties in a twist? Because I did. My knickers were wound so tightly, I was positive I'd start sneezing cotton any minute.


My blood pressure rising, my extremities tingling as the elastic tightened, I backtracked. Here's the definition of the noun: the action of doing work.

Slowly, my underwear released their restriction on my legs, and I was able to breathe again. I can guarantee every man on the planet would have kittens if their work in the yard or around the house wasn't considered work. While I still wasn't happy, I wondered if people actually considered a new term.

Now, I know a great number of women who do a great many things (from home) while taking care of their families. They manage to work from home, their houses and kids are clean, they pay all the bills, and they even manage (somehow) to cook a healthy meal most days.

Let's look at me! I do all of the above and run more than one business. I consider myself a housewife, but according to the definition, I'm not.

Because of the definition, I don't qualify. Neither do any of those other women I mentioned above.

I stand on my soapbox, teetering from one foot to the other, and hold up my sign today!

Redefine your preconceived notions!

We work. We're housewives (or housewomen). And there's nothing wrong with that. But I think we need a new definition.

Working Housewoman: a woman whose occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs,  doing housework, and working from home.

My face is back to its usual color (I think), so I leave you with a question:
If you're a working housewoman, what do you do besides family?

I hope you got a little chuckle out of my predicament, and I hope you found my new definition suitable.

How would you change it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Chapter One - Emancipation

Happy Monday! Oh man, what a crazy couple of weeks this has been. Anyway, I have some awesome news for you. *grin* I was struggling with how to do this, because the blog is a public thing that I want to keep appropriate for ALL ages, and my new book isn't for those under the age of eighteen.

Yeah, there's some strong language in there. My guy is in prison. I kept it real. There's violence, too.

So, how do I let you read chapter one while keeping the blog a "safe" place for everyone?

I decided to use Wattpad as a buffer. They check the age of anyone on the site, and I was able to mark the content mature so it can be moderated appropriately.

Oh, and I'm sharing the cover today!


Don't forget to join the Facebook party here. If you're interested in helping out with the release day stuff, fill out this form. And if you want an ARC, fill out this one.

Without further ado, here are the details:

Title: Emancipation
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Tobias Butler has been sitting on death row since being sentenced for a gruesome murder in 2007. Bored out of his mind, he decided to apply to the online pen pal program in 2012. It's a pleasant distraction—nothing more, nothing less—for three years, until he's contacted by a beautiful, smart young lawyer named Jess. She's convinced he's innocent and wants to see him freed. As they organize their attack on the judicial system, he wonders how she plans to get his conviction overturned—because he's guilty, and he knows it. Jess is desperate to release him—and he's desperate to feel his hands squeeze the life out of her once she does.

Read chapter one right now FREE on Wattpad HERE.

If you like it, give it a vote!

Add to your Goodreads TBR HERE.

Come on back here and tell me what you think.

I hope you enjoy. Seriously. It's gritty.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Gatekeeper's Trilogy 99 Cent Sale

Readers are calling this series, "Amazing," "Addicting," and "One of the best modern retelling of ancient myth." Kirkus Reviews wrote that it's "sure to thrill Hunger Games fans," and Midwest Book Reviews calls it "a powerful young adult fantasy."  
A teen becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them, Thanatos, the god of death, wants his chance at love. He makes a deal with his father, Hades, but not all the gods want him to succeed.

Part paranormal romance and part adventure story, this trilogy follows Therese's adventures as she struggles to overcome the challenges the gods dish her in her quest to become like them. For one week only, from September 20th to September 26th, the digital box set of The Gatekeeper's Trilogy, usually $5.98, can be downloaded from any ebook retailer for 99 cents! That's three full-length novels, a total of 230,564 words, for less than a buck!  

The Gatekeeper's Trilogy Promo

Here are the download links:

Kindle Nook iBooks Google Play Kobo Smashword

What do you think? Gonna grab them?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday - Emancipation

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I have the most exciting thing to share with you today! Only a few folks are aware that I've been working on a new novel, and I'm going to share an excerpt and a teaser right here, right now! This is a taste of what's coming. So, sit back, relax, grab a cup of Jo, and let's get going!

If you think you might like to read and review, sign up here!

Title: Emancipation
Genre: Thriller
Release date: March 2016

I'm sharing the first letter my inmate (Tobias) receives from the woman he's talking about in the teaser image below. And... GO!

Dear Toby,

I hope it’s okay that I call you that. I think it’s sweet.

My name is Jessica Phang.

I’m going to start this by saying I’m a lawyer, fresh out of school (I’ve been practicing about a year now). I have to be honest; I sought you out specifically. Details surrounding your case have given me a lot to think about over the last few years. You probably find all this confusing, but I hope to sort it out with this letter.

I found your profile on after performing a search for you online; I was drawn immediately to you. Your photo is wonderful. I see such depth in your eyes. There’s no proper way to express how pleased I am that you signed up so I didn’t have to do more research to find your prisoner number. While I knew where you were housed, your link made the process much easier. Besides, I got to see you outside the images in your case file (which are less than flattering, I must admit).

I’m including a picture of myself with this letter. It’s not much, but I wanted you to see me. It seemed unfair that I would be able to look at you anytime I wanted, and you’d be left in the dark.

If you’re interested, I’d like to get to know you better. Your eyes don’t say “killer.” I’m an excellent judge of character, and I see a person who’s deep, caring, and has a lot of love to give if someone were there to accept it. Besides, after looking carefully at the details of your case, I’m convinced you’re innocent.

I’ll tell you a little about myself, since I feel like I know so much about you from your profile (excellent writing, by the way) and your case file. I’m 24 years old, and a criminal defense attorney in the state of Tennessee. I grew up just outside Knoxville, and I graduated from Austin East—you know, that magnet school on the upper-east side—where I studied science. I was then accepted to UT and graduated from Duncan a year ago. I’ve been in private practice as a criminal defense attorney ever since.

While attending Duncan, I ran across your case as part of an assignment. I dove right in and got to know a lot about you, and the particulars, along the way. Yes, I’ve had a number of relationships over the last few years, but I’m ready for something different. Besides, most guys I dated got tired of hearing the name Toby on my lips every five minutes as I examined your case. Not only would I love to interact with you, I think I can get your conviction overturned. I do hope you’ll write me back. My address is on the envelope.

All my love,


Join the Facebook party for the release here! We're giving away some Amazon cash.

Now for the teaser image!

What do you think? Gotcha interested yet?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Cover Reveal - Wrought-Iron Roses The Curse Collectors Book 2

Happy Friday! Today, I have a cover reveal for you all from the awesomesauce that's Elizabeth Kirke! I hope you enjoy it!
Title: Wrought-Iron Roses (The Curse Collectors Book 2)


Sisters Rachel, Angie, and Jo may have survived their first encounter with a curse, but hundreds more are lurking within their aunt’s antique shop. There’s just one problem: Peter, the apprentice, has no idea how to start teaching two untrained rune-casters and keep them safe at the same time.
It isn’t fair to Jo that she has no magic, but her sisters both do. She feels useless and left out. Worse yet, she knows that she’s a liability. She would leave… but, something in the shop is calling to her, reaching out … and she won’t leave until she finds it.
Every night, Angie’s dreams are haunted by a man who claims he was cursed, and she’s the only one who can save him. When she starts to get sick, Peter and her sisters are sure the cause is her mysterious dreams. How can they convince her that the person she’s determined to help could be the one killing her?
Rachel never expected to get a magic power and a boyfriend when she inherited the antique shop. Better yet, she’s actually good at curse-breaking. It seems as though she’s found exactly what she was meant to do. But, when a curse strikes two people she cares about, Rachel is faced with the harsh truth that she might only be able to save one.

Releasing October 30, 2015

Find out more, read a chapter, and get your own rune at

Ready for that cover?

Here you go!

Isn't it prettiful?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Social Media Mayhem

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today's post is going to be super duper short. To sum up a very long and stressful story, I've been having some issues with my social media stuff. I'm not pissed because it's hurting me, but it's having an impact on everyone I've posted (and wanted to share) stuff for this week.

Because I'm frustrated as hell, I'm writing on my new novel. I'd give you guys an excerpt, but it's wrought with foul language (set in a prison, gotta be true to the environment), and this blog is PG-13 at it's worst.

So, you'll have a cover reveal tomorrow, and a special sale post next week, but I'm planning a short break after that to see if I can get all this crap fixed and get some words written. I need the injection of peace for a hot minute. *grin*

You guys keep writing while I'm away. Planned return date is  9/28.

Hugs all around!

I'll see you again soon!

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Release - The Ex Trials - Plus, a Gift Card Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, I have some awesome news about a new release for you all. Plus, there's a giveaway for either a B&N or Amazon gift card going on at the bottom of the post. Ready? Get your clicking fingers ready and let's get going!

Information about the book:

Title: The Ex Trials (Falling for Autumn Book 3)
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Length (print): 184 pages
Buy Link: Amazon Kindle $2.99

One dream vacation in paradise.
One co-ed bachelor and bachelorette party.
One week marooned with my ex.

Six months ago, Casey Silvers ended her scorching romance with sexy rocker Cole Caldwell. None of her friends know the true reason behind her sudden change of heart. Despite her claim of their chemistry fizzling out, her feelings for Cole had never gone away.

After receiving the invitation to her best friend’s co-ed bachelor and bachelorette getaway, Casey knows she must once again face Cole. For one week, she’ll be forced to party alongside the man who has come to despise her. The tropical cruise is meant to be a trip to paradise, but Casey is certain it will turn out to be a vacation from hell.

But as the ship leaves port, past secrets are revealed—secrets that could change the fate of Casey’s romance with Cole. With forces keeping them together, Cole and Casey soon discover that the passion between them has yet to extinguish.

***Standalone New Adult Romance-Ages 17+ Due to Strong Language and Sexual Situations***

If you all remember, I wrote a review for Finding Autumn on the blog here. Such an excellent book (as everything I've read by Heather has been)!

Now that you know about it, enter to win some cash to help you buy it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Good luck!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Release - Queen of Always

Now Available The Epic Conclusion To The Stolen Empire Trilogy
If her time at court has taught Catherine anything, it’s that there is no room for weakness in Imperial Russia. With the Empress’ health failing and rumors of a change in the line of succession, her place in the royal line is once more in jeopardy. Tormented by her sadistic husband and his venomous mistress, Catherine must once more walk the fine line between pleasure and politics—between scandal and survival.
When her young son becomes the target of those rebelling against Peter’s reign, Catherine will have to rise up to protect herself, her child, and her nation from his unstable and potentially catastrophic rule. This means putting herself at odds with the most dangerous man she’s ever known, trusting those who once proved to be her enemies, and turning a nation against its sovereign. In the ultimate battle for the crown, new alliances will be forged, loyalties will be tested, and blood will be shed.
Don’t miss this breathtaking conclusion to the Stolen Empire series!
Queen of Tomorrow is a YA historical fiction based on the life of young Catherine the Great. Fans of the hit TV show REIGN will devour this scandalous glimpse into the life of one of the most dynamic women in history.
amazon ibooks Barnes and Noble
Start The Series Now - Book 1 is FREE!!
Queen Of Someday Queen Of Tomorrow
amazon ibooks Barnes and Noble amazon ibooks Barnes and Noble
MB Giveway
About The Author
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
She is the author of several novels for teens and young adults and in her spare time she co-hosts the Pop Lit Divas Radio Show.
Facebook-Icon twitter-icon instagram website

Monday, September 14, 2015

Set Your Story!

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are ready to start the awesome week ahead. No? Well, grab that coffee and let's talk about setting. You know, that place in your story where your characters dwell.

There are two ways to go about giving setting:
1. The old way of bogging people down with pages and pages of "what the character sees."
2. The more interesting way of putting the character IN the setting and letting the reader know how it feels.

We're, obviously, focusing on the second way.

Why? Because it's more interesting to read and keeps folks from paging through your book really fast.

So, what's the difference? If you aren't sure, I ask you to recall a book you read in some time and space where your eyes glazed over as the author described the trees, flowers, and sun.

Now do you know what I mean?

Let's get the hell on with examples, shall we?

Example of style 1:
     Juniper sat on the stone bench and stared at the water after her breakup with Harold. Red roses bloomed in abundance, their thorny stems intertwining. Next to them were pansies in every color of the rainbow. On the water floated boats with giant, white sails billowing in the wind. Across the water stood the poor houses. She used to live there. People were standing outside or sitting in chairs, doing nothing. A couple of children were playing in the many puddles on the street. Broken down cars with weeds growing out of them were scattered here and there.

And so on, and so forth.

Now, let's give style 2 a try:
     Juniper sat on the bench, the cold of the stone seeping through her shorts as she stared at the water, wishing it would bring calm with its lapping sounds. Red roses bloomed near the shoreline in abundance, their thorny stems intertwining like lovers in a secret embrace. She couldn't help but think how, just hours before, she was in a similar embrace. While the roses would be strong, her love was broken.
     Why did it have to be that way?
     Through the ship sails, she could just make out the poor houses on the other side of the river where her family lived. Once upon a time, she was one of the dirty children playing in the puddles and around the abandoned cars--those weeds growing out the windows and doors gave her hay fever more times than she cared to mention. But she'd gotten out of there.
     What about that didn't Harold understand?

This isn't a vice I suggest you use often. Page after page of anything like that will get old. However, if you're in a key scene, you should get your reader invested in the story by pulling out all the feels.

In the first example, you're looking at the scenery as an outsider; in the second, you're feeling how it might impact someone.

There's the key to engaging the reader in a show, don't tell, situation. Again, telling is for the parts where not a lot is happening and you don't want the reader to slow down and pay attention. More on showing vs. telling in this post.

Care to give it a try? Revamp a scene and share with us!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Giveaway of the Mystic Series

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm giving you links for a giveaway running over on Facebook. A huge shout out to Reading for Fun! Go give the page a like if you love books. She's always sharing the latest and greatest. Ready? Get your entry fingers ready and let's get going!

First up, a printed, signed copy of Bronya: Mystic book 1 (US only on this one).

Enter here.

Here's information about the book:

Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Length (print): 108 pages

Paperback $8.99
Kindle FREE
Paperback - DRD Edition $5.99
Smashwords FREE

This is book one of the Mystic series. A set of New Adult Paranormal novellas that speak out against issues faced in the world today, showing how strong women can overcome anything.

Bronya Thibodeaux is a senior at Houma High School whose life is about to be changed forever. She's always felt like an outcast, but thinks she may have found a friend when a strange, new girl named Markaza who has blue hair, a number of tattoos, and a strange way of dressing appears.

Bronya's life choices make her a pariah in her small town. After getting thrown out of school, not being able to find a job, and being subjected to ridicule and cruel treatment, Bronya chooses to leave her old life behind forever when she receives a compelling invitation from a mysterious company named WSTW.

What Bronya doesn't know, is the mysterious company is owned by Markaza; a mystic who knows the end of the world is coming and is gathering together the only people who can stop the evil that's threatening to take over. Bronya is just the first. But going to New York is only a baby step toward her true journey. As Bronya races against the clock to unlock a power she never knew she had, Markaza races to collect the others: Lily, Shelia, Melody, and Coralie.

Next up, a giveaway for an e-copy of the Mystic boxed set (International)!

Enter here!

How amazing is that? Tina, the owner of the page, and I met at Utopia, where she bought the first five Mystic books. As she read them, she messaged me her feels. I was blown away by her love for my young women. Now, she wants more of the series (good thing there's a spinoff in the works, huh?). She's such an awesome lady! Please, please, go show her page some love!

Did you enter?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dialogue Pitfalls and How to Fix Them

Happy Thursday, everyone! Oh my, tomorrow is FRIDAYYYY! Who's excited? I can't believe it was just a four day workweek. I'm exhausted already. Ha! Today, I'm taking you all through an exercise to help with your dialogue. I'll start by outlining a few pitfalls, then explain how to correct in your first edit. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

We'll start with labels to keep it easy.
#1: Group Conversations
A common issue in creating group dialogue is when the author wants everyone to speak at once. Now, this can work if done properly, but line after line of Bob said, Marley said, Jane said, and Duke said gets tiresome.

Here's a tip:
Seek out scenes where folks are talking and examine them. If you have to, put people in a room and assign them all part of your dialogue. Have them read their lines (in character). Make notes of their facial expressions, movements, and tone. Work it in.

Example #1:
"I didn't think I had anything to be worried about," Bob said.
"Seriously? What didn't you see there?" Marley said.
"Right? I could've picked up on the subtle clues if I were blind," Jane said.
"Bob, your wife hasn't touched you in months. Wasn't that clue number one?" Duke said.
"But it's always been like that," Bob said. "Ever since we were first married."
"Really?" Jane said.
"Yes, really," Bob said.
"Well, why did you stay married ten years then?" Marley said.
Fix #1:
Mouth turned down, hand clutching a tumbler of bourbon on the rocks, Bob shrugged. "I didn't think I had anything to be worried about." Added action tag.
"Seriously? What didn't you see there?" Marley asked. Changed said to asked.
Jane snorted and curled her lip. "Right? I could've picked up on the subtle clues if I were blind." Another action tag.
"Your wife hasn't touched you in months. Wasn't that clue number one?" Duke asked. Changed said to asked.
Bob sighed and leaned back in the chair, studying his friends. They were all coiled and tensed up, like a snake ready to strike. There was no way they'd understand, but he figured he'd try. "But it's always been like that. Ever since we were first married." Applied exposition and action.
"Really?" Jane's head snapped up. Changed to action tag.
"Yes, really." We know it's Bob. Deleted dialogue tag.
Marley asked. "Well, why did you stay married ten years then?" Moved dialogue tag to front.
If you add a little action and thought in with the dialogue, you show the reader more about the situation, and you avoid overusing said.

#2 Invisible Dialogue Tags
It's a common misconception to believe you have to change up the dialogue tags every time. While "said" gets tiring to read, you've seen one way to avoid having to use it on every line. But what about invisible dialogue tags? How many are there? Why should you use them?

Here's a tip:
Seek out those scenes where you're using something other than said to denote dialogue. Ask yourself why. Is it an action tag? That's a good thing unless it's pulling the reader out of the story. There are a handful of invisible tags you can use; just make sure they're relevant to the tone/situation.

Invisible dialogue tags are words readers don't have to process as they move through the story. They exist to avoid confusion only. They speed up the flow of your story (pacing).

Example #2:
  • Asked
  • Said
  • Answered
  • Responded
  • Whispered
  • Shouted
  • Yelled
  • Screamed
A common error is to use an action tag as if it were a dialogue tag. More on these here. Unless the word is denoting speech of some kind, it's an action tag. List:
  • Ordered
  • Commanded
  • Howled
  • Growled
  • Slurred
  • Hissed
  • And so on.
Use invisible tags whenever possible, but you don't need one every line. Hang on, that's next!

#3: Mixing Action Tags and Dialogue Tags
If you have a person doing something, you don't need a dialogue tag to tell the reader who it is that's speaking.

Here's a tip:
Find those places where you have action and dialogue together, and remove the dialogue tags.

Example #3:
Bob shrugged and panned his eyes over the faded wallpaper. He said, "I never thought Martha was the kind to do something like that."
"She's hitting the prime of her life, Bob. She's also a good looking woman," Jane said.
He slammed the glass on the coffee table, sloshing bourbon over the antique wood. "I know she's good looking. Hell, I'm the one who married her!" He yelled.
"All women go through a phase," Jane said as she shrunk back in the couch.
"Phase! Phase?" Bob screamed. "This is so much more than a phase!"
Jane nodded and said, "I understand."
Fix #3:
Bob shrugged and panned his eyes over the faded wallpaper.  "I never thought Martha was the kind to do something like that." Removed He said.
"She's hitting the prime of her life, Bob. She's also a good looking woman," Jane said. Left alone.
He slammed the glass on the coffee table, sloshing bourbon over the antique wood. "I know she's good looking. Hell, I'm the one who married her!" Removed He yelled.
"All women go through a phase." Jane shrunk back in the couch. Removed said as she.
"Phase! Phase? This is so much more than a phase!" Removed Bob screamed.
Jane nodded. "I understand." Removed and said.
Again, if you know who it is that's speaking, there's no need for a tag. But removing all those tags cleaned up the prose.

#4: Using a Dialogue or Action Tag on Every Line
You don't have to go bananas with action and dialogue tags. When two people are having a conversation, you can delete most of the tags and still be okay.

Here's a tip:
Find places where there are just two folks talking. See how much you can remove without getting confusing.

Example #4:
"My wife has drained my bank accounts, done things behind my back, and she wants to know why I'm upset." Bob dragged his free hand down his face and slurped his drink.
Marley sat forward. "She probably hit her mid-life crisis and didn't want to worry you. You're aware of how she treats her body. It was bound to happen."
Bob snorted. "Yeah, I just didn't think she'd do something this crazy at thirty-one."
"It's that milestone, brother. Hang in there. At least she's not cheating on you," Marley said, putting a hand on Bob's back.
He sighed. "You're right. I guess I should be grateful she wants to look good for me. What's a little face-lift in the grand scheme of things, right?" A choked laugh escaped. "But she lied. Plain and simple. Who knows, she might be cheating, too."
"I doubt that. She loves you." Marley leaned back.
"She loves my money," Bob said.
Fix #4:
"My wife has drained my bank accounts, done things behind my back, and she wants to know why I'm upset." Bob dragged his free hand down his face and slurped his drink. Left alone.
Marley said, "She probably hit her mid-life crisis and didn't want to worry you. You're aware of how she treats her body. It was bound to happen." Changed action tag to dialogue tag.
"Yeah, I just didn't think she'd do something this crazy at thirty-one." Removed all tags.
"It's that milestone, brother. Hang in there. At least she's not cheating on you." Marley put a hand on Bob's back. Removed dialogue tag.
"You're right. I guess I should be grateful she wants to look good for me. What's a little face-lift in the grand scheme of things, right?" A choked laugh escaped. "But she lied. Plain and simple. Who knows, she might be cheating, too." Removed action tag.
"I doubt that. She loves you." Removed action tag.
"She loves my money." Removed dialogue tag.
And, you still know who it is that's speaking! Amazing, right?

These are some of the most common dialogue errors I come across. If you do your homework, you'll come out the other side a better writer. For another trap post, check out this one.

I hope this helps in some small way.

What are the things that annoy you most in dialogue? Discuss!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

777 Writer's Game

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, I'm playing a game because I was tagged by my friend, and co-conspirator, Kelly Risser, in this post on her blog. She's asking me to post seven lines from a page ending in the number seven from my work in progress. I'm also supposed to tag seven other authors. Well, this couldn't be more perfect if we'd planned it. Why? Because our work in progress is titled "7." Fitting, don't you think?

So, here are seven lines from page seven:
It wasn’t long before he was chuckling along with her. Once their mirth died away, he asked the question that had been on his mind since Elizabeth mentioned it. “Might I ask what became of the thieves caught in my workshop?”

She smiled. It wasn’t warm, and her eyes were two pieces of rock in her face. “I had them hanged. No one steals in my kingdom and is allowed to keep their life.” 

And, as a little teaser, here's the character talking with Queen Elizabeth:

His name is Sir Thomas Russell. Because we haven't revealed the cover! It's coming, so keep your eyes open. I know, I know, we're the worst kind of evil. You'll be seeing this gentleman again soon, too. *grin*

Be sure and read Kelly's post, then come on back here, and tell me what you think we're doing this time around.

Oh, and the swag! Let me tell you, it's special and, like the book, it's unlike anything you've seen before. As a bonus, anyone can get one!

I'm going to tag: +BJ Sheldon , +Amy Evans ,  +Christina Marie Mitchell , +Christina Mercer , +Heather Topham Wood , +L. K. Evans , and +Kelly Martin . Enjoy the fun, ladies!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fractured Glass Wins Another Award and Moves to More Platforms

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all had a super fab holiday weekend. Today, I'd like to tell you all about yet another fabulous award won by Fractured Glass and give you all a couple of links. Ready? Get your coffee, get comfy, and let's get going!

Here's the info:

Amazon Kindle: $2.99
Smashwords: $2.99
Barnes & Noble: $2.99
Paperback: $14.99

****Award-Winning Finalist in the "Fiction: Cross Genre" category of the 2015 International Book Awards****

****Award-Winning Finalist in the "Young Adult Science Fiction" category of the 2015 Reader's Favorite Book Awards****

What if other worlds existed alongside your own? What if you could travel through them and truly escape reality?

Sloan and Harley Glass were born moments apart; but, despite their differences, the sixteen-year-old twins couldn’t be closer. They’ve held their tongues each and every time their mother has uprooted them—often moving across the country with little notice. They’ve learned to accept change. But what is Mom running from?

They discover they’re travelers—half-descendants of those who can traverse an entire universe of parallel worlds known as fractals. When the past catches up, Harley is kidnapped and taken to one of those distant worlds. Now, Sloan must garner her courage and find a way to rescue her sister. Traversing the worlds isn’t the hard part; it’s surviving the elements and the creatures lying in wait to destroy everything in their path.

Will the Glass sisters be able to save the fractal worlds from the kidnapper, or will everything fracture and crumble around them?

See all the Reader's Favorite Award winners here.

We're also working on a new novel. Something else that's never, ever been done before. See my post about it here.

What about you? Have you broken the mold or done something different? Tell me about it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Stealing Plots

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! I hope you all had a fantastic week and are looking forward to the long weekend. Perhaps you want to use that time to craft new book ideas. Well, you've come to the right place! Today, I'm going over how you can steal plots from real life to craft novels. Intrigued? Then grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

If you remember the posts I did on plot ideas (part one and part two), you'll know I'm a huge advocate of using things you see/read/hear to inspire you. Well, let's look at life for some inspiration and see exactly how that works.

Situation one: You're sitting, watching the news, and a story comes on about terrorists on a train and three heroes who leap in and save the day (anyone remember this?). That's an awesome story, right? Those men have been talked about often since that day.

Situation two: Friend one calls you, sobbing. Her husband was part of the Ashley Madison scandal, and your friend has discovered he's had multiple affairs. Her life is ruined, and she tells you all the warning signs she saw but ignored as you try to make her feel better.

Let's break down and re-work both situations for awesome plot ideas, shall we?

Situation one: What if the terrorists were vampires and the heroes were slayers? Or, what if they were all women instead of men? What would've happened if it were some kind of plot to get rid of a different terrorist who was planning to bomb the train, and the men sent to stop it were thwarted by the "heroes" who thought they were doing something good?

Situation two: What if the husband wasn't cheating, but he'd been doing some kind of recon mission for the CIA or some secret organization? All the "warning" signs weren't what they seemed, but the wife has no way of knowing because she doesn't know he's a spy/assassin. That's a whole different story.

It's not the situation that matters; it's the details you want to store away in your brain for the book you can write with these ideas that are important.

What caused those men to react? What were they thinking? What did they see?

What were those "warning" signs your friend is talking about? How did her husband act? What excuses did he use to get out of the house and meet up with those women?

All these questions can be answered by watching interviews or asking questions. Be the sleuth. Be creative. Bend the world to fit the story you want to read, and write it.

Whether you're a paranormal, contemporary, fantasy, dystopian, contemporary, murder mystery, or other genre author, you can make your story and characters feel more real to your reader when you use real-life situations as the basis.

So, this weekend, my challenge to you is to take something you see on television or hear on the news and turn it into a plot for a novel in your genre.

Post them below! Let's see how creative you can be!

Well, that's all for today, folks. Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fight for Your Write - #UTOPiAcon 2016 - Why You Should Attend

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is my official blog post for Utopia for the month of September. I get the honor of posting about the GoFundMe campaign organized by Amy Evans and Heather Hildenbrand. SO EXCITING! Ready? Grab a cup of coffee and let's get going!

I know you all saw the blog hop I posted yesterday with the amazing prizes. If you happened to miss it, you can check it out here. But let me tell you a little more about this fundraiser and why it means so very much to the people who organized it.

I had an interview with Amy on Tuesday (listen here). She talked about visiting Utopia for the first time, and she had a few inspiring things to say about it. Here's one quote that struck a serious chord with me:
"I wanted to be on the side of the fence with people who were psyched and passionatenot ones who were afraid to make mistakes."
And that's what Utopia gives each and every attendee. It's not a place; it's a mindset. That's why so many folks throw themselves into the conference headlong.

Another one of the attendees said:
"I always wondered why I didn't fit in with the other horses in the world. Then, I went to Utopia and realized I'm not a horse; I'm a unicorn, and this is my herd."
That resonates with me, too, because I felt the exact same way when I attended the first year.

Here were these people who understood me and my quirks. There was no judgment. I was embraced from day one because of my differences, not in spite of them.

There are three words to describe the con:
Education - Inspiration - Collaboration
Everyone who visits absorbs that drive and knowledge to make a change, do more, be more, and jump off the cliff with their eyes closed, trusting the others to give them wings.

It's because of everything you see above that Amy and Heather created the GoFundMe campaign. You can help someone change their stars by showing support for the conference.

Plus, there are prizes! Here's what you get with a $10-$49 donation (copied from the site):
"For a $10-$49 donation you will get five free ebooks. Authors include Tammy Blackwell,Stacie Marie Brown, SM Boyce,M. Clark/Mary Ting,  Amy Evans, Lila Felix, Heather Hildenbrand, Nikki Jefford, Katie M. John, Elizabeth Kirke, Patti Larson, Carlyle Labuschagne, Jo Michaels, Casey Peeler, Bella Roccaforte, Kallie Ross. MORE DONATIONS ARE COMING EACH DAY."
Yes, that says FIVE free e-books! What are you waiting for? $10 for five books? Go already!

In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, there are limited edition tees on sale. This is an effort by Indie-Visible and Whit & Ware. See the post about why they were created here. All proceeds go directly to the conference so it can be the most epic ever. These shirts are only available for a limited time, so you need to get your hands each one as they're released. The one right now has just SEVEN days left!
If you don't have tickets to the conference yet, you should get yours today. It will change your life.
Be sure and visit the other official bloggers this month to find out more about the tees, campaign, and see how the founder of Utopia, Janet Wallace, reacted to the news of this campaign creation.

Here's the schedule:
Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: Shana Benedict and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Toni Lesatz and Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes
Somewhere during the month, we have our amazing book tuber, Christina Marie, who'll be hosting an AWESOME giveaway! Keep an eye on her channel for that!

What do you think? Are you coming to hang out with the rest of the unicorns, or do you prefer to be a horse?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Utopia Go Fund Me Blog Hop - Without Utopia, I Never Would Have

As we jump into the FIFTH year of the amazing UtopiaCon, we want to giveback to the organizers who have given so much inspiration and support to us. A conference of this magnitude­­of this level of MAGIC­­is not cheap. Over the past few months, we’ve learned that organizers, friends, and even family have come forward and given from their own personal funds in order to help move Utopia forward another year and we want to pay them back. We want to FIGHT FOR OUR WRITE and do our part to help.

This year especially, we'd like to make sure they  go into planning sessions with an extra boost to it's bottom line. So if you've ever been touched by Utopia, or if you love any of the authors, bloggers, or readers who have, please take a moment to give a few dollars.

This will insure the inspiration continues.

We hope you'll be led to give from the heart, but to sweeten the deal we have some MAJORLY EPIC incentives! In addition to what you’ll get from the Go Fund Me organizers (see the donation page to read about those), you’ll also get entered to win any one of these amazing raffle prizes listed in the rafflecopter below!

Prizes like this one:

And in order to help convey the magical sense of community Utopia has instilled in its attendees, I want everyone to know that...


There is no purchase or donation necessary to enter to enter the drawing, but we encourage you to give even just $10 in order to help move us toward our big goal. And don’t forget, every donation of at least $10 earns you free books!

How to enter:
  1. Go visit #UtopiaLove’s Go Fund Me page and make a small donation (this isn’t necessary, but we would be so jazzed if you did this first! AND this earns you an automatic prize based on your donation level. Check your email to collect.)
  2. Click through any one of the rafflecopter entry methods. Complete the necessary item and get entered for all of the raffle prizes listed below.
  3. Click through to the list of other participating authors & bloggers to read how Utopia has changed them!
That’s it! Thanks!

Participating Blogs:
Karen Hooper
Kallie Ross   
Susan Burdorf
Jo Michaels 
Carlyle Labuschagne 
Shantella Benson
Shelley Custer
S.M. Boyce 
Komali da Silva
PK Hrezo
Elisabeth Kauffman
Patti Larsen
Michaela Mills
Ginny Gallagher
Liz Long
Raine Thomas
Stacey Marie Brown
Heather Hildenbrand
Amy Evans

Here's an amazing giveaway for you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jo Michaels on the Indie Pub Podcast

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, I'm pointing you to a couple of things going on over on the Indie Pub Podcast. If you're ready, get your clicking fingers warm, and let's get going!

Over the last month, the IPP has put out interviews with several folks with topics ranging from:

Editing Process - with Kallie Ross

Publishing Options - with Chelsea Fine

Book Reviews - with Heather Hildenbrand

Facebook Marketing - with Rick Mulready

But today, they went live with my interview! If you've ever been stuck in a rut with your blog, wondering how to monetize it, or just need a fresh kick in the pants to get your blog going, you'll want to listen to this one!

Blogging - with Jo Michaels

We talk about how a blog can help expand your circle, where to get ideas, what to blog about, and why you should blog. Get on over there and grab a listen!

Did you learn anything? What was your favorite part?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!