Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pet Peeves... what's yours?


This month's question is a three part question. I hope you'll chime in in the comments.

What are your pet peeves...

... when reading?  I'm not a fan of long exposition or back story. Most of the time it slows the pace and pulls me right out of the story. If it goes on too long, I'll lose interest and the book goes in my DNF pile. And yes, I hate when people dog-ear pages in books.

... when writing?  Hands down when I'm in a good flow and have to stop. This happens to me a lot during the week, because I like to write in the morning before work so I have a hard stop. The only thing worse is having all day to write and barely adding a hundred words to my word count.

... when editing? Working diligently to fix a sentence, paragraph or page only to realize I just spent an hour or longer revising and the scene works better with that sentence, paragraph or page deleted.

How about you? What are your pet peeves?

This has been an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. It's where writers share their thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going. If you would like to know more about the group, just follow the link.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It's a writer's life for me #IWSG

Hi, everyone.

It's time to share our thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and JH MoncrieffMadeline Mora-SummonteJen ChandlerMegan MorganHeather GardnNot a member? Want to know more about the group? Click here

The re-write of my upper middle-grade fantasy is done! A friend beta read the first 25-pages and I was super excited to get her feedback. I've already tweaked the pages. There wasn't much, which is great news. I may read the story one more time looking for sentences I can tighten up. Then I'm thinking of having this one go through a round of developmental edits. Or maybe DE-light. Is there such a thing? I recently signed up for Reedsy so I'll find out.

No matter if you write a story for yourself, your kids, to self-publish, or to publish traditionally, this quote is true. The only way you fail is if you stop writing. Over the years, I've heard agents, editors and authors say it takes a combination of skill, persistence, and luck to be successful as a writer and not always in that order. I think of this when writer's block hits or when an editor passes on one of my projects. This brings me to this month's questions.

Question of the month:
Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

My answer: No I haven't. Writing a novel is hard work, but it is also thrilling and rewarding. I love the challenge of creating new characters, getting to know them, and becoming lost in their worlds. 

How about you? Have you quit? What made you come back?

Friday, May 5, 2017

It's here! Air and Ash by Alex Lidell

It's here! Alex Lidell's newest novel, AIR and ASH. And to celebrate Alex is running a release celebration BOGO, where you can get a free copy of Megan Crewe's A MORTAL SONG with proof of purchase of Air and Ash. Details here:  

Born to privilege. Trained for command. Destined for danger.

Air and Ash by Alex Lindell
Release date: May 2, 2017
Danger Bearing Press

After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

AIR AND ASH is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and Naomi Novik.

Read Air and Ash today:  Amazon 


Master and Commander meets Sarh J. Mass in a seafaring adventure of duty, love,  magic, and a princess's quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.


TIDES currently has two full-length novels - AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND - as well as a prequel novella, FIRST COMMAND. A free copy of FIRST COMMAND is available here.

Author Bio

Alex Lidell is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex’s debut novel, THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013), was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards finalist. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Alex loves getting emails!  Please send her a note at or sign up for her newsletter

Keep in touch with Alex

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Inspiration strikes... sort of #IWSG

Hi, everyone.

It's time to share our thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, Chrys Fey for keeping IWSG going. Not a member? Want to know more about the group? Click here

I never know when inspiration will strike. Although, it would be wonderful if I could turn it on and off at will. Anyway, I was reading blog posts on plot recently when the pieces to an idea I had years ago started to flush themselves out to become a decent plot that just might work.  I'm still polishing my MG fantasy, so I have plenty of time to mull over this new story. I'll let you know if something comes of it.

April IWSG Day Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

My answer: I haven't participated in the A to Z Challenge, but I'm looking forward to reading the responses of those who have.

In other news:
There's still time to get Challenging Destiny for only .99 cents. If you've already downloaded your copy, thank you for your support!

Being Chosen is a terrible thing when there is no one you can trust. 

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons. Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind.

Buy on Amazon         Amazon UK          Barnes&Noble

Can you turn inspiration on and off at will? Do your ideas percolate a while before you start to write? Are you participating in the A to Z Challenge?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Read Challenging Destiny for .99 cents! #amreading #yalit

Hi, everyone!

The Wild Rose Press has put my speculative fiction, Challenging Destiny, on sale for .99 cent. But hurry, the sale ends soon.

Being Chosen is a terrible thing when there is no one you can trust. 

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons. Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind.

Buy on Amazon         Amazon UK          Barnes&Noble


4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon!

Here’s what readers have to say about Challenging Destiny:

“This YA paranormal has fantastic world building.”

“I just loved the heck out of this book. In fact, I stayed up all night reading this, cause I couldn’t put it down.”

The mythology that is developing here is nothing short of amazing."

"What an intriguing and fascinating read!!"


Don't miss my paranormal thriller/romance Series:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ten ways to add mystery and suspense in your writing

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There are several tools writers use to create the suspense that pulls a reader into a story and makes them want to follow our protagonist on his or her journey. Today, I thought I'd share ten techniques sure to help you add intrigue and mystery to your writing.

1. Get your characters in trouble! Be ruthless. Think of the worst thing that could happen to them and let them figure out a solution.

2. Let your character take the easy way out of a situation only to find that he's made matters worse, or that he just survived the calm before the storm.

3. Do a slow reveal or include a familiar item that keeps showing up.

4. Allow the reader to know something the main character doesn't.  If the reader knows that there is a lion behind the door our beloved main character so desperately wants to open the reader will be holding his or her breath each time that character gets close to the door.

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5. Create a deadline: countdown to D-day.

6. Build anxiety by using short clipped sentences. Introduce doubt or have a plan fall through.

7. Let your character get close to what she's been hoping for—maybe the first kiss with the totally hot guy—and then the moment slips away or all hell breaks loose.

8. Add intriguing chapter titles.

9. End each chapter in a way that keeps the reader from inserting a bookmark.
10. Cut the action early, forcing the reader to worry about what's going to happen next.

The next time you're writing, give one or more of these techniques a try!

Share your tips in the comments. :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Take 2: Reworking an Old Story #IWSG

Hi, everyone.

It's time to share our thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts Tamara NarayanPatsy Collins,  M.J. Fifield,  Nicohle Christopherson for keeping IWSG going. Not a member? Want to know more about the group? Click here

March IWSG Day Question: 
Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes! I'm working on it now. So far, I think it's working.  :)

Today I thought I'd share some encouraging words from professionals in the business that I picked up from writing conferences I've attended. 

“What would ten-year-old Tony want that old Tony can now make?” –Tony Diterlizzi

“A book becomes timeless when a story captures a moment of intimacy between author and reader.” – Arthur Levine

“There are no shortcuts. Slow down. Focus on what you can control.” – Steven Malk

How are you doing? Any insecurities? Have you reworked an old story? Any encouraging words to share?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reading will never be the same #IWSG

Hi, everyone.

Welcome to my IWSG post. It's where writers share their thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going.  Click here to learn more about the group. Co-Hosts this month: Misha GerickeLK HillJuneta KeyJoylene Buter.

I'm doing okay with my insecurities, which I shoved in a box at the end of 2016. I haven't had time to open it, which is okay by me. Since my insecurities are tucked away, I thought I'd share some inspiration instead. So the next time you're feeling insecure remember:

Believe in yourself. 
Appreciate your unique perspective.
Write what speaks to you.
First drafts don't have to be perfect.

February's question:

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? 

I've always been a finicky reader. A book has to hook me with beautiful writing, relatable characters, or a kick ass plot. That hasn't changed. What has changed is that I'm more aware of a story's mechanics. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. When a book is well-written, I'm not only engaged by the plot, but I find myself paying attention to how the author puts together her prose, describes scenes, weaves together plot lines, builds worlds, and creates intriguing characters. The bad is that I notice when these things are missing from a book. I'm pulled out of the story. If it keeps happening, I end up putting down the book.

In other news:

Chris Fey has a copy of 
Seismic Crimes up for grabs. Click here to learn more about her exciting new book and to enter the giveaway.

Any words of inspiration you'd like to share? Are you a writer? Has being one changed your experience as a reader? Have you checked out Tsunami Crimes? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2017

TSUNAMI CRIMES by Chris Fey Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in the TSUNAMI CRIMES blog tour. 

Chrys Fey was kind enough to answer a question about her book and share a teaser with us. Be sure to check them out and enter the giveaway. 

My question for Chrys: What was your favorite part to write in Tsunami Crimes?

Chrys's answer: While the tsunami and kidnapping scenes were the most exciting to write, and surprisingly the easiest, my favorite scene wasn’t even in the final draft of my book when I submitted it to my editor. Actually, I wrote it because my editor gave me the idea. At the end of a chapter, I had Donovan tell Beth they were going out for a romantic dinner in Hawaii. I skipped that scene, though, because I felt it wouldn’t add anything to the story. But my editor offered an idea: What about a luau?

The moment she said that, I hit myself in the head. Duh! Beth and Donovan are in Hawaii, and I hadn’t even considered sending them to a luau. I wrote the short, fun luau scene that leads to a romantic moment that’s quite sexy, which has to do with hula dancing. *wink*


Hula dancers in bright bikini tops took the stage next. Their grass skirts were low on their hips. Leaves adorned their ankles and wrists. Beth turned and covered Donovan’s eyes. He chuckled, and she laughed along with him. He put his arms around her, and they watched the dancers perform with Uli’Uli rattles made of gourds and red and yellow feathers. The sound of the seeds shaking inside them and the movement of the dancers’ hips was hypnotizing. Donovan couldn’t deny it. After their dance concluded, they invited audience members to join them on the stage. Donovan brought his mouth to Beth’s ear. “You should go up there.”

She rotated around. Firelight reflected in her wide eyes. “Are you crazy?”

“No. I’ve seen you move your hips before.” He winked at her.

She fought not to smile as she twisted her lips to the side. “Fine, but you better record it on your phone, because I won’t do it again.” 


Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap. If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

On SALE for $2.99! 


P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:
Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!