Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday's Blog Bounce and more

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for Omnific Publishing’s Blog Bounce.

My novel, EMBRACE, is currently on schedule. I’m thinking it’s about time to count down to its release date. For those curious, that is 82 days from today. J   

I’ve had some time to work on other projects. My latest work-in-progress, a middle grade ghost story, is coming along nicely. I’m currently adding a little more mystery and a lot more of the spooky elements to the end of the book.

I’m also participating in Rachael Harrie’s Platform Building Campaign. The Second Campaign Challenge was to write a blog post in 200 words or less using specific words. I went with flash fiction. You can view my entry here and if you want vote for it here, entry #144.

Now, onto the Blog Bounce…

Today's the Author, Author Blog Bounce!
All authors are welcome to join & hop along.

To find out more about the bounce, click here.

This is a Blog Hop!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Second Campaign Challenge: Feeling exactly like an imago

Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction ( ), non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • Include the word "imago" in the title 
  • Include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," and "synchronicity"
  • If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), makereference to a mirror in your post. 
  • For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY

My entry:

     Synchronicity describes that afternoon best. Thinking back though, the invisible miasma of stench, which smelled a lot like rotten eggs, should have been a clue.

     There were only a few people in the convenient store when I entered. I made a beeline for the cold drinks. A woman patiently waited for two boys to choose a candy bar.  Not far from her, a man filled a cup with coffee.

     I’m going to make it, I thought as I grabbed a water. I nabbed a container of aspirin next and went to pay.

     “Tylenol is better for a headache,” a velvety voice said from behind me.

     I turned to give the unwelcome commenter an impish grin, but froze instead, realizing then there was an overwhelming lacuna in my plan.

     “How did you find me?”

     He ositated as if bored. “I’ve told you, it’s my job to know where you are.” He added Tylenol to my purchase and handed the cashier a ten. “Really Katerina, I’m not the one you should be afraid of.”

     “Says the servant of hell. I don’t want anything from you.”

     “You will.” His gaze traveled to the exit where Gabriel waited, his angelic features twisted in fury.

That is my entry for Rachael Harrie’s second Writer’s Campaign Challenge. It's 200-words exactly. Don't forget to vote for your favorite entries by clicking "like" under the writer's name. My entry is #144 if you'd liked it.  

Happy campaigning!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

As I wait...

Edits for Embrace are done. My amazing editor has passed the manuscript on to the next person in the process. I'm back to waiting while they check that all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.

Being a writer comes with a lot of waiting.

So what does a writer do while they wait? I can’t speak for everyone, but I like to catch up on my reading. The pile of books wanting for my attention is growing and my to-read list on Good Reads is even longer. I also work on other projects. I’m currently finishing edits of a middle grade ghost story and I'm excited about revisiting a YA paranormal  I wrote last year. I actually could use a clone, because there just aren't enough hours in the day to work on both. 

And then the season premieres of my favorite shows are this month, so I know what I'll be doing for two hours a week.

I'd love to hear from you. I’m curious, what do you do to keep busy while you wait? Do you start another project or take a break from writing? Any shows coming out this season that you're excited about?

Today's the Author, Author Blog Bounce!
All authors are welcome to join & hop along.

This is a Blog Hop8 entries so far... you're next!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Falling in love has never been so sweet. Life, Liberty and Pursuit

Since my novel EMBRACE is still in the editorial process and I don't have anything new to share at this time, I thought it would be fun to spotlight a fellow Omnific author's book. I discovered Susan Kaye Quinn's wonderful book, LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PURSUITat a conference and I knew right away I had to have it. 

Omnific Publishing is also hosting their Author!Author! Blog Bounce. Authors are welcome to join. Details at the end of this post. 

Synopsis: When college-bound Eliza falls into a cruise-ship pool, she doesn’t expect to fall in love. And when navy recruit David pulls her from the water, he finds her surprisingly hard to resist. But a whirlwind of rescues, candlelit nights, and beachside misunderstandings pulls them into a four-day love affair that threatens to break their hearts before their love has a chance to start. 

When David leaves for endless drills and physical training in boot camp, and Eliza returns to Albuquerque to prepare for Princeton in the fall, they dare to keep loving each other and struggle to imagine a future when they can be together. But when miles and mistrust pull them apart, they are forced to choose between keeping true to their dreams and having the courage to love.

I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction, so LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT was a nice break from the demons and monsters in my usual reads. Eliza is a girl who knows what she wants. David is a strong young man who is supposed to start boot camp in a few short days. But meeting each other puts some kinks in their plans for the future. Susan does a great job of creating realistic characters who fall in love and then face a very difficult decision about their future. LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT is a sweet romance that kept me guessing what Eliza and David will do.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Susan was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

Cherie: Your story is written in alternating points-of-view, did you find it easier to write from Eliza or David’s point-of-view or did both simply flow on their own?

Susan: First, thank you for spotlighting Life, Liberty, and Pursuit on your blog!
I love writing male POV, and Eliza was actually my first time writing female POV (strange, I know). So I had to work to get her voice right, but in the end I really enjoyed writing her perspective – the story is hers, even though it’s a love story and both perspectives are important. But Eliza’s choice is the one I hope girls who read the book will take inspiration from.

Cherie: What type of research did you do for your story?

Susan: Research is one of my favorite parts of writing, so I eagerly dived into learning about boot camp and the Navy’s linguist program – I was lucky to find the blog of a young sailor who talked about his boot camp experience, to get a first-hand account of what it was like. Google is my friend. Also Google Earth, where I literally “walked around” some of the settings in the story. Fun!

Cherie: Do you have a favorite place you like to go to write?

Susan: While I was writing LLP, I mainly wrote on my mini-laptop, which meant I wrote anywhere – on the couch, at the park, in the car while waiting to pick up my kids. Since then, my boys have started school full-time and I write mainly at my desktop, surrounded by a clutter of marked-up critiques from my writing group, treasured drawings from writer/artist friends, and of course Writer Mouse. I tell myself that someday I’ll have a nice tidy desk, but I think I’m just fooling myself.

Cherie: Eliza and David travel to some amazing location on the cruise, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Susan: Italy, because it’s long overdue. I’ve wanted to go to Italy for about 10 years now, and originally my husband and I were going for our 10th anniversary. Shortly before we planned to buy tickets, baby #3 came along and our plans were delayed. My “baby” is now eight, and my husband keeps traveling there for business, checking out Rome, the churches, the art, the food, the food, the food! Someday I’ll get there too. Mostly I want to find a small cafĂ©, drink red wine, eat pasta, and breathe in the atmosphere. I’ll bring along a notebook to scribble down my thoughts and probably would come back and write a novel set there. J

Cherie: Okay, I have to ask, do you believe in love at first site?

Susan: I do! I know some people have a hard time with that idea, but I know it exists because this story is loosely based off my best friend from high school. She went on a four day vacation with my family where we met some other friends-of-the-family and she instantly fell in love with their son. I was like, huh? You’re kidding, right? We were all of sixteen at the time. They were separated by many miles for many years, but eventually she moved to where he was living and they’ve been happily married for 17 years with two beautiful girls. When I sent her the book, she said, “But this is all about ME!” She loved the book, as well as the Summer Breeze Anthology (containing a short “afterstory” featuring her favorite character, Teagan). Which made me very happy.

Cherie: Can you share a swoon worthy line from your novel?

Susan: Ok, it would have to be from one of David’s love letters. Here goes…and I’m cheating by providing more than a line… 

            Since I won’t be getting any sleep tonight and will miss dreaming about you, I will have to create my own waking dream. It starts with you waving from far away as I come off the gangplank. I’m dressed in my navy whites, because I’m returning from a tour of duty, and you are wearing an amazing blue dress that doesn’t touch your knees, but seems to touch everywhere else. I have to wade through other sailors and their girlfriends and wives to reach you, but when I finally do, I hold you for a very long time, lips pressed to yours, not wanting to let you go.
Please write soon.

It is interesting that you find writing from a male's POV easier. In my own writing, I have to work harder to keep the details of a scene in a male's perspective.

Now that the interview is done, I'm going to share a little secret. I was dying to know what Susan would pick for her favorite swoon line. LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT had so many great moments. The chemistry between Eliza and David is amazing.

Thank you Susan for being a part of my blog and for sharing a little about yourself and your writing habits! I loved the drawing and Writer Mouse!

Now for the Bounce!
Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

For more details, visit Omnific Publishing's blog.

This is a Blog Hop7 entries so far... you're next!

This list will close in 17 hrs, 27 min (9/15/2011 10:59 PM CST)

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writing for a middle grade audience

I recently pulled out my notes on writing for a middle grade audience. I had tons, scattered through different notebooks and I thought it would be nice to have them in one place.

Middle grade is a wonderful age to write for. Your readers are hungry for new adventures and it doesn’t hurt that schools often offer incentives to keep children reading. So what do you have to know if you’re writing for this age group?

Middle grade readers are 8-12, sometimes 13. One of the first things you’ll need to do is determine if you are targeting the younger readers in this range or the older readers. Once you know this, you can determine how old to make your main character.  For instance, if you are targeting younger readers, then you may decide to make your mc eleven. For older readers, have your character be thirteen.

Middle grade themes are also very different than young adult. In middle we think how does the main character fit into the world. Whereas in a teen novel, the character is exploring how they fit in with their peers. Middle grade also has strict lines on what you can and cannot do. You won’t find sex, cursing, or drugs in a MG novel.

I once heard an editor say that hook is not plot. To me, this made sense. Hook is what draws your reader in. Plot is what carries your reader from page one to the end of the book. Some notes on plot and voice in a middle grade novel:

Plot: Think what matters to a twelve-year-old.
  • Are the conflicts what make sense to a twelve-year-old?
  • Do they center on relationship?

Voice: The narrative voice should be what the character notices in the scene.
  • Children this age often talk in fragmented sentences and half thoughts. Does your dialogue reflect this?
  • Watch that your character is not too self aware. He or she shouldn’t have emotional maturity that comes with age.

On last note, while drafting your novel, remember to have the kids create problems that they will later solve.

I’m sure I’ve missed something and I’d love to hear from you if you have tips to share.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Embrace, a teen novel. Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic.

I've been waiting patiently (sort of) to be able to share more details about my novel. Well, the waiting is over.  My wonderful editor has given me the thumbs up on sharing the synopsis for Embrace, a teen paranormal romance which will be available December 20th. 

And since I don't have a picture for the book yet, I thought I'd share a photo of the very mini Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car I mentioned in my previous post. (Yes, I not only have this car from when I was 8 or 9, I knew where it was. Scary, I know.)

Okay, without further adieu...


Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. 
Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. 
            Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. 
Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. 

Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blog Awards Galore

I’m really feeling the love this week. I received these very cool awards from Lyla.

Thank you Lyla!

It’s been a busy week. Thanks to Rachel’s campaign, my followers have grown and I’ve found so many wonderful blogs. I’m very happy to pay it forward and recognize a few blogs I follow, but first the rules.

For the "The Versatile Blogger" award and "The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award," the rules are:

1) Thank and link to the person who nominates you.
2) Share seven random facts about yourself.
3) Pass the award to five more blogger friends.
4) Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated.

Seven random facts about me:
1) A good cup of coffee is a must in the morning, it’s that serious.
2) I don’t watch much television, which has worked out great for the rest of the family. (One less person fighting over what channel to watch on any given night. J )
3) When I was little, the neighbor and I collected a hundred or more little bright green frogs and made a home for them in the blue wading pool in his backyard. I don’t think our parents appreciated the hard work that went into that hobby and I’m sorry to say, neither did the frogs.
4) Come to think of it, I believe I still have the baby blue and pink, very mini, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style car he gave me before he moved away.
5) I can’t dig a hole to save my life, something I've learned from all the yard work we’ve done over the years.
6) I love long walks through the arboretum.
7) Because I love writing, I don’t really think of it as work.

I’d like to pass these awards on to the following people. They are awesome and you should go follow them, too. (Click their names to follow the link to their blogs.)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

My amazing publishing company, Omnific Publishing, is hosting an awesome Blog Bounce. To find out more and to make your way over to my Omnific family's blogs, click the Author! Author! Blog Bounce link included below.

What’s the Author! Author! Blog Bounce?? Well, it’s a fun way for readers to find new authors and for authors to connect with their readers!

Authors, all you have to do is grab the icon, grab the link, make a blog post (don’t forget to include the link!), and enter your blog on our list. Easy peasy!

Readers…you have the easy job. Just follow the bounce and visit the authors. Leave a comment and let them know that you were there.

This is a Blog Hop! 8 entries so far… you’re next!

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 11 hrs, 43 min (9/2/2011 12:59 AM CST)

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