Category Archives: Uncategorized

Love and Sex

The topic for this month’s round robin is an opinion on love, sex, and relationships in books. What seems acceptable? Is it necessary in a story? And what goes too far?

Every book and every character is different, and each situation is unique. In terms of how explicit (or not) I’m willing to be about sex, I’m willing to open the door only as far as necessary to advance the plot.

In my novel Geek Games, character is  fourteen, gay,  and develops an attraction to another by a couple of years older. I faced deciding not only how far I wanted to go in terms of the plot, but also how what I wrote intersected with my publisher’s guidelines.

Yes, I asked, and I sent along a couple of scenes I was concerned about, one where they kiss and another where I wanted to show that they were doing more.

The kiss is a big deal, a turning point for my main character in terms of his feelings about himself, and thus it was important for me to describe, and, yes, the description was all right with my publisher and made it into the novel.

In the second incident, I hinted at what was happening but the action takes place off-stage. My initial draft was a bit more explicit about it, but after passing it by my publisher, I modified it. However, what was important about the second incident was the attitude of the adults about it, and not what the boys themselves were doing.

If I had written a different novel, it might have turned out that the activity was important. Would I have described it? Given my druthers, I’d rather not write about 14-year olds doing anything more than kissing. Would I, if it were important to the plot? Yes, I would.

Two boys kissing might make some readers squirm, but making my readers comfortable is not my primary aim. I want to explore my characters’ journeys. It’s not always an easy place to be.

Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1vP
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com

Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/

 

 

Chris Redding’s New Book

     Chris at her computer

 

 

Today I have the pleasure of featuring Cris Redding. Her new book When Gargoyles Love, first in her new series Destiny of a Gargoyle.  Check out the great cover and excerpt below:

Excerpt: Destiny of a Gargoyle Book One When Gargoyles Love

“She’s it,” Donal said.

He could communicate with his brothers telepathically. Otherwise his time in stone might have driven him nuts.

“You’re sure?” Sean said.

“I’m sure. She’s it. I can feel my heart softening. She must be the one that I am supposed to protect,” Donal said.

“Wow. After all of these years. And of course Donal finds his first. Lucky guy,” Declan said.

“He is always the lucky one,” Sean said.

“If I were that lucky I wouldn’t have been stuck in stone here with you two lugs,” Donal said.

He would have lived and died in his own time. Instead of watching what had happened to the fairies he’d been born to protect. They’d died off and somewhere along the line the fairies had forgotten who they were. He’d bet that Meg had no idea who she was.

That made his job even harder. She wouldn’t have any idea why he was protecting her. The fairies had gone into hiding when the humans took over the world. They renamed his part of the island County Galway. What did that even mean?

He was Donal of Connaught. Not Donal of Galway. If he could sigh he would. He sighed in his head.

His brothers were stilling whinging about him being lucky. “I’m the oldest. You didn’t have to tell the Queen what our father had done. She could have made me stone and you would never have known what had happened to me.”

“Still, why do you get to go first?” Sean said.

“Because she is my fairy. Not yours,” Donal said.

He wasn’t going to apologize for finding his fairy first. He never would have thought they were going to find any of theirs. The fairies were all elsewhere and finding one from his own kingdom let alone another one had always been a long shot.

“What will you do?” Declan said.

“The Fairy Queen told me the rules before she left. I have to be in the fairy’s presence for a whole day before I lose the curse,” Donal said.

“A whole day. The sun must be in the same place for the beginning and the end?” Declan said.

“Yes.”

“How are you going to do that?” Sean said.

“I don’t know. She doesn’t spend that much time here, but I’m sure I have a few days to figure it out. I already feel as if I could fall off of this wall. Maybe I can go with her.”

“Without legs? Or only stone ones.”

“I don’t know everything, you mugs. I’m guessing some things here,” Donal said. “If you two be quiet and let me think maybe I’ll figure it out. You’ll have your chance and I get to sort out what needs to be done. That way neither of you mess it up.”

Blurb:

Donal Foley was born in a time when magic ruled the Earth.

Gargoyles protected fairies from goblins. His family was a group of elite gargoyles who were assigned to protect a specific fairy. His father’s dereliction of that duty cursed his sons to become stone and wait.

Now reawakened in the twenty first century where no one believes in magic how is he going to convince his fairy that she is one and that she is in danger from a goblin?

He must do that without falling in love with her.

 

Destiny of a Gargoyle is the first in a trilogy of gargoyle shifter romances by Chris Redding.

Book 2: Fate of a Gargoyle will be out in the next few months.

 

Chris Redding Author LLC

Email: chrisreddingauthor@gmail.com

Website: www.chrisreddingauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrisreddingauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrisredding

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/101743269602364199911/posts

Skype: Chris.Redding.Author

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/chrisredding/

 

Beginning, ending, and what’s in between

 

How do you ensure a story has a good beginning, a satisfying ending, and good continuity in between?

Honey, if I could answer that one, I’d be on the New York Times Best Seller list, or at least my novels would be top sellers in their category onAmazon.

Ah, well.

But of course, I do take care to try to ensure a good beginning, ending, and continuity.

I am not one of those writers who outlines their novel in detail, but I do need to know the beginning, the ending, and the high points of what’s in between when I start out. Or at least, I think I do.  So far I have been fairly on target about the ending, even when I don’t know how I’m going to get there. For example, in my novel Broken Bonds, (WARNING: Spoiler) the main character, Major Brad Reynolds, is accused of treason. I knew which way I wanted the case

One of my drawings of Aleyne, mountains wiith the multi-colored desert sands in the foreground

against him to go, but I had no idea, until I wrote it, how I was going to manage to do it. Fortunately, my subconscious is a better plotter than I {wry grin}.

 

As to the beginning, that’s trickier. I wrote a children’s chapter book (that has yet to appear) about a little boy who loses his mother in a fire.  I initially started with the fire, but finally realized that the story really started in what was at the time Chapter Three where my main character’s mother is dead, his father still in the hospital, and he is going home with his grandmother. I discarded part of the first chapter of the earlier versions of Broken Bonds, too.

As for filling in the middle, since I don’t outline in detail, I have notes for the chapters I ‘know’ about and fill in the ‘blanks’ as I write. I tend to have more detailed notes a couple of chapters ahead of where I’m writing.

And when I reach the end of the first draft, I go back and revise. At that point I have an overview of the whole novel. I revise more, I believe, than someone who has a detailed outline. That’s the trade off. However, I don’t know enough about the novel to do that before I’ve written the first draft.

 

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Anne de Gruchy  https://annedegruchy.co.uk/category/blog/

 

Starting Out: Establishing a Story

How do you establish a story, its characters, and setting? For me, since I’m writing science fiction and fantasy, it starts with my creating a setting,  a society, a cultural context and a history fit to tell my story. My stories start with the germ of an idea and grow from there, made up of bits and pieces, the body of an animal, a discarded mattress, two boys dragging a body out into the cold, and grow from there. I need to be able to fully picture the scene my characters are in: the glass doors, the large reception room with the crowd of humans and aliens enjoying drinks and snacks. I need to see and hear the scene in my head, rather like a film running past my eyes. I need to know far more than ever makes it onto the page.

When I describe an alien setting, I try to start with the familiar — mountain — then add the distinguishing characteristic — purple rocks — and only include the details that are relevant to the story.

Where is the line between too much and too little? Ah, there lies art, there lies experience, and there lies the helpful comments of the readers of early drafts.

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Dr. Bob https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1eg
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com
Judy Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/

Where do ideas come from

Well, everywhere, really. Frankly, my problem is which ideas to pursue. Often, when reading a book, I’ll reach the final chapter only to say to myself, “What happened next?” Did the teenage stepdaughter start to act out? Did the private eye get a hard time from the police? What will the next political crisis be?

I’ve said, only half in jest, that my characters wake me in the middle of the night and bother me until I give in, take notes, and agree to write the book.

For 2010 NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), I decided to write a science fiction novel. At this

One of my drawings of Aleyne, mountains wiith the multi-colored desert sands in the foreground

point, I’d written a children’s chapter book (more on this later) and a middle grade novel in need of serious revision that I believe ran about 15,000 words. I’m a huge science fiction fan and am widely read in the genre — I selected Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farmer in the Sky” for my tenth birthday, now long past — but I’d never written any, so I decided to take the plunge.

Here’s the blurb

Relocated, a science fiction novel by Margaret Fieland

When fourteen-year-old Keth’s dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn’t know what to expect. Certainly not to discover Dad grew up here, and studied with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. On Aleyne, Keth’s psi ability develops. However, psi is illegal in the Terran Federation. After a dangerous encounter with two Terran teenagers conflict erupts between Keth and his father. Keth seeks sanctuary with Ardaval. Studying with the Aleyne scholar Keth learns the truth about his own heritage. After Keth’s friend’s father, Mazos, is kidnapped, Keth ignores the risks and attempts to free him. Little does he realize who will pay the cost as he becomes involved with terrorists.

So where did these ideas come from? Despite the little voice that’s yammering, “If I could really tell you that, I’d be out there making my fortune,” I can tease out the origin of some of the elements in the story.

The main character is a fourteen-year-old boy. I raised three sons, and at the time I was still under the misapprehension that kid’s books were easier to write. I was also attracted to the idea that they could be shorter than a novel for adults; as a poet, I am fairly terse.

The action takes place on an alien planet. The main character’s father is an army officer assigned to the military base, which is in the desert. My middle son was still in the army at that point, and he was stationed in Afghanastan. I couldn’t do anything about my anxiety over this, other than bite my nails, but I could and did add a terrorist plot to the novel and make sure that things “came out right.” Well, mostly.

My aliens are quite humaniod, with very dark skin, gray eyes, oval heads, and hands and feet that are wider than ours. Because of the demands of the plot, I needed to make them close to human in appearance. I wanted them to have a normal but easily distinguished skin color, and thus I had a choice of very light or very dark. In my novel, the aliens are the good guys; I made them dark (very dark). This gave me the opportunity to play with the theme of discrimination. As well, White for the good guys is way overdone, and I learned from reading Heinlein the value of the unexpected in a story. In “Starship Troopers,” for example, we don’t learn that one of the major characters is Black until half-way through the book.

There’s more, of course. In the second book in the series, “Broken Bonds,” one of the characters is Black Seargent imprisoned for going AWOl where his White fellow soldiers were not charged. This came from a story of my father, who served as a Judge Advocate General in the army during World War II. The third book in the series contains an incident based on another of Dad’s wartime stories, one where he hitched a ride on a small plane when he had leave and they ran out of fuel. My aliens form four-way relationships. This was sparked by my reading a book years ago where I came across one, prompting me to say to myself, “That’s not the way I would write it.”

Check out the posts of my fellow bloggers:

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Anne de Gruchy https://annedegruchy.co.uk/category/blog/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1dm
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Interview with Izzy Szyn, author of Resurrection of Artemis

(1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Detroit. Moved to Oklahoma City five years ago for a job in a call center. Happily single with one furchild named Misty a chihuahua/terrier mix.
(2) How did you get started writing?
I started almost three year ago when a friend of mine dared me to write when she heard someone’s book plot that was all over the place. She said I bet you could write better.
(3) What attracted to science fiction and fantasy? Is it the only genre you write in?
I always been sort of a geek, I loved to read comic books, especially Batgirl, Catwoman and Lois Lane. This was actually my first attempt at writing a superhero. A group of us one night came up with an anthology featuring superheroes/villains. I have been toying with the idea of writing a part two. If I get enough positive feedback, I probably will.
I write menages,  I guess you could say that’s my genre. I write in modern and paranormal. I love paranormal because you can create your own rules.
(4) How much research did you have to do for your book?
This one I did a lot, because of the plot. The call center where I work deals with iphone tech support, one day there was an outage, people were going nuts. I thought what if? I researched how hard would it be to hold technology hostage.
But the hardest part was trying to find names for my superheroes and my villain that hadn’t been used before.
(5) What is your writing process?
I just write when it hits me, I have so many ideas in my head that need to get out.
Lori Foster, she was the first author I became friends with. She shows that not only can you be a successful writer, but that you should give back. If I ever get to that point, I hope to emulate her.
(6) Do you have an all-time favorite book, and if so, what is it?
Favorite book is more like a favorite child. I have so many by different authors.
(7) What writers have influenced you the most, and how?
Lori Foster is one, Mina Carter, Cynthia Sax and Barbara Devlin for encouraging me to write. That I wasn’t crazy to start.
(8) What would you like readers to take away from your work.
Just to feel good, life is so serious, with jobs, kids, bills, it’s nice to take a brain vacation and read.
(9) What are you working on now?
I’m working on the follow up to Wendi and Tink called Bella and the Beast it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but in this one the beast is a woman who is cursed with scars.
I also just started working on a short that is set to come out this summer with Candi Fox and Bobbi Romans to name a few. Mine is titled Oh What a Night.
(10) Where can readers find you on the web?
Facebook, Twitter, I do a little Instagram.
(11) Where can they purchase your book?
Amazon and it is part of Kindle Unlimited

 

Resurrection of Artemis
 by Izzy Szyn 

Izzy will be awarding a $10 Amazon to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here. 

~*~*~*~*~*~
BLURB:

Once known as the infamous hacker Artemis, Amy Wilson now works in a coffee shop. With only months until the end of her probation from working in the technological industry that she loves, Amy is determined to keep Artemis dead and buried. 
When incidents similar to the ones Amy did start occurring all fingers start pointing in Artemis’ direction, and three people that want Artemis to come out of retirement. 
Quail City’s super heroes Dark Master and Calypso aka as multi-billionaire Noah Adams and his assistant Vanessa London know Amy’s secret, and also know that she is being set up. Having spent months in a flirtmance with Amy, they are tired of waiting and want both her and Artemis in their bed. 
Hinderer wants to hold technology hostage, but in order to do that he needs Artemis’ assistance, and he will use any methods necessary to gain her cooperation. 

Amazon Buy Link 
Available on Kindle Unlimited

~*~*~*~*~*~
Excerpt:
“People have been mentioning Artemis,” Calypso said. “You wouldn’t have heard anything?”
They knew, Amy thought. Somehow they knew. “No, Artemis isn’t here anymore. At least from what I heard.”
“Damn shame, too,” complained one of the customers in the shop. “Not the Artemis that is playing with the lights and stuff. But the Artemis who liked to help people with their problems.”
“Yeah, I think if someone is behind it, it’s someone pretending to be Artemis, or trying to shift the blame on her,” said another customer. “She may have done some things, but she’d never deliberately set out to get people hurt.”
Amy smiled at the person that made the comment. “I’ve been here all day. But it’s more than the traffic lights. Didn’t I hear that the other day the Financial District was shut down because the money showed at zero?”
“That is something that Artemis had fun with,” Dark Master commented. “Or had in the past.”
“I’m sure that whatever has been happening in Quail City has nothing to do with Artemis,” Amy replied.
“Hope for Artemis’ sake it’s true,” Calypso said. “Williams is ranting and raving in Commissioner James’ office asking for her to be arrested.”
Just bet he is, thought Amy. “Is there anything else I can get you?” Amy asked them. She saw that it was almost six and the last bus going towards her apartment would be there any minute.
“You in our bed,” Calypso said in her ear. “Your blue hair will look glorious on our pillows.” Then out loud stated, “That’s all for now.” 
~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

New York Times Bestselling Author Izzy Szyn was born in May of 2014 when a friend dared her to write. Born and raised in Detroit, Mi. Izzy now lives in Oklahoma City with her furchild Misty, the friendliest Chihuahua/Terrier you will ever meet. Currently works in a call center, where she writes in between phone calls.
Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at izzyszyn@gmail.com.

Find her on Facebook 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/Izzy-Szyn-379714942215154/timeline/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/izzySzyn

Blog: https://izzyszyn.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13836241.Izzy_Szyn
Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/100905614042668276073

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Imaginary Friends

This month’s topic is, are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?

This is how I plan a scene: I “see” and “hear” it as a movie unrolling in front of me with my characters moving and talking. I go through everything along with them. Fortunately, I’m a fast typist, but there are still times when the action has moved on before I get a chance to write it all down.

Ah, reality. Well, when asked where I get the ideas for my books, I usually reply — only half in jest — that my characters wake me in the middle of the night and bug me until I give in, take notes, and agree to write the book.

When I wrote my first science fiction novel, Relocated, my intention was simply to overcome my phobia about writing science fiction. I was — and am — a devoted fan of the genre, which I have been reading since before age ten. To give you some idea, I picked Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farmer in the Sky,” for my tenth birthday, and I knew exactly which book I wanted. To say I’m widely read in the genre is a vast understatement.

Still, up until 2010, I’d never written any, so I decided to go for it and “planned” (see below) my first sci fi novel for Nano.  I didn’t intend to try to get it published. That came later, after I’d written it and revised it and decided that, having devoted all that time and energy to it, I might as well give it a shot. And I certainly didn’t plan to write *more* novels in the series. That came later, when I started wondering about some of the other characters who appear in the first book.

Check out the posts of my fellow participants:
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Dr. Bob Rich htt  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-Wo
Heather Haven http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Kay Sisk http://www.kaysisk.com/blog
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com