Monday, 28 February 2011

How weather can speak in novels and drive the plot forward!

Speaking Weather is the subject matter for discussion at Heroines with Hearts.

Why not pop over and join in the discussion. We're here.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Blogfests Galore - Get in on the Action!

A few days ago blogfests were thin on the ground - now look what's happened!

Whatever, it's time to party so get signing up and show us what you're made of as writers.

Cast your writing worries aside, let down your hair and have some fun. 

See side bar for list of blogfests.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Writing "Black Moments" = reader impact and emotional pull!

Writing Black Moments can test one's ability in making it feel real to a reader. Yet it's a golden opportunity to shock, and to set precedence for emotional pull and empathy toward the recipient of bad news. It may cause real tears, a sense of inner despair and, ultimately, reader need to know that something good will come out of what ever has happened.

This week we at Heroines' with Hearts are discussing Black Moments and why we need them in novels!  If you would like to join with us, you're welcome. Please go here.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Bernard Pivot Blogfest

This Blogfest is kindly hosted by the lovely Nicole Ducleroir, and I'm posting it up early because I have serious "editor" revisions to be getting on with tomorrow!

I promise I will get around to everyone entered in this blogfest,
but bear with me if it's a couple of days down the line.  

1) What is your favorite word?  = Velvet (encompasses so many sensual aspects in various forms)

2) What is your least favorite word?  =  F*ck!

3) What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? = Artwork (creatively) Woodland/Birdsong (spiritually) Music (emotionally) 

4) What turns you off?  City environment

5) What is your favorite curse word? = shit!

6) What sound or noise do you love? = Waterfall

7) What sound or noise do you hate?  = Traffic

8) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? =  Artist

9) What profession would you not like to do?  = Nurse (puke & crap bowls would only render up more puke!) 

10) If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? = my name (correct) or I'd suspect I'd either caught the wrong Heaven Express  or should have been given a ticket for the "Hellraiser Club Metro Line".


To see other participants entries go here

These are everywhere at the moment: couldn't resist!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Three extra ways of saying/writing "I Love You" in your novel.

If you're here looking for my contribution to Steph's blogfest it's here.

To see how this hero says "I love you", go here.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Steph's Blogfest & Book Review: "A Bitch Named Karma".

Book Blurb: Blogfest entry at bottom of page.

Karma may be a bitch, but sometimes she knows what she’s doing.

When author Lexi Marshall’s perfectly fabulous life of designer clothes, nights on the town with her sexy boyfriend, and a successful writing career literally go up in flames, she must take on Karma and fight to gain control over her life.

Lexi believes her cliché-filled novels are the reason for Karma’s wrath and after a high calorie pity party, she’s determined to rebuild her life to what it once was... How could Karma be so cruel?

Book Review:

A Bitch Named Karma by Stephanie Haefner.

To start with, the cover image of this novel implies it fits in the shamefaced genre (if you’re a prude) labelled erotica! Well, I can categorically state “A Bitch Named Karma” is not an erotic novel. It’s funny, sexy in small doses, irreverent, and OK so it does have a little strong language scattered here and there, but without it the character Lexi - a truly materialistic self-obsessed girl - wouldn’t be the Lexi you’ll come to love by end of book.

If you’ve ever read Sophie Kinsella’s hilarious novels or Helen Fielding’s witty “Bridget Jones” books, well, I can tell you Stephanie meets all the criteria for the chick-lit genre! Her fabulous creation the narcissistic Lexi (novelist) cannot think beyond upcoming royalty check and which Jimmy Choo shoes to purchase on next payout. And, of course, alongside her writing she strives to keep her boyfriend in a perpetual state of arousal and insane with lust for Lexi alone.

Life has never looked better for Lexi, until she stops off to pick up a royalty check at the publishing house. In-house shuffles are underway, her own lovely editor replaced by a frightful fire-breathing dragon, and this lady spares Lexi no punches on bad news delivered. With her designer plumage metaphorically singed and writer esteem in tatters, her new editor claims her latest novel is utter crap! If you think that isn’t bad enough, well wait ‘til Lexi turns up at her boyfriend’s office with intention of springing a sexy surprise. This is not her day, and things just go from bad to worse, but this is where as a reader you may begin to side with Lexi, for Karma is reaping harsh revenge.

Cast into a pit of despair Lexi endeavours to claw her way back even if it means eating a little humble pie and knuckling down to serious revisions to placate her new editor. Her love life, too, is not as it once was and when betrayal comes to light the realisation that best friends can sometimes be too close for comfort shakes the very foundations of Lexi’s existence. Turning to another best friend for sympathy is not always a wise move, and Lexi reaps an unexpected “gift” for indulging a whim. If she thought her life set to change for the better writing-wise, it suddenly heats up with a new “hot” love interest and, everything looks exceedingly rosy in her love garden.

Yeah, yeah, Lexi just knew it was all going too good, too soon, and boy does it all go wrong again. But, best friend “gift” boy steps into the breech once again and Lexi moves in with him and his boyfriend. They all three set up home together, [keeping plot secret] and all look as though about to live happily ever after. But, “Karma” at last relents and allows “hot” love interest back into her life just when she needs a strong hand to grip hold of.

Believe me, you won’t be disappointed if you purchase “A Bitch Named Karma”. It hits all the right buttons for chick-lit, and provides a roller-coaster ride into Lexi’s life. It’s written first-person POV so very up close and personal!

You can purchase it at or locate it on Amazon quite easily.

Valentine's Day: Stephanie's blogfest

This is such a simple must do blogfest, the only criteria answer 5 questions,
and it's Stephanie's first blogfest!

1- What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?

Answer: placed a wild briar rose in my hair/bought me a horse!

2- What is your favorite love song?

Answer: Move Closer

3- Do you have a favorite romantic movie or book?

Answer: Book made into movie/Wicked Lady

4- Do you have any romantic plans for Valentine's Day this year?

Answer: no - due to flue, but will have a candlelit dinner.

5- What's your favorite romantic treat? (candy, chocolate, edible body paint, etc...)

Answer: bottle of Moet and Swiss chocs!

To see other participant entries go here.


Monday, 7 February 2011

Impart realism to a manuscript with the three main senses!

Sometimes the above is easier said than achieved.

It's too easy to write away and not think about 
a) environment surrounding our characters.
b) how best to convey what they're feeling.
c) describe what they're seeing.
 And, then there's the how might they express themselves  in relation to all the above?

Utilising the senses within our writing is topic of conversation at Heroines' with Hearts, so you might like to drop by and see how we tackle the subject.   

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Book Review: The Treasures of Carmelidrium by N. R. Williams.

Book Blurb!

When a hooded man steps in front of her car, Missie is thrust through a portal into a medieval world where she encounters monsters and mythical creatures. Unbeknown to her, the playing of her flute casts magical powers to heal, destroy and to empower. Within the lands of Gil-Lael she's romanced by a prince and hunted by the villain. Will she find her way home? Does she want to?

Book Review:

As fantasy epics go I’m a big fan of J. R.R.Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion” – “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”. So, it was with great interest that I selected Nancy’s book as one of seven to grace my new Kindle! As far as I could see Nancy was up against it, big time.

That said, Nancy's MC Michelle leads off and seems a nice enough girl with a promising musical talent for playing the flute. She’s obviously a tad wary of Professor Cloche (music tutor) who displays strange interest in her, which appears a little unhealthy. But, like a lot of good novel beginnings nothing is quite as it seems.

The pace picks up a little when Michelle sets off in her Jeep to drive home. Without spoiling the plot, something occurs that keeps a reader on the edge of their seat, and somehow Michelle (Missie) drives through a portal into another dimension. Although Michelle's nature is easy-going, she soon displays a more feisty spirit when the shock of her predicament wears off and reality kicks in.

I figured the moment Missie set eyes upon Healden, he had to be the hero within the mediaeval nether world she's unwittingly entered into. In my mind it was a case of, will Healden stand up to similar heroes such as Aragorn, Boromir and Legolos from “The Lord of the Rings”? Believe me, Healden is every bit the courageous warrior prince in “The Treasures of Carmelidrium” as aforementioned in “Lord of the Rings”. Needless to say Healden soon charms a reluctant Missie into his arms.

But of course, evil forces are at work. Renwyck, a dark lord whom holds power of psychic control over some nasty beasties, has it in mind to become King of this nether world. With his lust for supreme power comes overwhelming desire for the new woman in Healden’s life (Missie), for she holds the key to Renwyck’s possible downfall. Needless to say, kidnap and terrible doings not only lead to war Missie succumbs to Renwyck’s deceptive practices. Again, nothing is quite as it seems, and the author keeps the suspense ticking along as mysterious magic reveals future paths for Missie. Which one will she choose?

Throughout the novel, despite everything that happens, Missie’s desire is to secure a way back to her own world and return home. Or is it that her only desire? Strange as it may seem, there has to be a way back to her world because someone else left the nether world and has returned to once again be her mentor! It’s a lovely story with intimate moments between hero and heroine and, action packed kidnap and battle scenes. It's basically a darn good read.

To know how to get your mitts on this novel, pop over to Nancy's blog.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Is your WIP a Chaotic minefield for readers?

So, is your WIP in crisis and spinning toward sense of chaos?

Does it read like something from the pages of history combined with 21st century slant?

That's fine if you're writing a historical fantasy incorporating time portal to other/parallel/para-normal world:  depicted below.

If you're writing contemporary novels do you use specific authors from differing countries (within your chosen genre) as guiding lights? After all, some words/phrases expressed in the US can mean something entirely different in another country.  Take the words fanny and spunk.
In the US they're relatively innocent.
"She sat on her fanny kicking her heels more kid than adult. . ."  
"That boy's got real spunk, and . . ."

In the UK those same words have serious sexual connotations as well,
so "Beware" is a wise watch word! 

Because this is an open blog I dare not post erotic examples!    

Which author, if any has influenced your writing? 
Do you slavishly follow and attempt to recreate every aspect of that author's style (voice)?
Did you make a wise choice in selecting your virtual mentor?

Go on, fess up!

I did, here but you don't have to go read my post if you're not inclined.