Monday, April 20, 2015

Review #2! A Deep and Dark December!

Happy Monday everyone! I got another review for you to kick off the week!

Another author I had the pleasure of saying hi to at the California Dreamin’ Conference Author Signing was Beth Yarnall. I picked up her latest paranormal novel, A Deep and Dark December.



Love the cover! This was a very fast paced story with suspense, paranormal abilities and my favorite, romance! In the small town of San Rey, the December family has a reputation for being…odd. This isn’t an inaccurate statement as they all have special abilities, some of which involve seeing into the future, reading minds, or implanting suggestions into people’s minds.

Erin December, however, has been hiding her power. All she wants is to find her niche in this small town and be accepted. But her whole world is shifted on its axis when murder hits San Rey and Erin is dragged into the middle of it. Now the spotlight is on her and her strange family and the worse part is she can't even feign ignorance because she keeps having visions about the murders.

Erin finds herself in the middle of an investigation with hottie, Graham Doran, and together they must find the killer before all of San Rey is consumed into chaos, because this murderer isn’t like everyone else—they have an ability too. One that proves stronger than Erin could ever have imagined.

Like I said, this story was a very fast-paced read. It’s non-stop chills, thrills, and steamy Graham. If you like a good murder mystery with a hot sheriff and paranormal powers, this is definitely the book for you!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Breaking the Habit

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hope you're all having a productive start to the week. As for myself, I find that for the past week now I've been working on breaking my habit of writing in passive voice. I'm currently editing a manuscript that could be (cross your fingers!) considered by Decadent Publishing if I can weed out this habit of mine. The first step I think was the easiest, all I had to do was identify and find all the to-be verbs. Little did I know that my manuscript would soon look something like this:



Not sure if you can see it very clearly, but the blue and pink highlights are what I'm talking about. They're pretty much everywhere! It was like a plague of 'was and had' all over the place. But like I said, identifying it was the easy part. Editing the words out and restructuring the sentences is what's been taking the longest. I can happily say that I'm more than 3/4 of the way there and I thought this would be a fun learning experience to share.

Anyone else have the same problem with to-be verbs? Or do you find yourself relying on a certain word too much, or repeating phrases or descriptions? I think I'm guilty of all of it. I'm very much a visual learner and seeing all the highlights really helped me identify what I can focus on and hopefully fix, that way my manuscripts can become stronger. What tricks do you guys have to help with editing?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Prodigal Son Review

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

I'm a little late for my post, but better late than never, right? Anyway, last weekend I was able to make it to the California Dreamin' Conference Book Signing! Not only was it great to be back surrounded by numerous authors and writers who all share a love of romance novels, it was great to meet up with people I haven't seen since RWA 2012! One such person was author, Debra Mullins. I picked up her book Prodigal Son, the first in her Atlantean book series.



Isn't the cover fabulous? Not only that but this book was great! It had everything a romance novel needs: well written characters, steamy chemistry, an environment that made you feel a part of the story, and a great plot that had me completely submerge into this universe.

Prodigal Son is about Cara McGaffigan, a woman who is determined to help her stepbrother get out of trouble because he is her last remaining family. This was definitely something I loved about Cara right away, her loyalty. She risks so much, traveling from one coast to another, in search of her brother and instead of finding him, she finders herself in a whole mess of trouble. She’s not the only one looking for Danny, and this excludes the cops who want him for skipping bail. Powerful people are looking for her stepbrother and her only hope is Rafe Montana.


Mmm, Rafe. He was my absolute favorite in this book. His personality had me laughing and sighing with pleasure. I wish he was real so that I could take him home and keep him all to myself. Rafe is a bounty hunter, but not just any bounty hunter, he’s a descendant of an Atlantean. He has the ability to gleam information about people with nothing but a thought, the only problem is that when he tries to find any information on Danny, he can’t. Together, Rafe and Cara must find Danny, who has in his possession an ancient Atlantean stone. The owner won’t rest until that power is back in his hands, and considering the stone was responsible for the destruction of Atlantis, Rafe and Cara aren’t willing to give it up without a fight.

I can't recommend this book more. I'm already plotting in my own head who I want other characters to end up with. The second book, Heart of Son, is available and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

What have you all been reading? Any suggestions?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Halfway There!

Woo! Today I passed the halfway point for book 3 in the Guild of Truth series! I'm currently around 41,000 words which means I should hit my goal of at least 80,000 and being done by May 1st!

It's been a blast submerging myself back into the super powered world with this group of characters. Book 3 will be centered around Joel and his Mirror Mate as well as a new big bad that the guild will have to face. I'm having lots of fun with this and can't wait to finish it and then polish it up and send it away for consideration.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday!

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Submission!

It's that time again. The time you submit a manuscript to a publishing company and stare at the email sent window for a few minutes hoping your story was good enough.

For the past 6 months I've been working on a story for Decadent Publishing's Beyond Fairytale series. One of my friends told me about it when I was visiting home during the summer last August. She explained how it was a challenge from the publishing company, first you email them that you're interested in writing a story and then they send you a Grimm fairy tale that you have to write into a romance. I love fairy tales, especially dark ones like the Grimm tales I've heard, and I knew no matter what story I got I'd want to turn it into a paranormal romance.

I also knew that this would be the kick in the butt to get me back into writing gear. Nothing helps motivate more than a deadline. I was nearing the end of my graduate program and wanted to get back into my writing, I was missing it fiercely and knew this would be the perfect challenge. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that being on a writing hiatus because of school didn't suck the creativity from me. And now six months later, having submitted my work, I'm pretty proud of myself that I got it done. Now it's time to keep all my fingers crossed in the hopes that my story gets accepted!

It's also time to start on something new, or in this case something old. I have a quarter of my Guild of Truth book 3 written and that needs to be finished! Sorry it's taken so long, but I'm going to get to it, that's another goal that I am going to reach, as well as start plotting this new story that's been lingering in the back of my mind...I do so love the plotting and character building part of writing!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back in the Sunshine State

Well, there I go again not posting for a couple months. I'm starting to think that perhaps my New Year's Resolution should be to post more blogs...

Anyway, I'm now back in sunny California! Have been for a month now. And what a change compared to chilly Edmonton. I do miss that winter wonderland though...a teeny tiny bit.

Some quick updates: going back to my last post, I got some good words in for November. Got up to 9,000 which isn't huge compared to what the goal usually is for that month, but considering how much I had going on preparing for my masters defense, I'm very proud of myself for getting something written down.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break! And Happy Late New Year! The holidays for me were a blast, like always, but they were a busy time. But now it's time to settle into a rhythm and get to writing.

The goal right now: to start with something small, to reach 1,000 words a day and see how that treats me. I remember reading that each author has their own sweet spot when it comes to word count and I was able to get my 1,000 in today without feeling pressed for time. I also felt really good about the writing quality, and even had some ideas left to get me going tomorrow. So here's to finding my own little writing niche! What about you guys? Any certain word length you are most comfortable or most productive at writing?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dusting off those cobwebs


It has been a long time since I've been on here. Grad school really has a knack for taking over your life. Anyway, excuses aside, I figured it was time to try and start blogging again with the few hours of freedom I've found myself with. Well, blogging and writing. And what better time to start writing again, seeing as it's November! You know what that means? NaNoWriMo! Got that right, National Novel Writing Month. I've always wanted to take part in it but never got around to it. And seeing as I've been living under a rock trying to finish my thesis, I thought it'd be the perfect way to jump start my writing again. So over the next 30 days I, like so many others, will attempt to write 50,000 words or more.

It's been a blast so far. Probably because I'm only one day in. But, hey, I'm an optimist. What I like about this challenge is that it's teaching me to turn my inner critic off. I have the nasty habit of trying to make my first draft perfect. This usually leads to taking a little bit longer to get a decent word count in. However, NaNoWriMo is all about the word count and it doesn't matter if the words are perfect, it's all about getting them down on paper...or in this case on the computer screen.

I'm thrilled to be writing again and can't wait to see what the end of the month will bring me. Happy writing everyone!