Saturday, November 30, 2013

Moonless by Crystal Collier / Excerpt / Blog Tour

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural. 



EXCERPT:

The study door stood closed. She neared, shaking. Pressing cautiously against it, she expected the mahogany to burn her.
Father’s voice boomed through the wood. “No! And that is final!”
The barrier lurched. She leapt back as it swung open.
He halted before her. Boots, not stylish, but entirely practical and worn; breeches, a sturdy gray, modestly hugging a trim form; waist coat concealed by a subtly weathered coat; shirt, fitted and simple . . . 
Her jaw fell.
Ginger locks framed his clean-shaven face with a straight nose, high cheekbones, expressive brows and enigmatic blue eyes. He was a perfect paramour of twenty years, except for a jagged white scar cutting from below one eye down his cheek. A sheen of beauty hung over his whole being. He verily glowed.
Like Bellezza. Like herself!
She gasped. Sweet pollen and rustic oak tickled her nose, transporting her to a grove of wooded mystery so deep mankind would never comprehend the fullness. Those consuming eyes met hers and flickers of heat burst in her cheeks, spreading across the back of her neck. His pupils widened, nearly eclipsing the night sky. She wanted to reach out and touch him, to fall into the blackness of his gaze.
A grunt from the den brought her back to the hall.
He bowed, movements excruciatingly slow, eyes never leaving her face. His lips parted as if he might speak, but with a dark glance toward the room he’d abandoned, his mouth sealed in a grim line. The corners of his eyes crinkled, pain glinting in his hypnotic stare. He nodded and stepped around her.
A breath of fresh-cut tinder and summer blooms pulled her eyelids closed, like the farewell kiss of a faerie nightmare.


Title: Moonless
Author: Crystal Collier
Series: Maiden of Time #1
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Publication: November 13th, 2013 


BLURB:

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they’re echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.


For more places to buy: www.crystal-collier.com/bt



Crystal, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Writing About: A Battle

Here are 16 steps/tips on how to write a battle:

·         Tell your readers about the days that lead up to the battle. Describe the growing tension. How do your characters feel about the approaching battle? What are the last details they see to?

·         The day of the battle: How do your characters get to the battlefield? I’m sure they won’t just magically pop up, unless you’re writing a fantasy or sci-fi story then maybe they do.

·         Make every moment suspenseful and action-packed. Even the normally boring parts can be thrilling.

·         Do your characters have last words with each other before the battle begins? What are they?

·         Let the leader give orders to their soldiers and assign missions/tasks before the battle begins.

·         Figure out what type of weapons you want your characters to use during the battle. This can be from swords to missiles.

My youngest nephew, Carmello.
You should be able to recognize a part of this
picture . . . the sparks and his hand have been
used in another post and is featured on the right.
·         When your characters are on the battlefield, you can have them face the enemy squarely and let them charge at each other, as it was done hundreds of years ago, or you can give the enemy the upper hand due to a weapon, a surprise attack from behind, or because they drop out of the sky. Whatever floats your boat!

·         Plan out every moment of the battle before you begin writing it. I’ve written two battles and this technique was crucial to me. If I didn’t know what was going to happen at every turn, I would’ve pulled my hair out and the battles wouldn’t be nearly as good as they are.
FYI: The next three tips work best if you’re writing your story in multiple perspectives.
·         The second the fighting starts, focus on one character at a time. I had quite a few characters participating in my battle and I gave them all specific roles. I wanted them all to be seen as important players. Give all your characters a special mission.

·         Spend an adequate amount of time describing each character as they are fighting and the impact they are making. Adequate can be a couple of paragraphs to two manuscript pages.

·         When you’re done writing about one character link them to another character to switch the focus. This can be done by one character simply glancing over and seeing another character. And that’s when you’d create a scene break to start writing about that character.

I don't have a picture of a warrior, so how's a barbarian instead?
·         Reveal struggle and injuries. It’s not a battle unless there are wounds.

·         Sacrifice and death. These are two things a writer may find difficult to carry out, but to make a battle convincing there has to be death and I’m not just talking about the good guys killing the bad guys, but the good guys losing their lives too. Death is sometimes needed. You don’t have to kill off anyone major, but you could consider a minor character. I killed off a minor character who had been in every book in my series. It was difficult, and sad, but it made sense for my story.

·         Danger! Even if you don’t want to kill off a single one of your beloved characters, put them into deadly situations that they may not get out of alive.

·         Finally, let the protagonist and antagonist come face-to-face on the battlefield and let them fight to the death. Let the protagonist struggle and even come close to defeat. Whether they are defeated is up to you.

·         The end: How does the battle end? With the death of the protagonist and/or the antagonist? Describe the last moments of the battle, and the moment when one side realizes they’ve won.


Stay tuned for the topic: Should You Kill Off Your Protagonist?


QUESTION: What book do you think had the best battle?


If you found this post useful, follow “Write With Fey” to show your support. Thank you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Journey of the Magi by Barbara Edwards / Book Blast

Today I have Barbara Edwards on my blog for her Christmas story, Journey of the Magi. Welcome, Barbara! 

I read Journey of the Magi and was enchanted by the sweet romance and holiday story that she spins. There are humorous moments that I really enjoyed and a suspenseful climax that was surprising. If this sounds like your cup of tea, I encourage you to get your copy now!

Title: Journey of the Magi
 Author: Barbara Edwards
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Season: Christmas
Format: eBook
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

BLURB:

Widow Noel Martin never breaks promises, and she promised her kids they’d have Christmas at her childhood home in Connecticut. But driving across country takes money. Noel is broke when a snowstorm blows them into a tiny Minnesota café owned by a man who can change her mind. She accepts his offer of a job. Despite her attraction to him, she makes it clear she is only temporary help.

Dan Longstreet isn’t adopting any more strays, but he needs a waitress. Dan works so hard to make his café a success, he doesn't have time for love. Though Noel’s slender blonde beauty stuns him and her two adorable children tug at his heart, he denies how they threaten to change his life.

When tragedy strikes, their new-found love is the first victim. Noel can't stay and Dan can't leave. Will their journey be the gift that reunites them?


BOOK LINKS:

EXCERPT:

“Christmas? Same as last year. Shut the place and go to bed.”

Dan Longstreet answered his portly customer. Ernie’s out-of-shape belly hung over the last stool at the cafe counter. The mingled odors of frying grease, wet wool and disinfectant sat heavy in the heated air of Dan’s place. Sleet rattled on the frosted windows.  
       
 “That’s a shame, Dan. You need a wife and a couple rug-rats. A man should have more holiday spirit what with Thanksgiving in three days.”

“It’s not the right time, Ernie. So how about finishing up so I can close?”

“I ain’t in no hurry to drive home in this storm. Seems every year they get earlier in the season.” Ernie smoothed his full white beard before he gestured at the frosted window.

Dan grinned at his friend’s twinkling blue eyes and wheedling expression. “In a few hours these roads will be impassable and I don’t want you bunking here again. You snore like an asthmatic bull!”

An Arctic blast from the opening door fluttered napkins on the deserted tables in the darkened cafe, extinguished the two remaining candles and ruffled the sawdust spread on the floor to absorb the melting snow. Dan casually checked the baseball bat hooked under the counter. Only trouble arrived this late.

His gaze latched on the petite female and he swore he smelled spring flowers. And sunshine. He couldn’t take his gaze off her as she undid the knitted green muffler wrapped three times around her coat’s up­turned collar to reveal a thin pinched face.

His chest ached with the urge to cradle her in his arms: she was so cold. Even with her knit hat pulled down over her ears, her high cheekbones and the up­-tilted tip of her nose flamed as bright red as a cheap statue of a Christmas elf. She blinked in the bright light.

Dan’s pulse leaped like a startled deer. He knew everyone who frequented the Deer Run Lounge and Cafe. She was no local wife searching for an overdue husband or one of the three women who made a living, if you could call it that, picking up the lumberjacks and mill workers for an hour or two.

His blood heated but he managed to control his urges by slowly polishing a clean glass and setting it in the rack for the next day’s trade. Dan nodded hello.

Her over-sized man’s winter coat trailed to her ankles, but she visibly shook. He wanted to tell her to take off her coat and get warm. She removed her gloves, pulling the fingers off one by one until her white hands shone in the dim light. A pale circle around her ring finger marked the recent removal of a band.

She returned Dan’s stare. “Is that sign in the window still good? Do you need an experienced waitress?” Her flat, emotionless voice didn’t match the way her fingers twisted round and round her gloves. His palms itched to cover hers until she calmed.

 “Yeah.” He nodded slowly, his mouth dry. Something in him yearned for her to be more than a passing stranger. His breath hitched. “Pine Rapids, Minnesota isn’t jumping with help. The last girl quit without notice.”

He knew better than to expect a gift to blow in the cafe door, especially one that made his blood pound.

“Your husband outside?”

“What?” she followed his gaze to her bare hand. “No, I’m a widow. I traded my ring for a tank of gas and a tire yesterday.”

His heart pinched: life was hard everywhere.

BIO:

I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.

 I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America. When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years. I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success. Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk.

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

AUTHOR LINKS:


Friday, November 22, 2013

If I Could Donate My Heart / WEP

Today is the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish bloghop aka WEP. The theme for this month of November is SHARING.  All participants can post anything they want (a short story, poem, or even a story through pictures) about sharing. And it’s not too late to sign up!


Back Story: I have been experiencing heart problems (non-life threatening) for almost two years now, and during the time when I was really scared I started to think about what it would be like to get a heart transplant. That train of thought eventually turned to donating my heart. This essay is very personal, and it is hard for me to share, but I do want to know what you think of it. :) It is 568 words long.

If I Could Donate My Heart

by 

Chrys Fey

When someone is waiting for a heart and receives one through an act of fate, they may never know where the heart came from. This thought struck me with wonder. If I had a heart transplant, I would want to know if the person was good or bad. I would want to know what the heart had gone through before it was given to me. What kind of traumas did it face? What kind of sorrows did it feel? What kind of triumphs made it beat faster? Those are the things I would want to know about the strange heart beating inside my chest . . . but what if my heart was being transplanted into a foreign body? If I could donate my heart there are a few things I would want the person receiving it to know.

While the person recovered, I would want them to know we are sharing the same heart. I may not have a body, but as long as my heart beats inside theirs then I am still alive. I would want them to know they’d never be alone as long as they breathed. I would always be with them as an angel, as a second heartbeat.

When they leave the hospital, taking my heart with them, I would want to whisper in their ear to take care of it for me, not to abuse it, not to take it for granted, and definitely not to hate it. During my lifetime, it was a reliable heart. They must keep it beating, because the moment they die I will die all over again.

As they live their new life with their new heart, I would want to tell them about the struggles my heart faced during my life, like the scars that might be left on it from my childhood. I would want them to know I built a wall around my heart to keep it protected, a wall that still might exist within them. I would want to apology to them, because taking down that wall could be a struggle, extending trust could prove to be difficult, and finding love could be a challenge. But if they wanted to trust and love, they would see my heart would be up for the opportunity.

If they do fall in love, I would want them to know I had never been truly, madly, deeply, earth-shatteringly in love, so as they fall in love, I am falling in love, too. I would want to thank them for letting my heart feel the lovely phenomenon for the first time. 

On their deathbed, I would want them to know it would be okay to let our heart stop beating; it lived two great lives. And when they pass into the light, I want them to be comforted by the fact that I'd be there to welcome them with open arms, to thank them for the journey they took my heart on. Then I would place their hand on my transparent form and show them my heart hadn’t really left me after all. And with their other hand on their chest, I would tell them it belonged to both of us, that the reason why I was born was to provide a single heart for two lives.

If I could donate my heart . . . that is what I would want the person receiving it to know. ©




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rules for writing: How to use Ellipses

Ellipses are like pauses. They are also known as “dot-dot-dot”. Yes, they are those three dots (...) that you see from time to time while reading. If you see an ellipsis in dialogue it’s because the character paused in their speech.

The proper way to type an ellipsis is by spacing the first dot away from the last word you typed as if you are writing a new word. Then make another space, hit the period button again, and repeat until you have three spaced-out dots. Three dots are used if more words come after it . . . like this.

Treat an ellipsis as if it is a word. If the ellipsis is at the end of a sentence and a punctuation mark would normally end that sentence then add the punctuation mark right after the ellipsis. Example: Hello . . .?

If the sentence is complete, a period should be place after the last word as usual and followed by an ellipsis, like this. . . .
TIP: For more information on ellipses please don’t rely solely on me, go to grammar sites to learn more!

Now that you’ve had a small lesson in ellipses I should mention that many writers say not to use them, because a lot of people throw them into their writing wherever they want. They are even overused on Facebook. Heck, I overuse them on Facebook! But for a book (or short story), you don’t need them in every piece of dialogue to show a pause. There are many other ways to do this. You can have your character look away or bite his/her lip before continuing with what he/she was saying. “You can even do this.” She paused. “And then start the dialogue back up again.”  

I believe in the use of caution while using ellipses, as using too many of them can affect the prose. But I don’t believe that a writer can’t use them at all. I like to use them because what comes after an ellipsis is usually damned good! Sometimes a statement can follow it that will cause dread or insight. And when it is used at the end of a sentence it can instill suspense. In my book, that’s always a plus!


QUESTION: Do you use ellipses in your writing?


Stay tuned! You won’t believe what I have planned for next Tuesday . . .! ;)


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Cover Reveal for HURRICANE CRIMES!

During a hurricane, Beth Kennedy finds herself trapped with a man who might be a murderer.


Title: Hurricane Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey (That's me!)
Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Rating: Sensual

Available on Amazon: November 25th 2013
Official Release Date: March 5th 2014
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: eBook
Page Count: 51

BLURB:

After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he's trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

BOOK LINKS:

EXCERPT:

On the television set, which was fighting to stay alive, was breaking news. She caught bits and pieces of it as she emptied the bowl of blood-tainted water and threw out the cloth. It was about a high-speed chase that had occurred about a half-hour ago. Beth shook her head. Apparently, Donovan wasn’t the only idiot driving around during a hurricane.

She went back into the living room and began replacing all the medical supplies into the first-aid kit. Behind her, a reporter was explaining that the driver of the car was believed to be a murder suspect.

“The name of the—”

The lights flashed, prompting Beth to snatch up her flashlight.

“Donovan Goldwyn.”

Her fingers went cold around the plastic tube as ice frosted her veins. She straightened her spine and turned stiffly to the television, her heart wasn’t beating in her chest. On the screen was the picture of the man who was right now changing in her bedroom. Above it was a caption in bold letters that read—SUSPECT.

She gripped the flashlight in her frozen fingers. Her heart thudded fearfully. She stared into the immobilized violet eyes through the glass.

“Oh my god,” she gasped.

She had brought a murderer into her home!


BIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of the short stories—The Summer Bride and Fallen. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way.

MY LINKS:



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Writing About: Intimacy

This post is for anyone who wants to know how to write love scenes.

In my post, How to Write Romance, I mentioned there are two ways to go about writing a romantic scene. The first route is soft and sweet. The second is hot and steamy. So, I am going to go more in-depth on these two tactics and try to stay as PG-13 as I can.

Here are TEN TIPS for each!
FYI: I had adult romance stories in mind when I was writing this post. You may have to alter these tips down a notch or two depending on the ages of your characters.
Soft-N-Sweet:

·         Why is the encounter soft-n-sweet? Couples don’t just make soft, sweet love for the heck of it. Mostly there are emotions behind it. Love, of course, being the most obvious. But other emotions can come into play such as gratefulness, sympathy, hope, and even nervousness if it’s your MC’s first time.

·         Let your readers in on your main character’s thoughts and feelings. Maybe this is the moment when your MC realizes he/she is falling in love. Even if he/she isn’t ready to say those three words, he/she can show how they feel by savoring this moment with his/her lover.

·         Describe your character’s kisses. The kisses should linger and spin into oblivion. Consume and fulfill. Be so descriptive that your readers will wish they are the one being kissed.

·         Have them peel away each other's clothes slowly as if they are unwrapping presents and want to savor the surprise.

·         Then let them taste and touch each other’s bodies leisurely as if there’s no rush, only temptation to fill cravings.

·         Their mouths and hands should move all over their bodies. From head to toe. You can keep the details subtle or you can be very specific. If you go the latter then you should also:

·         Reveal the pleasure they experience from being kissed and touched in a certain way. And yes, let them sigh, moan, and cry.

·         Let them mumble sweet nothings. Some people may gag at this but the things characters say during this moment can really make a sweet love scene even more romantic.

·         Finally, let them join, but with a soft-n-sweet encounter you will want to either end it here or follow through all the way, which leads to my last tip:

·         Make sure the coupling stays soft-n-sweet; that their movements are slow as they build up to the climax. Then have them reach the other side with an explosion that leaves them quivering.

Credit: Bettiny Art
See more of her art here: 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/bettiny-art/302061743187643



Hot-N-Steamy:

·         Just like with the soft-n-sweet option, couples don’t all of a sudden attack each other like wild animals. Maybe they are fighting and when the gloves finally come off they take out their frustrations on each other sexually. Or maybe they have had encounters that always ended after an explosive kiss or a brief touch. You will need to build up the tension until they are finally alone and can rip each other’s clothes off.

·         The moment their mouths make contact should show eagerness and maybe even harshness. Let their demands be shown through their kiss.

·         Describe the flashes of heat they feel, how their stomachs clench, and their bodies throb with desire.

·         Use special words to show how hot-n-steamy their encounter is such as: erotically, vibrating, desperately, seductive, and sexily.

·         Have them push each other into the wall to nibble, taste, kiss, and touch. Heck, you can even let them run into furniture and knock things over in their mad rush to reach the bed.

·         Let them lose control before they reach the bed! Hot-n-Steamy love scenes can be literally anywhere: floor, coffee table, staircase, broom closet. Like I said, anywhere.

·         They can either tear off all of their clothes in a frenzy to be skin-to-skin or  . . . *Warning: about to get a little more detailed here.* The guy can just unzip his pants and if the woman is wearing a skirt then the only thing that needs to go are her panties.

·         Make the couple vocal with moans and even demands of what they want. This is your chance to add some erotic foreplay.

·         When they are one, don’t lose the intensity, magnify it! Make their movements fast and furious all the way to climax! And then . . .

·         Make them come with a bang!

Credit: Bettiny Art
See more of her art here:

Eep! This is definitely my most sensual blog post, so I hope you blushed while reading it as much I am blushing knowing you are reading it. lol


QUESTION: What type of love scene is your favorite to read or write? Sweet-n-Soft or Hot-n-Steamy?


SHARE: Your tips for writing a soft-n-sweet and/or hot-n-steamy love scene.



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