Monday, September 24, 2012

Day Four of the Book Blitz!

Have you been collecting all these fabulous books? You should be! Here's today's crop of 99 cent beauties. And let me tell you, these are ALL top-notch stories! I know. Tracy's one of my fave authors for detail and dynamite plots; I've already read and laughed out loud at Victoria's and Excellence in Editing (my editing service) handled Mona's Christmas story, which is oh, so adorable!
And I'm not the least bit biased.

What are you waiting for? Hurry!

Tracy Dunham
Murder on the Mattaponi

Victoria M Johnson
The Substitute Bride
Mona Ingram
Gift Wrapped for Christmas

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Blitz Day Three

Here's today's list of Avalon Authors Book Blitz 99 cent books. Be sure to buy your copies. Remember...these are not necessarily "Avalon-like" books. Don't believe me? Take a look at what we've got for you today! Thieves and zombies and killers, oh my!

Beate Boeker
> Rent-A-Thief
> Kent Conwell
> Night of the Butcher
> Rebecca B
> Zombies for Breakfast

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today's Book Blitz Shopping List

Did you get your bargain books from the Avalon authors yesterday? I hope so. Here's a whole new crop to try today! Come one or two or all of them. There's no greater feeling than discovering a new "friend" in the book world.

Christine Bush
Warning at Eagle's Watch

Fran McNabb
Selling as author name Fran Fisher
Forever My Love

Karen McCullough
Programmed for Danger

Joan Vincent
Honour's Debt

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's a 99 Cent Book Blitz!

A group of Avalon Authors are trying a new promotion. Special books (not necessarily Avalon-appropriate) will be on sale from these authors over the weekend for Amazon Kindle users. I can tell you quite seriously that Avalon authors are a very talented bunch of scribes. You will NOT be disappointed. There'll be different choices each day, so check my blog all weekend for the updated list. Here's today's crop of 99 cent specials! Be sure to grab your copy today before the prices go up! Don't have a Kindle? No worries; you can download a free app for use on an iPad, iPod, or p.c.

Barbara Morgenroth
Mounted (Bittersweet Farm)

Blanche Marriott
Born to Bitch

Carole Hutchens
Flames of Deceit

Kathryn Quick
Braeden and Janne

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sneak Peek: The Gift of the Magic

I've got a Christmas anthology coming out next month with my writing pal, Carolyn Hughey. And I'm currently finishing up the last chapter of my story for this special project: The Gift of the Magic. No, that's not a typo; it's a twist on the O. Henry classic, The Gift of the Magi, a perennial favorite of mine. My story takes place in Krakow, Poland right before Christmas.

Here's a little taste of what you can expect. As details become available on cover art, release date, title, etc., I'll be sure to let you know.

Once again, she passed the bakery. God, she was starving! Maybe she should splurge on a real dinner tonight. Grab a cheeseburger deluxe with fries and onion rings. And some fresh apple fritters for dessert.

This time around, she couldn’t help but stare longingly at the glass display case where lighter-than-air pastry shared a starring role with loaves of freshly baked bread. Gaze riveted on the goodies in the shop window, she turned the corner.

Wham! Something huge collided with her midsection and knocked her onto the slushy sidewalk. Stars exploded in her skull as the back of her head slammed against the pavement. When she finally opened her eyes, a hairy gray face came into view, with sharp teeth inches from her nose. A wolf! She cried out and raised a hand to shield herself from a vicious bite.

A wet black nose snuffled into the space between her elbow and her chin, and she gave a low whine, squeezing her eyes shut, tensed for the attack.

“Hunter, tu przyjść!” a brusque voice ordered.

Who was that? Slowly, she lowered her arm, opened her eyes, and came face to snout with her attacker. Not a wolf. A dog. A tremendous, wiry-haired dog with a toothy grin.


A dog that had just licked her nose. Ick. She wiped a sleeve across her cheeks to swipe at the doggie slime.

“Hunter, tu przyjść!” The order, dark as smoke, came again. Lucky for her, the man patted his thigh, and the dog immediately bounded off her to stand beside him.

Polina looked past the not-so ferocious beast planted on her chest to the owner of both the smoky voice and the overly affectionate animal. He was tall, broad-shouldered, and despite the frown he flashed at her new furry friend, very appealing with a wide face and hazel eyes, framed by thick honey-colored hair. His clothes were expensive, shoes gleamed. Money. He smelled of it, reeked of it.

Przepraszam. Czy jesteś dobra?” He held out a hand to assist her to her feet.

With her very limited grasp of the Polish language, she had to rely on the man’s body language to assume he was apologizing and, maybe, asking if she was hurt. “I’m okay,” she replied with a smile she hoped would translate.

“You speak English?” Surprise glazed his words stronger than the very British accent he used, and he gripped her hand a little tighter.

She nodded. “I’m American.”

His smile beamed white, lighting up his face, and Polina’s heart sat up and took notice. “Oh, thank God. My Polish isn’t exactly flawless yet.” Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew a leash and clipped it to the dog’s collar. “I apologize about the dog. He belongs to the son of a colleague, got away from the kid, and I’ve been chasing him for the last three blocks. Are you sure you’re all right?”

“Uh-huh.” Her brain spiraled into free fall as his gaze raked her from disheveled head to booted toe. In an attempt to regain some sense of calm, she turned slightly and hitched up the nylon backpack. “I landed on this. Not exactly a plush cushion, but it’s better than full contact with cement.” Of course, the knot blooming on the back of her head said differently, but she opted to keep that a secret. Along with her now crushed and useless sandwich. She didn’t want to engage in explanations or additional conversation.


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Wrote 10,000 Words Today! I didn't. Did the title make you feel inadequate? Even for a minute? Well, it shouldn't.

Lots of times on Facebook and Twitter, I'll see posts from authors who crow about how many words they wrote that day. And I'm happy for them. Really. I'm just not one of them. I never will be. Know why? Because my writing routine is very different.

I know writers get tons of advice about just putting dreck on the page and then going back to edit later. If that works for you, and you're happy to finish a first draft with 200,000 words of dreck that will eventually be cleaned and polished to a 50,000 word manuscript, good for you. Everyone has to find their own process.

But I can't put dreck on a page and boast about it. I can't move forward until what I've written previously is the best that I can make it. (And ooh--look! I'm breaking another rule by using the no-no phrase "I can't..." Not once, but twice! Egads. Hide the women and children!)

I don't apologize for not writing 10,000 words in a day because that's not my process. Here's a typical writing day for me:

I write a scene, mostly dialogue. Then I go in and layer that scene. Sometimes five and six times. I fix punctuation and spelling errors, double-check my research, add color and scenery and stage direction. And then, when that scene could go into a published work exactly as written, I'm ready to move onto the next scene and do it all over again.

With a process like this, it's no wonder I'm thrilled if I write 500 words in a day. The difference between me and the Dreck Writer who writes 10,000 words a day is, when I type The End, it really is The End. I can rest assured that the book needs one quick read-through to focus on story arc and continuity, and that baby is ready to fly. While my counterpart is stuck in revision hell, trying to decide if (s)he really needs to mention the curtains were green right before the house goes up in flames.

So the next time you feel inadequate because someone's boasting about writing 10,000 words today and you've stared at the same sentence for a week trying to decide whether to use "which" or "that," take heart. You're not alone. I do it too. And since I've already published 12 books, with a Christmas anthology due out next month and at least two full-length novels coming in 2013, I'd say you're in pretty good company.

It doesn't matter how you write the book. Just write the damn book. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five: Five Lessons From Project Runway

Now in its tenth season, Project Runway still remains one of my favorite reality shows. I love getting to know the designers each year, rooting for my favorites, and let's face it, who doesn't love a really cute dress made out of birdseed? But there's more to it than fashion and drama. There are some real life lessons tucked into each episode. Don't believe me? Try these on for size:

1. Be yourself. Christian Siriano was fierce, Mondo Guerra shared a devastating secret, and Santino did a spot-on Tim Gunn impression. Whoever you are, own you! Those who truly love you will accept your quirks and flaws. Those who don't, don't matter.

2. Don't settle for conventional materials. Corporate-speak will tell you "think outside the box." But even that phrase is now in the box. Flex your imagination. Over the years, the designers have used candy wrappers, flowers, and dog leashes to create amazing outfits. Whatever you do in life, try moving away from standards if you want to stand out.

3. Those who fear your talent will attempt to tear you down. Every season sees the cat fights between two or more contestants. Sometimes, in life, the more popular you are, the more unpopular you become with those threatened by your success, your uniqueness, your talent. The only way they can feel better about their own miserable selves is to drag you into the mud. Don't fall for it. Your true allies will stand by you.

4. Just because you're down doesn't mean you're out. So you got thrown out of the club. Big deal. Don't quit. Prove them wrong. Be bigger, better, stronger. You have it in you. Only you can make yourself fail.

5. Make it work. Oh, Tim, how I adore you! These three words can sum up the solution to all life's problems. Sometimes, you get the crappy end of the stick. Everyone does. Winners make it work. Losers sulk and whine about how they "can't" do it.

Got a life lesson from Project Runway? Share!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Daze

The kids are both back in school as of today; my daughter in her third year of college, my son starting high school (tenth grade). For me, like so many other parents, this heralds in a new pattern to the days. We'll be awake the same time, sharing coffee in the morning, fighting for bathroom rights. It'll take me a little longer to get to Le Day Job and back, thanks to the increase in traffic and the perpetual school bus stops. The next few days will usher in multiple trips to Staples for supplies. Evenings will revolve around reading, writing, and homework. Weekends will become a time we all look forward to for reconnecting, catching up, and relaxing together.

Along with school comes autumn, my favorite season because it reminds me of home and hearth. The shorts and sandals will move into the attic and sweats and sweaters will fill the closets. Sunday barbecues will give way to Sunday roasts. My kids will be thrilled to smell my chicken soup simmering on the stove (they claim it's "crack" and will often sneak crocks full to sip while it's still cooking). Baking becomes a regular ritual. The leaves will change colors, hubby will close up the pool, and we'll start looking forward to the holidays. (I know a few people who've already started their Christmas shopping...heathens!)

What's your favorite part about this time of year?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: