Thursday Writing Quote ~ H. G. Wells

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H. G. Wells

Tuesday Teaser - Sacrificial Magic

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts) by Stacia Kane if book 4 of Downside Ghosts, a paranormal series that's a little dark but thoroughly enchanting. I heartily recommend it, but it is best if read in order.

The Blurb:
READING, WRITING, AND RAISING THE DEAD

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.



The Teaser:
"Right." It was said a little too slowly, the vowel sound drawn out, pulled just to the cliff edge of sarcasm but not quite tipping over and falling into the valley of rude.



To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/

Body Language - A Tool for Authors

In life, it's useful to understand body language. As writer's, it should be one of the tools of our trade.

Tuesday Teaser - Home Game

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week, I'm reading Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis. I discovered this author when I was in economics-junkie mode and I read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine about the Wall Street meltdown. (Not to worry. Home Game is a complete departure.)

The Blurb:
When Michael Lewis became a father, he decided to keep a written record of what actually happened immediately after the birth of each of his three children. This book is that record. But it is also something else: maybe the funniest, most unsparing account of ordinary daily household life ever recorded, from the point of view of the man inside. The remarkable thing about this story isn’t that Lewis is so unusual. It’s that he is so typical. The only wonder is that his wife has allowed him to publish it.

The Teaser:
Memory loss is the key to human reproduction. If you remembered what new parenthood was actually like you wouldn't go around lying to people about how wonderful it is, and you certainly wouldn't ever do it again.





To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/

Thursday Writing Quote ~ Jawharlal Nehru

All my major works have been written in prison . . . I would recommend prison not only to aspiring writers but to aspiring politicians, too. ~ Jawharlal Nehru

Teaser Tuesday - Visiting Tom

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I discovered Michael Perry with his book Population: 485 while I was in my "read everything I  could find about firefighting" phase. Since the book deals with his experiences as a volunteer fireman in a small Wisconsin town, it fit my criteria nicely. I guess I came for the fire and hung around for the wonderful writing. So this week, I'm reading Perry's Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace


Blurb
Tuesdays with Morrie meets Bill Bryson in Visiting Tom, another witty, poignant, and stylish paean to living in New Auburn, Wisconsin, from Michael Perry. The author of Population: 485, Coop, and Truck: A Love Story, Perry takes us along on his uplifting visits with his octogenarian neighbor one valley over—and celebrates the wisdom, heart, and sass of a vanishing generation that embodies the indomitable spirit of small-town America.

TEASER:
It's only two-tenths of a mile long, but the pitch is such that if you're headed uphill and more than an inch of snow blankets the blacktop, you need a full head of steam upon approach or you'll ascend three-quarters of the way and then slide down backward--a bracing experience if you are hauling several thousand pounds of milk or a vanful of family. You really haven't butt-clenched the seat covers until you've surrendered a hill mid-blizzard, in the dark, in reverse, with the wheels locked and no point of reference but a pair of obscured mirrors.


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Thursday Writing Quote ~ George R R Martin

I hate outlines. I have a broad sense of where the story is going; I know the end, I know the end of the principal characters, and I know the major turning points and events from the books, the climaxes for each book, but I don’t necessarily know each twist and turn along the way. That’s something I discover in the course of writing and that’s what makes writing enjoyable. I think if I outlined comprehensively and stuck to the outline the actual writing would be boring. ~ George R R Martin

And now available for pre-order, Fire & Ice for children (grade 3-5). In case you want to pass on your addiction to your children. Just click on the picture to order from Amazon.








Tuesday Teaser - The Calling

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read. Open to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I like paranormal romance but I do get tired of vampires and were-critters (unless they're done with originality and style). The Calling by Ashley Lynn Willis is different because it's based on different mythology. (And happily it's currently priced at .99 so it's a bargain read.)

The Blurb:
Mandy Hardy lost more than a breast to cancer; she lost her fiancĂ© when he dumped her a week before her mastectomy. Her ego bruised and her self-esteem battered, Mandy’s sure she’ll never fall in love again.

Justin Seward is a headstrong Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer with a heart of gold and the supernatural ability to command the seas. He had to hide his feelings while Mandy was engaged to his best friend. Now that she’s free, he’s vowed to make her his.

Together, they may hold the key to each other’s salvation. But when Justin’s past catches up with him, and Mandy’s ex-fiancĂ© wants vengeance, they realize they might not live long enough for happily ever after.

My Teaser:
If he so much as touched her right now, she'd turn into a giggling puddle of female hormones. She cleared her throat.

You'll find links to more Tuesday Teasers here.

What are you reading today?

Human Heros


Some time back, one of my critique buddies offered up the first draft of her story. By chapter two, I was hating her hero. Not because he was an ass. I'd have liked him better if he had been. No, I hated him because he was too good, too noble, too self-sacrificing, too calm in the face of adversity. In short, too fricking holier-than-I. Yes, I hate him because he a better person than I am. 

It was a revelation.

This goody-two-shoes had a suicidal mother in a sanitarium that he'd been visiting regularly for years. Did he ever think "Life would be so much easier if one of her suicide attempts succeeded?" No. The closest he came was to wonder if they should have let her die when she tried it, which came across as noble because his concern was for her suffering. I resented him for being so much of a better person than I suspect I would be. I wanted him to be more like me.

As an author, I think it's wiser to make the hero's responses to adversity mirror the readers' weaknesses. It improves the readers' ability to relate to the hero. It also gives the author the opportunity to torment the hero with guilt for having such base, selfish thoughts—another point we would share with him.

Have you ever hated a character because they were too good?