Monday, December 24, 2012

Favorite Books of 2012 and a Giveaway

Happy Christmas Eve, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm going to list my favorite books of 2012 and tell you all about a super fantastic giveaway held by The Kindle Book Review. You don't wanna miss this post!

First up, my favorite books of 2012:

The Help - What a wonderful read! I picked it up after I saw the movie because I was super curious about the book behind the plot. Book wins; hands down!

First Visions Second Sight Book One and New Revelations Second Sight Book Two - About a psychic who denies her powers until she's needed to help find a missing girl. There are two in the series so far and both were fantastic reads! Guess what? They're both FREE today! Book One and Book Two! Go get yours!

Dragon's Mind - Wow. My first real trip into science fiction! I loved this book. It's about a girl and a brain trying to escape the clutches of an evil organization.

Beautiful Disaster - Holy moly! By far my FAVORITE read of the year. I would've given it ten stars if I could've. A super fantastic example of great indie writing!

Now, on to more fun!

The Kindle Book Review is holding a HUGE giveaway via Rafflecopter!!!

The prizes:
A 7" Kindle Fire HD WiFi 16GB and 80+ ebooks to read on it.
Two $100 Amazon Gift Cards

How to enter:
Follow THIS LINK, scroll to the bottom, and click to be taken to the rafflecopter entry form. Enter to win!

Easy, peasy!

Mystic~Bronya, the first book of the series, is still free through tomorrow. Go pick up your copy today. This book has a 4.4star average rating on Amazon and is pretty close to the same on Goodreads. CLICK ME!

Mystic~Shelia is currently in giveaway land over on Goodreads. FOUR people have a chance to win a copy! Go on and enter!! CLICK ME!

Good luck, everyone!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 12

It's the twelfth day! Also, doomsday! Seems we're all still here... It's been a long twelve days but I'm really enjoying finding new indies to read and giving away prizes! I had exactly 11 people yesterday, who don't already have a copy of Mystic~Lily, comment! So, congratulations to: Tom A, Jamie C, Santa F, bashashhazbaz, Becky F, Sherry J, Sandi T, Felicia T, Kate B, Brian B, and Leonardo N!! I'll be in touch to send your prize!

Now, a few announcements!!
Mystic~Shelia released today! The third book in the Mystic series is now available for purchase! More about it:
Synopsis:
After a horrible accident takes the lives of her parents, Shelia Morgan is placed in the care of her Aunt Ivy and Uncle Melvin. For six years they work her like a slave. On her twelfth birthday, Uncle Melvin makes Shelia an offer that will destroy her life.

When she turns 19, the ugly truth about her past comes out during a therapy session, Uncle Melvin is arrested, and she's placed in the sights of everyone in town. Hurling insults, objects, and threats, the townspeople side with her uncle and call Shelia a liar. She loses her job, her boyfriend, and her freedom in one day. When a girl named Markaza shows up and tells Shelia she's part of a group of young women destined to save the world, Shelia begins to dream of a new life and true freedom from her personal demons.

She tells the jury her story and boards a plane destined for New York and her new life. Once there, she meets Bronya and Lily: Two other young women with special powers they must learn to harness in order to fight an evil that will rise on December 21, 2012, and destroy the world.

Markaza boards a plane to Atlanta to save the life of a young lady named Melody before her mind destroys her from the inside out. As Markaza fights for Melody's life, Shelia, Lily, and Bronya throw themselves into their studies and learn that even power from within can get out of control.

Read these rockin' reviews! Indie Reviews and Heather's Book Chatter to find out what others are saying!

Click here to buy it on Amazon for just $3.99 or here to buy a paperback for just $8.99.

Second announcement! Starting today and running through December 25, you can pick up a copy of Mystic~Bronya FREE on Amazon!!!! Click here to go grab yours!
Let's get started on today's fun! Friday, December 21 - Twelve people who comment will win an e-copy of Mystic~Shelia!!!

Before I tell you how to enter, I'll do a recap of the indie books pitched thus far. The last two winners will be announced this afternoon at 5pm EST.
Without further ado, here they are:
Andrea Buginsky - The Chosen Amazon link $0.99 *WINNER*
Michael Cargill - Underneath Amazon link $3.30 *WINNER*
Jennifer Lafferty - Offbeat Love Stories and More Amazon link $0.99
Jacques Antoine - Sen No Sen Amazon link $4.99
Brian Bigelow - Horror Bent Amazon link $2.99
Seeley James - The Geneva Decision: Pia Sabel #1 Amazon link $5.99
LJ - Fighting Destiny #1 Amazon link $3.99
Eric Dulin - Condemned (Deus Ex Machina Series) Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
Deborah Armstrong - Forever Love Amazon link $3.49 *WINNER*
Kate Baggott - Love From Planet Wine Cooler Amazon link $4.99 *WINNER*
David Manuel - Killer Protocols (Richard Paladin Series) Amazon link $3.99
Aaron Saylor - Sewerville: A Southern Gangster Novel Amazon link $3.99
Ryan Astaphan - Travelphan: Fear, Faith, & Glory in a Journey Across Asia Amazon link $7.99
Michael Meyer - Deadly Eyes Amazon link $2.99
Ginney Etherton - Looping in Limbo (Lainey Tidwell Series) Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
S.J. Hunter - Longevity Amazon link $2.99
Felicia Tatum - The White Aura Amazon link $2.99
Brian Author Levene and Anon Beauty - The Other Girls Get Lucifer Everyday Amazon link $4.99 FREE today!
Troy Jackson - The Elementals Amazon link $4.99
Rebecca Elswick - Mama's Shoes Amazon link $3.79
Angela Graff - The Awakening Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
Hayley Linfield - The Truth about Dandelions Amazon link $5.99
Tom Abrahams - Sedition Amazon link $2.99
Sarwah Osei-Tutu - Bingo: One Woman's Journey Through Life Amazon link $4.99
Marc Nash - Time After Time Amazon link $2.99
Mark Mackey - Kristen Flemings in a Ghost Story Amazon link $0.99
Jamie Canosa - Dissidence Amazon link $3.95
Elizabeth Los - Second On the Right Amazon link $2.99 FREE today!
Sherry Jesberger - Aislin of Arianrhod Amazon link $1.99
Leonardo Noto - Intrusive Memory Amazon link $4.99 *WINNER*

Those books look great! I've got samples of them all and a number of you have made it through this far in my process. Remember, if you pitched before, you're still in the running.

Here's how to enter today:
Go enter the giveaway on Goodreads for a copy of Mystic~Shelia and go tag the book on Amazon. Come back here and leave me a comment telling me about the last book you read and what you thought of it.

******ATTENTION******
I'm doing things differently today! Since it's the last day of the giveaway, the FIRST TWELVE people to comment will win!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 11

Isn't it strange that I had exactly ten comments yesterday? Congratulations, commenting people of the blogosphere! You've all won a copy of Mystic~Bronya! I'll be in touch shortly to find out how to get you your prize if I don't know already (if you haven't won before). If I do know, watch your inbox! The winners are: Angela G, bashashhazbaz, Andrea B, Hayley L, Becky F, Tom A, Felicia T, Sarwah O, Marc N, and Mark M!


Tomorrow is the last day of the giveaway. I know, I'm sad, too! But I have a special announcement for you all so make sure you come back for that! Let's get on to today: Thursday, December 20 - Eleven people who comment will win an e-copy of Mystic~Lily!!

As yesterday, before I get to the part where I tell you how to enter, I'm going to list the books that were pitched so far and note the winners.
Andrea Buginsky - The Chosen Amazon link $0.99 *WINNER*
Michael Cargill - Underneath Amazon link $3.30 *WINNER*
Jennifer Lafferty - Offbeat Love Stories and More Amazon link $0.99
Jacques Antoine - Sen No Sen Amazon link $4.99
Brian Bigelow - Horror Bent Amazon link $2.99
Seeley James - The Geneva Decision: Pia Sabel #1 Amazon link $5.99
LJ - Fighting Destiny #1 Amazon link $3.99
Eric Dulin - Condemned (Deus Ex Machina Series) Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
Deborah Armstrong - Forever Love Amazon link $3.49 *WINNER*
Kate Baggott - Love From Planet Wine Cooler Amazon link $4.99
David Manuel - Killer Protocols (Richard Paladin Series) Amazon link $3.99
Aaron Saylor - Sewerville: A Southern Gangster Novel Amazon link $3.99
Ryan Astaphan - Travelphan: Fear, Faith, & Glory in a Journey Across Asia Amazon link $7.99
Michael Meyer - Deadly Eyes Amazon link $2.99
Ginney Etherton - Looping in Limbo (Lainey Tidwell Series) Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
S.J. Hunter - Longevity Amazon link $2.99
Felicia Tatum - The White Aura Amazon link $2.99
Brian Author Levene and Anon Beauty - The Other Girls Get Lucifer Everyday Amazon link $4.99 FREE today!
Troy Jackson - The Elementals Amazon link $4.99
Rebecca Elswick - Mama's Shoes Amazon link $3.79
Angela Graff - The Awakening Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
Hayley Linfield - The Truth about Dandelions Amazon link $5.99
Tom Abrahams - Sedition Amazon link $2.99
Sarwah Osei-Tutu - Bingo: One Woman's Journey Through Life Amazon link $4.99
Marc Nash - Time After Time Amazon link $2.99
Mark Mackey - Kristen Flemings in a Ghost Story Amazon link $0.99

I still have two more to buy. Remember, if you're not a winner yet, that doesn't mean you're out of the running, you're still on the list and I'll be reading a sample of your work. Looping in Limbo got me from the sample, The Awakening got me from the pitch.

Now for today's way to enter:
Tell me what your biggest complaint is about the human race and what book you've read in your lifetime that put things in perspective for you.

If you have a book to pitch, do that in part two of your comment. If not, just let your word-soaked brain go nuts on part one!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 10

Holy moly, Batman! Responses yesterday were off the charts! I'm excited so many of you are up for a review. Before I get to the meat and potatoes, here are yesterday's winners: Becky F, Brian B, Kate B, bashashhazbaz, Ginney E, Sheila H, Michael C, Ryan A, and Jacques A. Congratulations to you all! I'll be in touch today to find out where to send your prizes! Snapshot of the random.org drawing:
On to today's prize! For Wednesday, December 19 - Ten people who comment will win an e-copy of Mystic~Bronya! It's the first book of the Mystic series and is Paranormal Fiction.
Now, an impromptu surprise for you all! I'm making a list with links (I know how you all love lists). And the three books I'm buying today are highlighted in the list. Congratulations to those three authors! If you pimped your book, it will remain on my list. I still have four more to choose over the next two days. But come and do the daily tasks at your chance to win some great reads!

Indie authors who pimped their books yesterday were:
Michael Cargill - Underneath Amazon link $3.30 *WINNER*
Jennifer Lafferty - Offbeat Love Stories and More Amazon link $0.99
Jacques Antoine - Sen No Sen Amazon link $4.99
Brian Bigelow - Horror Bent Amazon link $2.99
Seeley James - The Geneva Decision: Pia Sabel #1 Amazon link $5.99
LJ - Fighting Destiny #1 Amazon link $3.99
Eric Dulin - Condemned (Deus Ex Machina Series) Amazon link $2.99 *WINNER*
Deborah Armstrong - Forever Love Amazon link $3.49 *WINNER*
Kate Baggott - Love From Planet Wine Cooler Amazon link $4.99
David Manuel - Killer Protocols (Richard Paladin Series) Amazon link $3.99
Aaron Saylor - Sewerville: A Southern Gangster Novel Amazon link $3.99
Ryan Astaphan - Travelphan: Fear, Faith, & Glory in a Journey Across Asia Amazon link $7.99
Michael Meyer - Deadly Eyes Amazon link $2.99
Ginney Etherton - Looping in Limbo (Lainey Tidwell Series) Amazon link $2.99
S.J. Hunter - Longevity Amazon link $2.99
Felicia Tatum - The White Aura Amazon link $2.99
Brian Author Levene and Anon Beauty - The Other Girls Get Lucifer Everyday Amazon link $4.99 FREE today!
Troy Jackson - The Elementals Amazon link $4.99
Rebecca Elswick - Mama's Shoes Amazon link $3.79

Remember, the rest of you aren't out of the running, you just didn't get chosen today. I chose three today instead of two because I only got to buy one yesterday! There will be two tomorrow and two the day after.

Lovely readers, here's how you can enter to win today:
Follow my reviews on Goodreads. Go read at least one and give it a like (this way you can see how I write reviews and what I look for) I'll get a notification when you like it. Then come back here and tell me what you liked/didn't like about my review process.

Part 2 of your comment should pimp your book if you haven't already. There are still two days left to win a buy and a review from me.

Good luck to you all!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 9

Can you believe there are only four more days in the giveaway? But some of the best books are happening now! I had three comments yesterday so those three people win a copy of Yassa! No drawing needed! I love not having to tell people they didn't win! So, congratulations to bashashhazbaz, Heather, and Andrea! I'll be sending your prizes over shortly.

Andrea, I'll be buying your book The Chosen today and I can't wait to delve in! It sounds like a wonderful story! You've won a purchase by me, a read, and a full review posted everywhere your book is available and a writeup here on my blog! Congratulations!
Now, on to the fun for Tuesday, December 18 - Nine people who comment will win a Mystic bookmark and one each of the postcards below. They look like this:

Bookmark Back


 


Bookmark Front


Postcard 1


Postcard 2


Postcard 3









Here's how to enter today: Go check out my Categorized Link List. Then come back and leave a comment telling me if there's a topic you'd like to see, as a reader or writer, that isn't there.

Don't forget! If you're an author, there's still seven purchases up for grabs. Pimp your book in part two of your comment. Tell me why you wrote it, why I should read it, and leave me a link so I can go check it out.

Good luck everyone!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, December 17, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 8

It's the eighth day in my giveaway! Can you believe it's been eight days already? WOW! Happy Monday, everyone. I know it's the beginning of the week but Christmas is right around the corner now and I hope you've all gotten a chance to give something wonderful to those you love. I had five comments yesterday so by default, those five people win a copy of The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. The winners are: Lionel, Andrea, Becky, Sandi, and Beth. Congratulations to you all! You'll be getting your prizes shortly so watch your inbox and spambox!

Repeat from yesterday's post: On a side note, bashashhazbaz, I need you to shoot me an e-mail please. Yassabook2012 at gmail dot com. You have two prizes now that I need to get to you but I can't find your contact info anywhere. Thanks!!

For today, Monday, December 17 - Eight people who comment will win an e-copy of Yassa.

And today is the day I'm going to give you the chance to sell me your book! Well, sort of. I'll choose two indie books each day from now until the end of the twelve days and buy them. That's eight books total. Your job is to tell me why I must read them.

So, to enter the contest for today it's a two part comment:
Part 1: Tell me what law you would create to keep peace in your army. Yassa was a law created by Genghis Khan that decreed: When you pledge your loyalty to another person, you must uphold that loyalty no matter what. There was only one punishment for breaking Yassa law: death. Hey, it worked for Genghis!

Part 2: Tell me a little about your book and leave me a link so I can go check it out. If I don't choose your book on the first day, don't worry! You still have four more days to convince me. It can be your book, a book you've read, or the book of a client but they must be INDIE. Things I want to know: WHY you wrote it or read it, what age range it's geared toward, and what you love most about it.

So, there you have it. I read ALL genres and there's very little I won't try.

Good luck to you all!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 7

Happy Sunday, good people of the blogosphere! There were only three entries yesterday so, by default, those people win copies of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 3. It's Abigale and Emmett in a magical realm of fairies, dragons, and an evil prince named Magnus. I hope you all enjoy the heck out of it! The winners are: bashashhazbaz, Becky, and Andrea! Congratulations to you all!

On a side note, bashashhazbaz, I need you to shoot me an e-mail please. Yassabook2012 at gmail dot com. You have two prizes now that I need to get to you but I can't find your contact info anywhere. Thanks!!


On to today's prize! On Sunday, December 16 - Seven people who comment will win an e-copy of The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book

To enter, leave a comment telling me what your biggest struggle as an Indie author has been as far as publishing goes. 

Good luck everyone! This is one of those books you'll wish you'd had from the beginning of your indie journey!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 6

It's the weekend! Happy Saturday, everyone! I bet you're all excited to find out who won yesterday's giveaway, right? Well, here we go! The winners are... *drumroll* Beth, Shannon, Heather, Andrea, and Sandi! Congratulations to you all! I'll be in touch shortly to find out how to get you your prize!
On the table for Saturday, December 15 - Six people who comment will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 3

Here's how to enter:
Go agree with the tags or add some of your own on the book's Amazon page. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me what you would do if you were the prince or princess of a kingdom.

Don't forget, the day is still coming when I'll give you the chance to sell your book to me! Might be tomorrow, might be day 8, 10, or even 12. But whichever day it is, that's how many books I'll buy from my fellow indies :)

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 5

Happy freakin' Friday, good people of the blogosphere! I have a number of announcements today so please bear with me!! First, the winners of yesterday's fun!
Congratulations to: Sandi, Lionel, bashashhazbaz, and Andrea! You've all won an ecopy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 2! Guess what it's about? That's right, CATS! Your cat stories were hilarious and I loved reading about them. Thank you for the entertainment! I'll be in touch shortly to find out how to get you guys your prize!

Our prize for Friday, December 14 - Five people who comment will win $5 to spend over on Amazon

Before I get to today's task and how to enter, I have a super special surprise for you folks that voted in the reader's choice cover post from the other day. I'm headed over to random.org with your names and the top two selections will win an 11"x17" poster of the winning cover! Ohmygosh, right? So, here I go...
Congratulations to: Tia and Heather! You ladies won posters that will look like this:
Yup, that's the winning cover design! It'll be published sometime in February. I'll be in touch to find out how to get you your prizes! Now, on to today's fun task!
The task for today is: Go give my Amazon author page a like (if you haven't already) and come back and comment here telling me what you love most about reading. Tomorrow morning at 8am EST, I'll plug the names in and randomize FIVE winners. Those five people will get a $5 Amazon gift card. Good luck to everyone!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 4

Happy Thursday! Tomorrow is Friday and Day FIVE. You all know what that means! We only had one participant yesterday, Ms. Sandi Tuttle. So, she wins! Congratulations, Sandi! I'll be in touch shortly to find out where to send your prize! On to the fun for today!
The prize for Thursday, December 13 - Four people who comment will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 2

Your topic for today is:
Cats! That's right, cats. Tell me about a cat you've either had or known and loved in a comment on this post. You have until 8am tomorrow to enter to win! I'll enter the names into random.org and choose a winner at that time. Good luck to you all!

Remember, because they're ecopies, this giveaway is international.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 3

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! Here we are on day 3 of my lovely 12 days of Christmas giveaway. What better way to get over the Wednesday blues than by winning something awesome? Congratulations to Crystal Marcos and Fel Wetzig! You've both won copies of every one of my books! I'll be in touch shortly to find out how to get you your prizes. Here are the screenshots from random.org for today's drawing:
Entrants:
Winners:
Thanks to everyone who participated!

Now for today: Wednesday, December 12 - Three people who comment will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 1

How to enter:
Pop over to Amazon and tag the book, then leave a comment on this post telling me what fascinates you most about Louisiana.

Entries will close tomorrow morning at 8am and I'll put the entrants into random.org and let it work its magic. Remember, three winners will be chosen!! You have a very good chance of winning. There will still be a day for you to pimp your book to me. Whichever day I choose, the number of winners will coincide with the number of indie books I'll buy. So, come on back and check every day! Good luck!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Day 2

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! I had five great entries for yesterday's giveaway and I'd like to announce that winner before we do anything else! Congratulations to Heather! You've won an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles 3 in 1 combo pack! I'll be in touch today! The screenshot from random.org:
Now on to today's fun!
Day 2 - Tuesday, December 11 - Two people who comment will win a copy of every one of my books.

Your task for today is:
Leave a comment here telling me which one of my books you think you'd enjoy the most and why. You can find them all here. Entries close at 8am EST tomorrow when I'll go plug the names into random.org and choose a winner like I did today.
Share with your friends! The more entries we have, the merrier! Come on back tomorrow to see if you won and to enter for a chance to win The Abigale Chronicles - Book 1! Tomorrow will bring three winners!

Good luck to you all.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! How great is it that we get to wake up every day and go out into the world to learn something new?


About my post title: You all know how much I love putting my books into the hands of those that will enjoy them. Starting today and running for the next 12 days, I'll be doing some great giveaways of my books and I'll be giving you the opportunity to sell me yours! That's right, sell me your book! I wanna spread the love for my fellow indies!

So, here's the schedule:
  1. Monday, December 10 - One commenter will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles 3 in 1 (all 3 books)
  2. Tuesday, December 11 - Two people who comment will win a copy of every one of my books
  3. Wednesday, December 12 - Three people who comment will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 1
  4. Thursday, December 13 - Four people who comment will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 2
  5. Friday, December 14 - Five people who comment will win $5 to spend over on Amazon
  6. Saturday, December 15 - Six people who comment will win an e-copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book 3
  7. Sunday, December 16 - Seven people who comment will win an e-copy of The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book
  8. Monday, December 17 - Eight people who comment will win an e-copy of Yassa
  9. Tuesday, December 18 - Nine people who comment will win a Mystic bookmark
  10. Wednesday, December 19 - Ten people who comment will win an e-copy of Mystic~Bronya
  11. Thursday, December 20 - Eleven people who comment will win an e-copy of Mystic~Lily
  12. Friday, December 21 - Twelve people who comment will win an e-copy of Mystic~Shelia
And for today, here's how to enter:
Go over to this post and check out the covers for The Bird. Enter your vote on the voting widget on the right hand side of the blog. Then comment here saying you've voted for your favorite and which one it was. If you've already voted, you're already entered. I'll be using random.org to choose the winners.

Each day will have a different task with a required comment. One of those days will be the chance for you to sell me one of your e-books!! I'm not telling you which day it is so you'll just have to come back every day and find out! It can be your book or a client's book. Pimp the indies!

When I buy your book, you get a read and a review that will be posted here on my blog and on every site your book is available on. Review posting on my blog isn't something I normally do but you'll get a whole post dedicated to your book. INDIE AUTHORS ONLY for this fun!

Well, get to it! That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, December 7, 2012

Reader's Choice!

HAPPY FRIDAY, good people of the blogosphere! YAYYYYY! It's the beginning of the weekend! Today, I have three versions of the cover for The Bird. Please vote via the lil thingy on the right hand side of the blog if you don't mind. You're choosing the cover! Oh my... Yes, I've put my faith in you. -------->

Here's the synopsis:
Stormy Terrabonne's life is about to be changed forever by a bright red cardinal. She soon finds herself being whisked away from all she's ever known to save an entire race of people known as Trobodytes. When she's presented to the Queen, Stormy learns how she's expected to help: By killing an evil wizard named Bordash Bladeslinger and stopping him from cutting down the sacred trees that bind Trogon to Earth.

Now, there are only two trees left. One of the trees presents a double dose of jeopardy: It's also tied to the renewed life of Stormy's mother. While Stormy learns more about the gifts she gained by becoming a Trobodyte, someone manages to poison that all important tree.

It's a race against time as she faces a legion of fairy tale creatures she never knew existed, learns to harness the power within herself to battle Bordash Bladeslinger, and tries to find a way to heal the dying tree before it collapses and takes her mother with it.

And here are the cover choices:
This is cover choice 1.

















This one is number 2.
















And here's number 3.















Leave your vote. Reader's choice!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cover 2 The Bird

Good Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! I'm late!! Oh my...

But I have goodies to share! Here's the second version of my book cover for The Bird.
As a reminder, here's the first choice:
One more to come!! I can't wait to hear what you think :)

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Doomsday and Prophets

Happy hump day, good people of the blogosphere! If you make it through today, you only have two more days until the weekend. Can I get a, "Holla!" and a showing of hands if you're excited?

But wait! Another day passes and that brings us one day closer to Doomsday! Does anyone remember when they thought the Earth was going to experience some cataclysmic shut down on 12/31/99 at midnight?

 Why is it, every few years, we have some person who decides they must find a way to scare the crap out of a billion people by bringing forth a Doomsday prophecy? What if the Mayans just got tired of writing down dates? Maybe they didn't know what would happen when the planets "aligned" on 12/21/12 and didn't want to assume. After all, you know what happens when you assume things!

I see Venus, Mars, and Jupiter moving ever closer together in the night sky and think about what I know of Astronomy. It eases my mind. I'll share something you may not know: The sun will be in alignment with the center of the galaxy but the planets won't actually "align." See, planets travel around their ellipsis and can come into "alignment" every so often when viewed from an overhead perspective. But if you were to look on a 3D model, you'd see the planets are on different planes so can never truly align perfectly.

Imagine it like this:
  • You have 5 steps leading up to a door.
  • That door is the sun.
  • Mercury and Earth are on step 1.
  • Venus and Saturn are on step 2.
  • Mars is on step 3.
  • Jupiter and Neptune are on step 4.
  • Uranus and Pluto (not even considered a planet now) are on step 5.
Sure, you can put them all in a row, but they wouldn't actually be aligned. Do you see my meaning? Please don't take this as these are the planets that are aligned and blah blah blah. I was just using words to create a visual representation. After all, I'm a writer!

Why the heck is she talking about Doomsday? Great question!

In my Mystic series, the young ladies who are going to save the world must battle an evil that will rise on 12/21/12. Markaza is the prophet who's seen the end and knows what to do to stop it from happening. But it's no astronomical event that will cause the disaster, but our own dumb selves. I'm not going to tell you what the monster they must fight is borne from because that'll just ruin the whole series. What I will tell you is: I believe what I write in my novels has a very good chance of happening.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Wait a moment and hear me out! I'm not talking about a Doomsday prophecy. What I'm alluding to is much bigger than that.  I see it happening all around us more and more every day. If we don't find a way to stop it, we're going to run our own race into the ground. We'll destroy ourselves and have no cosmic event to blame for our end. Maybe, just maybe, a group of people will emerge that can save us. But we have to want to be saved.

What do you think will happen on Doomsday? How do you use prophets in your writing?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NaNoWriMo Win and Chapter 1

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! One day closer to Friday! Yayyyyy! Today, a short snap of my book The Bird that I wrote during NaNoWriMo. I should have covers two and three ready soon. I do hope you'll all come back and vote for your favorite. On a positive note, I am a NaNo winner! I verified at 50,193 words. Of course, my novel will likely end up being more like 55k when it's edited and done but I hit the 50k mark so YAY! I get to display this badge now!

Here's the synopsis so far:
Stormy Terrabonne's life is about to be changed forever by a bright red cardinal. She soon finds herself being whisked away from all she's ever known to save an entire race of people known as Trobodytes. When she's presented to the Queen, Stormy learns how she's expected to help: By killing an evil wizard named Bordash Bladeslinger and stopping him from cutting down the sacred trees that bind Trogon to Earth.

Now, there are only two trees left. One of the trees presents a double dose of jeopardy: It's also tied to the renewed life of Stormy's mother. While Stormy learns more about the gifts she gained by becoming a Trobodyte, someone manages to poison that all important tree.

It's a race against time as she faces a legion of fairy tale creatures she never knew existed, learns to harness the power within herself to battle Bordash Bladeslinger, and tries to find a way to heal the dying tree before it collapses and takes her mother with it.

Now, for the rest of chapter 1 that I gave you half of in this post. Please keep in mind this is unedited and very rough. Thanks!

As her feet moved forward, her eyes adjusted to the new light. It was a bit dimmer than above and had a more golden tone to it. She glanced down at her arms and noticed she looked more bronzed than she did before. Thinking it must do wonders for the skin, she wondered how often you’d have to be exposed to it to look like Michael. She felt the heat rise into her face.

Stormy looked up and saw the spiral of the staircase reach far into the open air above them. She began to wonder how much longer they’d have to go when suddenly they were standing in front of a large, gilded door.

Michael reached his hand up, placed it on the handle, and murmured something too low for her to hear. Slowly, the door opened away from them to reveal a city so large and beautiful, it took her breath away.
Her hand flew to the base of her throat and she gasped as her eyes flew around, trying to take it all in.
Every path was paved in silver and gold. Trees stood tall and proud but they had golden leaves and deep purple trunks. The air was a perfect temperature and the absence of the humidity in Missouri was noticeable. Silver, gold, and jeweled rooftops sparkled in every direction. But the crowning glory of this world was the biggest castle Stormy could ever have imagined. It seemed every road and path terminated at the gates and its visage seemed to glow with a powerful aura.

He turned and looked at her face and gave a low chuckle before saying, “Welcome to Trogon. Quite a change from that drab world you come from, isn’t it?”

She nodded. “Yes. It’s so beautiful.”

“It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been all over the world. I think you’re going to like it here. Come on, we have to speak with Mother.” He pressed forward, dragging Stormy along behind him. When she lagged, looking at this or exclaiming over that, he would cut her off and tell her they needed to hurry, there would be time for admiring things later.

As they approached the castle, she grew apprehensive about meeting his mother. She began to ask questions. “What is it your mother does? Why does she want to see me? How come no one knows about this place? What do you eat here?”

Every question she asked was answered with, “Mother will answer your questions when we arrive. Come on,” along with a pull on the hand he still held.

They arrived at the castle gates and the guards bowed. “Welcome back, your Majesty.”

She was baffled. He was a prince! That meant his mother was the Queen! Stormy’s hands began to perspire all over again as her nerves gave a strong jangle.

He walked right up to the doors of the castle and thrust them open with gusto. Every guard bowed as they passed and some gave Stormy a look that could only be interpreted as hopeful.

She began to wonder what she’d gotten herself into.

When they finally reached the throne room, her legs were worn out and she was tired of not getting answers. Her temper began to rise and she felt her body grow warm with anger.

Michael deposited her at the foot of the dais and barked a command. “Kneel before the Queen.”

Stormy’s rage flared in that moment and she replied, “No. She’s not my queen and I don’t know her from Eve. I want answers to my questions, dammit; now.”

He sighed and knelt before the woman sitting on the single throne atop the platform. “I have brought her, most honored Mother, as requested.”

Stormy looked at the woman and sized her up. Eyes that sparked with power and humor in a dazzling green color could’ve been emeralds set in the woman’s perfectly round face. Jet black hair was lying in a long braid over her shoulder that almost reached her ankles. On her head was a thin circlet of gold with tiny silver leaves and pink colored apples adorning the sides. Her dress seemed to be made of the night sky, complete with sparkling silver stars. Above all, this woman radiated power from her very being, and before Stormy realized what she was doing, she dropped to her knees in reverence.

“See, child? She has come around. There is no need for an ill temper.” When the queen smiled, the light about her grew brighter. “Please rise; both of you. This is not a time for formalities. We’ve wasted precious years already.”

They stood.

She turned to Stormy. “Hello, darling girl, we’ve been searching for you a long time.”

“Why? What’s all this about? Who are you? What do you want with me?” Stormy demanded.

The queen threw back her head and laughed. It was a tinkling sound that reverberated around the room and put Stormy right at ease. “I’ve been thinking on how to tell you this. I don’t have time to explain every detail so I’m going to give you a quick overview. Will that suit you for now? We have a lot to do and little time to do it in.”

Stormy sighed and crossed her arms. “I suppose it’ll have to.”

“Very good. Please, have a seat.”

A chair appeared out of nowhere and Stormy plopped down in it. Her coffee, forgotten on the porch of her mother’s house, appeared on the armrest. Lifting it for a drink, Stormy settled into the chair and nodded as an indication the queen should begin.

Michael excused himself, saying he’d be back later to escort Stormy home.

“My name is Queen Lea Havenshare. I’m two hundred twenty years old. I’ve been queen of Trogon for over one hundred years, since my father before me turned to dust and left this world. You might say I’m your version of Mother Earth, but I don’t control everything that happens in your world. I only control the sunrise, sunset, and growth. We all have different powers here and all have a hand in shaping the world above. We are known as Trobodytes.

“Forty-five years ago, our world began to die. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until one of my people came to me with a most harrowing report of violence. She told me one of our wizards, Bordash, whom we call the Bladeslinger, was seen cutting down one of the trees that ties our world to yours. Without those trees, Trogon will cease to exist. We are connected to your world through magic and the elements. If the magic the trees provides is severed, we will all die.”

Stormy raised her hand and cleared her throat.

“Yes, dear, what is it?”

“Sorry to interrupt. Just a question. Why can’t you just hook up with new trees?”

Lea’s eyes sparked. “That’s a very intelligent question. I’ll try to explain as well as I can. You see, the trees we’re tied to are all in places with a high concentration of natural energy in your world. In order for a tree to tie us, it must grow in that special place. It must be planted by a witch or wizard from Trogon, be fused with the magic of our own trees, and must be no less than fifty years old before it can be attached. Our process is quite long and involved. It can take three years to infuse the seedling with our magic before it can be planted above. Younger trees can’t bear the burden.”

“Oh. I see. So how many are left?” Stormy asked.

“Two. But we have one that’s almost to maturity near Tara, Ireland. It’s being guarded by Learion, one of our most powerful wizards.”

She pressed for more. “And how many were there to begin with?”

“Thirty. There’s power in threes and tens, you see. So we need three trees times ten to give us our strongest connection to your world.” Lea explained.

Stormy felt the blood drain from her face as the realization of how much trouble Trogon was in dawned on her. She asked, “So what do I have to do with all this?”

Lea’s eyes turned down to look at her hands folded in her lap. “You’re the only one who can defeat Bordash Bladeslinger and save us.”

Leaping to her feet, Stormy yelled, “What? Tell me you aren’t saying what I think you’re saying! How am I supposed to battle and destroy a magician? You’ve got the wrong woman. There’s no way! Why me?”

“Please, sit down. I’ll explain.”

Stormy crossed her arms and remained on her feet. “Well? I’m waiting.”

The queen sighed. “Fifty years ago, one of our prophets spoke of a child conceived in a place of power, and born on a day of power, who would save us. You were conceived near the tree which brought you here and born on October 31. We didn’t know we needed saving at the time so we weren’t worried about finding you. By the time we did, you’d moved away. We’ve been waiting ever since you were twenty for you to return.”

Raising her eyes to meet Stormy’s, the queen continued. “Listen, I know this is a lot to take in and a huge decision. But humor me and hear my offer before you make your decision. We cannot force you to help; you must do so of your own free will.”

Stormy felt her blood-pressure skyrocket but agreed to hear the woman out and sat back down in the chair.
“My offer is thus: We will give you a soup you will feed half of to your mother and take the other half of into yourself. She will be returned to age thirteen and given another chance to live her life; though she will not remember you or any of her life before. You will be forever eighteen in appearance and will live and die as we do. That means special abilities – though I’m not sure what yours will manifest as – and no pain of death. You will simply cease to exist and crumble to dust when your time is complete. We live to be around five hundred years old. I cannot erase your age, you will continue to be forty-five, but you’ll look and feel eighteen again. As a comparison, my son is fifty and you already know I’m two hundred twenty. So you see what you’ll be gaining.

“To be totally honest with you, when your mother returns to age thirteen, sixty years will also be taken off the tree her life force is tied to. It’s the tree you came into Trogon by. If it dies, your mother dies, and vice versa. So, while my offer is generous, it’s also selfish. We need that tree to remain younger longer.” The queen sat with her hands in her lap and her eyes fixed on Stormy.

Processing all the information given was causing Stormy a headache. Just as she was about to politely decline, a black and grey squirrel dashed over the floor, jumped up onto Lea’s lap, and sat looking at her for a moment.

Lea turned white and said, “Thank you, Rambler.” After which she reached into a pouch at her waist Stormy hadn’t noticed before and procured an odd-looking acorn for the tiny beast.

He shoved it into his mouth and started back the way he’d come. As he passed Stormy, and seemed to notice her sitting there for the first time, he turned and looked in the queen’s direction again.

“Yes, that’s the woman we’ve been looking for. Go on now,” Lea said. “I’m very sorry, Stormy, but I must take my leave of you now. We have a pressing matter that needs my attention. You have two days to make your decision. Goodbye.”

Michael appeared at Stormy’s shoulder and said, “Let’s go. I need to get you out of here.”

“What the hell was that?” Stormy asked.

“The squirrel?”

“Yes, the squirrel!”

“He’s one of my mother’s servants. Be careful what you think around him; he can read your mind.” Michael chuckled.

Stormy stood up and the chair and coffee disappeared.

They headed for the door. When he pulled it open, Stormy could see a dark funnel cloud taking shape over the landscape to her left.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Bordash. He’s found out somehow that you’re in Trogon, and he’s heading this way.”

“What for?”

“To kill you, of course.”

And there you have it. The rest of chapter one. Hmmmm what will she do? Take the offer or walk away? You'll have to read the book to find out! BWAAHAHAHHAHA! Okay, enough of the evil laugh. If you're a fan of fantasy, you're going to dig The Bird!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, December 3, 2012

The World Around You

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! I know my post is late but life sometimes interrupts the normal flow of things, eh? As the title of this post suggests, today's topic is The World Around You. How does this pertain to writing? Well, grab those pens and notebooks and let's discuss, shall we?

Writers are students of human nature. If you're a follower of my blog, you know I did a whole week's worth of posts on this very topic last month. But we must also be students of everything else. That's right, everything else.

In order to create great fiction, you must base it in fact. If you're talking about a specific type of gun someone has stuck in the waistband of his pants, you probably don't want to say it's a shotgun or tommy-gun because either of these would be too large. You need to know at least a little bit about guns. Do some research, ask a professional hit man, or Google it. Your readers will thank you later.

If you're wanting to write an entire series of novels based around a specific topic, such as a herd of horses or unicorns from the horse's POV, you need to learn everything you can about the subject. In this case, you'd may want research:
  • How to train a horse
  • Horse behavior patterns
  • Where horses originated
  • What they eat
  • How they're born
  • Common colors
  • Gestation periods
  • and any other interesting tidbits you may decide to throw into your story.
This applies to every facet of every story you write. Immerse yourself in the how, what, why, and where of each subject. Yes, even if you're writing fantasy.

If you delve into the human mind in your writing you should have a good basis for your deep understanding of human nature. Take a psychology class or spend time with lots of people and watch how they interact with one another. You'll learn a lot and your writing will be better for it. Things to take note of:
  • Vernacular
  • Body Positioning
  • Facial Expressions
  • Your Own Reactions
  • Outcome
  • Voice Inflections
  • Attire
When you're doing research online you should keep a link list. Give it the same title of your novel and add _Research_LinkList to the end before saving it in your folder. I stress this point because everything we read stays with us and you don't want to be plagiarizing in your novel.

Like I always say, the best fiction comes from fact. Even if you twist it to fit your own story, it's based in something real.

Always observe the world around you and be the constant student. Writers are the best learners.

What have you learned through observation or research lately?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, November 30, 2012

Human Nature - Thought Processes

HAPPY FRIDAY! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:

  • The Love Affair 
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
Today's the last day of my Human Nature series. I hope you've followed along with me and have gained a deeper understanding of your characters this week. Thank you all so much for being fans and followers of my blog!

As you can see, we delve into Thought Processes today. This will be a summation of the week because each of the topics discussed followed a Thought Process. Your character wavered, decided, and acted. So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get rolling!

If you didn't realize, there are a ton of thought processes. I'm only going into four types here today.
  1. Lateral - This thought process derives a solution from things that aren't immediately obvious. You aren't using the lateral thought process if you use a step-by-step approach. These people are generally creatives and find new ways to do things. A lateral thinker can be the most dangerous type of character. They're the ones that rig up a contraption to stab someone in the back rather than plunging the knife in with their own hand. However, they're also the most likely to make it out of a sticky or dangerous situation.
  2. Common Sense - It's exactly what it sounds like. Common sense is using facts concerning the situation to come to a sound conclusion. Kind of like: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. This doesn't apply to fantasy where characters can appear to be ducks. But your character either has common sense or doesn't. They may begin a love affair thinking it won't have an effect on them even though the same action destroyed their own family unit. If they use common sense, the love affair wouldn't take place. In a stressful situation, they may react in a positive way but they find it difficult to look outside the box.
  3. Parallel - Folks that can do this look at two sides of the situation at the same time. Once one is discarded, another comparison takes its place. This type of thinking continues until a decision is reached. When considering revenge, this type of person is the most dangerous because they've considered every possible angle before ever making the first move.
  4. Personal Experience - Obviously, this type of thought process allows the person to draw conclusions from life experiences. This type can take things to a light or dark place, depending on life events. If the person has only been deceived or betrayed by everyone they ever knew, they'll assume every person they meet is the same way. There is no lateral thinking by someone who only draws from personal experience.
As humans, we rarely use just one type of thought process. For example: Most authors are lateral thinkers who use common sense and help it along with personal experience. If we used just one thought process, we would be flat and dull.

Now, when your character decides to partake in a Love Affair, you need to ask yourself why. Revenge? Grudge they're holding? Or simply a reaction to a situation? In this case, we'll use an example with easy to follow bullet points. But first, let's set the scene.

A married man is out with his friends. He's just had an argument with his wife during which she called him a pig and told him to get out. A beautiful, smart, friendly woman approaches the man and engages with him before asking if he'd like to go back to her place. His friends urge him to take the plunge. What does he think and do? His options are:
  • Remove his wedding ring
  • Gain hero status with his idiot friends
  • Take the woman back to her place
  • Ruin his marriage or his sanity
  • Lie forever
  • Tell the truth after and deal with it
OR
  • Politely tell the woman he's married
  • Deal with being called a chump
  • Go home
  • Tell the wife what happened
  • Be the good guy
OR
  • Tell the woman he's married but arguing with his spouse
  • Take her number
  • Leave his wife
  • Get a divorce
  • Start seeing the new girl
If the man lets all of these scenarios pass through his head, he knows the likely outcome of his actions. From there, he'll make a decision. We know from human nature which one is most likely, but a character can surprise us now and again. He may never consider the real ramifications of his actions, sleep with the woman, and ruin his psyche and relationship without realizing what he's doing. It could all happen over a simple argument where he held on to the hurt and allowed it to destroy him. His thought process probably went something like this:
  • My wife was cruel and doesn't care for me
  • This woman is interested
  • No one will ever find out
  • What if they do?
  • Should I do this or not?
Another.

A young girl is just turning into a woman. She gets her first period at school and has no way to clean up because she doesn't understand what's happening to her. Add a group of girls who tease her every day for a month and you have a character with a grudge. What are her options?
  • Pretend it doesn't bother her
  • Silently plot revenge
  • Get dirt on the girls and spread rumors
  • Watch as their lives fall apart
OR
  • Pretend it doesn't bother her
  • Cry every night because they were mean
  • Quit going to school
  • Allow it to ruin her life and make her a pariah
OR
  • Tell the girls what she thinks
  • Let it go, understanding it's part of the cycle of life thing and the girls are just being cruel
  • Continue on and forget what happened
  • Learn from the experience
Does this sound familiar? Think of the book Carrie by Stephen King. That girl took it to a dark place and killed a bunch of people. Human nature shows us that we can only take so much. We would hope the girls would apologize later but it's not likely if they were cruel enough to do what they did in the first place. This girl's thought process probably went like this:
  • What's happening to me?
  • Should I say something to them?
  • I'm a freak
  • Maybe I'm not a freak
  • Should I get back at them?
Your characters are defined by their reaction to situations and thought processes that bring them to a conclusion. Decisions they make shape them into the characters they are. Remember to be true to life first. The very best fiction comes from truth.

Question of the day: Has this week helped you at all with character development or deeper understanding?

I hope you've all enjoyed this week's posts and took something away from them.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Human Nature - Situation Reaction

You made it over humpday, good people of the blogosphere! Welcome to Thursday. This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:
  • The Love Affair 
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
As you can see, today is Situation Reaction. I love this topic! So, grab your pens and your handy-dandy notebook and let's get to it!

If you've truly given thought to your character, knowing how they will react in certain situations is easy to ascertain. Psychology tells us there are two basic reactive types and people will react to stress in certain ways depending on their internal makeup. Those two types are:
  1. Fight - This is where the person is facing a threat either bodily or mentally and they choose to face it head on. These types of people fight for themselves no matter the danger.
  2. Flight - Easy to understand, these people are runners. They're the ones who freeze up in the face of danger or avoid it altogether.
We had a heady debate in Psych 101 where I argued that someone who had never seen a gun (and had no idea what a gun was), wouldn't be scared if a gun were used to threaten them (even if they were a flight personality). I was thinking of Native Americans that were faced with the guns of the settlers. Until the Native Americans knew what a gun could do, they had no reason to have fear of one. Makes sense, no?

Making your character one or the other is central to your story. Understanding why they react the way they do is central to your character. It's simple, really:
  • Those who are fighters either don't care if they die or they don't have a lot to lose.
  • Those who fly are scared of death and know they have a lot to lose.
This can be played upon when threatening a loved one of someone who usually flies instead of fights. Take a mother who is complacent and a known flier and her child. Then, put that child in danger via a direct threat. You may be surprised at how quickly that meek flier turns into a snarling fighter. But why is that?

A simple answer would be the protective instinct. If we delve more deeply, we'll most likely find that woman first sought a way out of the situation before putting herself in harm's way. Ah ha! Now you have something to build on and a great source of tension for your novel. Keep in mind that the woman didn't simply change what type she was on a dime, rather that she had something more precious than her own life to worry about. We'll go into that further tomorrow during Thought Processes.

Which type of person we are is an inherent part of our nature. This applies to fictional characters as well. However, your character is on a journey and this is yet another way in which you can bring about change from page 1 to page 400. Remember, the best fiction comes from fact.

Question of the day: Have you ever been faced with danger? How did you react?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Human Nature - Seeking Revenge

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:

  • The Love Affair 
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
Today is day three and we'll be talking about Seeking Revenge. Grab those papers and pens and let's get going!

There are a few types of people who seek revenge. Some who do it on purpose, and some who do it without realizing what they're doing when it happens. Here's a breakdown:
  1. Vengeful and Proud - This type of person lets it be known they are out for blood. If you piss this type of person off, they're going to tell you that you better watch your back. Rest assured, you should watch your back. Of the many types, this is probably the least common. But, on the bright side, they're also the most honest type of person. If you hurt them, they'll be in your face warning you. You'll be told what you did to cause them to seek revenge and exactly how they're going to make it happen. At least you know what's coming. They oftentimes regret the vengeance afterward, but it doesn't stop them from acting out in the first place. They feel justified at first; only to lament the decision later.
  2. Vengeful Without Qualms - These people are out to hurt anyone that hurts them. They don't care if you have sixteen children and it's your last dollar they force you to give up knowing everyone will starve. It doesn't bother them later. There is no remorse and they'll let you know it. Watch out for these types. While they make good characters, they also must be without a conscience at all. It can prove difficult for them to be allowed to form any type of relationship. Ever.
  3. Sneaky Vengeance - Oh my. People like this hit you and you never see it coming. You may not even know what you did to bring it on until after the proverbial poo has been splattered by the fan and lands in your open mouth. They are dangerous because they put on a smile and work to stab you in the back however they can. Acts brought about by them will destroy your life and you may not even be able to trace the source of the pain back to this person. They make great characters because they can constantly throw in a gauntlet for your hero/heroine to overcome while still being the pretend BFF. They will never ever admit to being the cause of the pain.
  4. Woeful Vengeance - Meek, honest to a fault, and shy people act out woeful vengeance. They may do something unintentionally to get revenge. Only after the fact do they realize what a horrible thing they've done and they usually rush to apologize and admit their wrongdoing. These people beat themselves up daily for what they did and often have a difficult time moving past it, even if the other person forgives them for the wrongdoing. It can change them for the better or worse. That's up to the character's personality and you, the writer. Let it be a lesson or a life-altering event.
All types of people who seek revenge do it for a specific reason: they feel pain. A desire to make the other person feel pain is at the root of their actions. Even the woeful vengeance type will harbor a secret desire to get back at the person that wronged them in some small way. Human nature tells us that if we intentionally wrong someone, we should watch our backs. It's the same in a story. If your character does a dirty deed, they should be careful. If they aren't, they'll be naive in nature.

You can use this in character development for both the revenge seeker and any companions he/she may have. Lessons in how people react to situations go a long way in showing your reader just how a character can change from page 1 to page 400.

Question of the day: Have you ever experienced a revenge seeker? Have you ever been one? What type were they/you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Human Nature - Holding a Grudge

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:

  • The Love Affair
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
Day 2 is here so let's talk about Holding a Grudge. Grab your paper and pens and let's get going!

When we are wronged in some way, it tends to stick with us for a long period of time. Humans aren't equipped to deal with betrayal when someone has our perfect trust unless we work very hard at it. It makes us angry and, sometimes, we hold on to that anger far longer than we should. Letting go is an art form. This should happen the same way with your character. Remember to be true to life first.

If you have immortal characters, holding a grudge can be a good way to move toward Seeking Revenge. However, you can use a grudge from a betrayal to help your reader get a better sense of your character's personality. There are three basic types of characterization here:
  1. Never Letting it Go - These people can't get over even the smallest slight that's done to them by anyone. They allow hurts and betrayals to fester and boil. It destroys friendships, families, and possibly entire worlds in its wake. Pain is taken to a bitter place and makes the person ugly on the inside. But, on the bright side, this person is an honest one who refuses to lie about how people make them feel. On the dark side, it usually leads to Seeking Revenge and the character never trusting another person. Ever.
  2. Pretending to Let it Go - People who pretend to let it go but don't really are the ones most commonly found. Most people don't want anyone to know they hold the grudge so will pretend like the act of betrayal didn't bother them as much as it did. These are the people plotting a slow death via a sneak attack against whoever wronged them in the first place. They may still be friends with the person who did them wrong; but it's all an act. It's almost impossible for them to forgive completely. Relationships with others become strained from this person's POV. Everyone else should believe things are fine. This person oftentimes also never trusts anyone else but they also never let on they feel that way.
  3. Forgiving Completely - Complete forgiveness takes a special kind of person. These are ones who will try to see all sides of the picture and gather an understanding of why the wrong was done in the first place. Now, that's not to say this person will continue to be friends with the person who committed the wrong; it's just that they won't hold the hurt in their heart. There's no revenge plotting going on with this type of person; they just release the other into the wild and bid them adieu. This person will trust another blindly and will oftentimes end up hurt again down the road the same way. It's a vicious cycle.
All three of these types of people make great characters. If you use the first, you can create either a really evil character or one who is very honest. Perhaps they move on to Seeking Revenge, perhaps not. But it's that difference that will make or break the persona you create. When using the second, you're guaranteed to create a lying, backstabbing, vengeful character who grows bitter. Special characters should be reserved for those that you want to be good through and through. This is not to say they can't struggle with the decision. It also doesn't mean they can't start out as type one. Hell, it's a journey, right? Change them in that way.

You're the writer. These are all decisions you make as you write (or before you begin). Remember that in order to have a character who reacts appropriately to a situation, you first must have a deep understanding of every facet of their personality. You may change them along the way, but it needs to be part of the journey.

Question of the day: What's the most common type you've encountered?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Human Nature - The Love Affair

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:
  • The Love Affair
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
You can see today is about Love Affairs and why characters have them. Let's get started, shall we?

As writers, we are students of human nature. If you're a reader as well (and you should be if you're a writer), you've met a lot of people. Yes, many of them were fictional. But I'd be willing to bet you've thought how similar a character's actions are to what someone you know would do. It's because that writer pulled information from life to create the character.

Why do humans have love affairs? There are a multitude of reasons behind them. This gives you a plethora of selections when deciding why your character is going to do it. They aren't always epic reasons. Sometimes, it's as simple as a feeling the person is having in the moment, drugs, or alcohol in copious amounts. Let's go through them:
  1. Feelings of Loneliness - This is probably the most common reason. Even if someone has a multitude of friends and a significant other in their lives, they will have a moment where they will feel lonely. The feeling can cause even the most astute person to lash or act out by seeking someone to fill the void they have.
  2. A Life-changing Event - Another common cause. If a person has a huge event happen in their life that changes the way they think or if the event causes them pain, they may seek out a romantic involvement to ease the blow.
  3. Opportunity - If a person puts themselves in a situation where the opportunity is there, they might take it just because they can. Especially if they're pretty sure no one will know or find out about it.
  4. Fights with a Significant Other - Fights can increase in frequency if the person discovers it leads to solitude in which they can do whatever they wish. They won't have to worry about being bothered by the person they had the fight with while they're seeking out or spending time with someone else.
  5. A Desire to Cause Pain - This may stem from a painful breakup or anger the person is harboring in their heart toward their ex-significant other or current significant other. Chances are, this will happen and the significant other will either be told or will be allowed to find out in some way.
  6. High Sex-Drive - Sex is not synonymous with a love affair. Sometimes, love affairs are simply affairs of the heart. However, someone with a high sex-drive is more likely to step out of their relationship boundaries if that relationship isn't meeting their needs.
  7. Neglect - If the person's significant other isn't showing them enough attention, it may lead to the person seeking out someone who will. This can happen in a variety of ways and commonly ends in a love affair even if that wasn't the initial intention. It's caused by the person finding someone who allows their world to revolve around the person in question. Revolution leads to admiration which leads to a love affair.
  8. Drunk or High - Many times these factors inhibit the normal thought process and lower morals. If you have a person who does this often, they're probably going to screw up at some point and regret it later. These folks sometimes tell what happened, sometimes not.
Now, any character that's going to do these things (if they're a good person), is going to struggle with the initial decision. It's going to cause strife and pain in their life if they choose to move forward. They'll change the way they interacted with people before the love affair began and they may begin to act out in other ways:
  • Excessive Drinking
  • Bouts of Anger
  • Lethargy
  • Feelings of Being Evil
  • Suspicion of their Significant Other
  • Withdrawal
  • Refusal to do Things they Enjoyed Before
  • Drug Use
A decision to engage in these activities should not be made lightly. Your character should go back and forth between yes and no. After, you can make the fallout be unbelievably bad. It's one version of a Monkey Wrench.

Your character should have something worth losing or the whole thing becomes an exercise in futility. But this option opens a lot of doors and gives you a chance to rebuild that character as a better individual as the story continues. They can now fully grasp the implications of deviant behavior and swear never to do it again, go through rehab, or connect with another character who helps them re-build their lives. It also gives you the ability to re-build the character's significant other if they stay together.

Question of the day: Can you think of another reason your character might have a love affair?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Release Party Dark Expectations

Happy Release day to Janiera Eldrige and help her celebrate the release of  Dark Expectations!
Synopsis:
 With Ani taking her place as queen, there are some enemies lurking she
could never imagine! There's a secret compound in California that wants
to know the secrets to making a vampire or werewolf. When they kidnap
Ani during a trip back to California they might actually get what they
want. Her sister Dana, her lover Diego and other vampires do everything
they can to get her back. If they don't succeed,they face being
controlled completely by the human race forever! Dark Expectations is
the exciting sequel to Soul Sisters that's full of adventure, danger and
what it means to be queen!

Grab your copy on Amazon.com
then
stop by the release party to celebrate the release by playing some games and winning some awesome prizes  from authors
  • Cambria Herbert
  • Jo michaels
  • Alyssa Rose Ivy
  • Yours truly
  • .....and more!
Just click the button below to join in on the fun!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo