Epic Fantasy Author Richard H. Stephens

Happy Wednesday everyone. We are half way through our week already. Things need to slow down, it seems like everyday is flying by. For those of you having a sucky week I’m sorry. Please enjoy this Author Spotlight and hope it helps brighten your day or week.


Richard H. Stephens

AUTHORPICRichard began writing circa 1974, a bored child looking for something to do. ​As his reading horizons broadened, so did his writing.
A trip to a local bookstore saw the proprietor introduce him to Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson. His writing life was forever changed.
He worked in a warehouse for 22 years, supporting his family, before re-attending school to complete his education. Graduating with honours, he joined the local Police Service.
In 2017, he resigned from the Police Service to pursue writing full-time. With the support of his family, he has finally realized his boyhood dream.

Six Fun Facts about Richard:

  1. I started writing when I was 9 years old, a bored child looking for something to do one summer vacation. I looked at a Hardy Boys’ novel sitting beside me and thought, I could write one of those, and so, I did. In 1977, Star Wars hit the big screen, fueling a 600-page novel that saw ms and all my friends saving the galaxy. Shortly afterward, a local bookstore proprietor introduced me to The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I instantly became a fantasy lover.
  2. The Soul Forge Saga took 36 years from inception to publication. Right from the very beginning, I always knew how the series would end…right up until, halfway through writing book 3 at the end of 2018, one of the main characters did something completely unplanned. The ending went out the window, but all was not lost. As a new ending surfaced, my next series, The Legends of the Lurker, was born.
  3. Ironically, the very next day, while waiting to leave the house to attend something, (I have no idea what anymore), I decided to browse through my Facebook feed and by the purest of accidents, I came across a pre-made cover by K.M. Jenkins—a person I’d never herard of before that moment. As soon as I saw the cover, I had to have it. It was the exact image of what I had envisioned just the day before. It was as if fate had intervened. Needless to say, I was late arriving at wherever it was I was supposed to be. I refused to leave the house until I had secured the rights to the cover. Reecah’s Flight was born.
  4. People always comment on my amazing covers, both custom and pre-made, and that is entirely to the credit of the those who make them. K. M. Jenkins and Marco Pennacchietti, your covers inspire me. This leads me to a peculiar thing that happened when the cover for Soul Forge was created. The cover depicts an archer and an old man with a white beard at the base of a waterfall. Soul Forge’s first draft came in at 178,000 words, and in all those words, never once did I portray the old man as a wizard, and yet, my artist decided to give him a staff. At first, I was like, “Um, Marco, we need to lose the staff,” but his vision grew on me. A vision that ultimately led to a drastic transformation of the series.
  5. Over the years, I’ve had two careers and five children. My love for writing always took a back seat, as my children and the jobs were my first priority. I recently retired from a very stressful position in law enforcement, and with the support of my wife, have finally been able to realize my boyhood dream of being an author.
  6. I dearly love all of my fans and hope to someday meet each and every one of them—if not in person, then perhaps in the skies on the back of a dragon.

Connect with the Author

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The Books

SOUL FORGEAn epic tale of loyalty and betrayal, fantastical creatures, breathtaking vistas and one man’s need to rescue his darkened soul. Accompanied by a band of eclectic characters, Silurian Mintaka embarks upon a journey fraught with demons, both physical and psychological, seeking revenge on the one responsible for murdering his family. Those closest to him fear his decisions will end up killing them all as the fate of the kingdom hangs in the balance.

Purchase Today for $2.99 or get it FREE on KU!

REECAHS FLIGHTAn epic fantasy, dragon series.

A young girl dreams of flying. Encouraged by her grandfather to follow her heart, Reecah grows up to form a forbidden relationship with a baby dragon.

Secretly opposing the mandate of her people, Reecah tests the boundaries of unconditional love as she and her enchanting accomplice battle the discriminating laws governing the land.

Together they confront the king’s men in a desperate attempt to save the dragons from extinction.

Purchase Today for $3.99 or get it FREE on KU!

REECAHS GIFTThe epic sequel to Reecah’s Flight

​Braving the perils of a cutthroat city, Reecah discovers that as bad as life may have seemed, nothing prepared her for what the future has in store.

​Surviving hardships no one should ever have to endure, she finds herself face-to-face with those seeking her demise.

Without the intervention of an eclectic warrior, and the assistance of her dragon friends, Reecah might never realize the gift so many have died to protect.

Purchase Today for $3.99 or get it FREE on KU!

Wednesday Writing Tips: Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding

By: Daniel Arenson

Fantasy and science fiction are about other worlds. Sometimes worlds in the distant past, full of wizards and dragons. Sometimes worlds similar to our own but touched with magic. Sometimes other planets or our own planet in the future. One of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of writing speculative fiction is building your world. How can you invent a world that is unique, exciting, and feels real?

THE PREMISE

Does your world have a high premise, a unique selling point? A Song of Ice and Fire is about a world where seasons can last for years. Dune is about a desert planet. The Chronicles of Amber is about one true world casting infinite “shadows,” including Earth.

You can create an imaginary world simply by inventing new locations–a forest here, a mountain there. But a unique “theme” to your world will help it stand out.

My series Moth is about a planet that doesn’t spin around its axis, leaving one half in perpetual sunlight, the other in eternal night. Each side developed its own cultures, and day and night clash throughout the series. I could have created a simple world where two kingdoms battled, but actually dividing the world between day and night made Moth more memorable.

What makes your world unique?

THE MAP

Fantasy novelists often draw maps for their worlds. This process can help you learn more about your world. As you draw coastlines, mountains, swamps, forests, ruins, and settlements, you can let your imagination run and invent new locations and cultures as you go.

When I created the map for Moth, I used software called Campaign Cartographer. But a map can be as simple as something you draw with pen and paper.

Take a look at my map for Moth here. As you can see, I divided my world into two halves–one half in eternal sunlight, the other in endless night–fitting the theme of my world. I then added geographical features (mountains, forests, rivers) along with cities, roads, ports, and borders. As I was drawing the map, I was also inventing new cultures. Who would live in the desert? What would my islands’ civilizations look like? Drawing the map helped me invent not just the geography but also the people living here.

THE CULTURES

Fantasy and science fiction worlds often feature different cultures. Each of your fictional civilizations should be unique. What weapons do they use? Longswords, scimitars, katanas, ray-guns? What armor and clothing do they wear? What gods do they worship? What are their naming conventions? What is their history? What is their cuisine? The list of questions goes on.

When creating my fictional cultures, I often “borrow” bits and pieces from real Earth cultures. In Moth, the people of Ilar wield katanas, wear samurai armor, and build pagodas, all borrowed from Japan. Meanwhile, the people of Orida sail longships and live in mead halls, giving them a Nordic feel. The ruins of Til Natay, deep in a jungle, are inspired by the ruins of Ta Prohm in Cambodia.

While my fictional kingdoms aren’t copies of any real civilizations, they do include elements from cultures in our own world–weapons, ship designs, architecture, and so on. For your own worlds, you can seek inspiration from Earth or simply create your nations whole cloth.

You can also let your civilization’s environment influence its culture. On the dark side of Moth, there is no flora. That affects the cuisine of the people living there. I show them eating a variety of mushrooms, salted bat wings, deep water fish, and other foods that don’t require sunlight. Fire is precious on Moth’s dark side, with public fireplaces being elaborate and holy places of congregation. My “night folk” even wear the luminous lures of angler fish as jewelry, trapping the light in glass beads. Different environments–desert, mountain, sky, planets with vastly different geographical features than Earth–will similarly affect your world’s cultures.

Many fantasy novelists simply create copies of medieval England. For your world, you have a chance to create more varied cultures, seeking inspiration in all of Earth’s continents and your own imagination.

Continue reading…

New Release~Corrupted Enchantment: When Fairy Tales Collide

It’s Tuesday and it feels like Friday. It is just one of those weeks. Today I am featuring C. Penticoff’s New Release: Corrupted Enchantment in a special Book Spotlight. Check it out below.

Corrupted Enchantment:
When Fairy Tales CollideScreen Shot 2019-09-29 at 3.56.51 PM

Fans of Once Upon A Time will be obsessed with this series!

WHEN FAIRY TALES COLLIDE
Welcome to Enchantia, where all your favorite fairy tale characters live happily ever after… That is, until a dark spell takes over the land. 

Robin Hood: Everyone at school seemed to be scared of me. What? Had they never met someone who’d been in jail before? Whatever. I liked it that way. I didn’t need friends. I just needed to be left alone so I could get back to what I was supposed to be doing… Stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Something was getting in the way of my usual goal though. There seemed to be a spell looming about, and I knew exactly who was responsible for it– Presidential candidate, Rumpelstiltskin. 
There was also the Peter Pan problem. Now that I was back, I could tell he wanted to approach me, but there was nothing he could have done to make me forgive him. He could bat his pretty little eyes all he wanted. The ultimate betrayal wasn’t something I took lightly.

Rumpelstiltskin: I didn’t care what the three fates said about that filthy little brat, Robin Hood, being my undoing. I would spill her blood to change that destiny. Now that I had the power of the Presidency in my palms, I wouldn’t let anything stop me from achieving what I set out to do.

Purchase Today for $0.99!


C. Penticoff

Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 3.58.10 PMC. Penticoff has always considered herself a dreamer in a world with a million opportunities.

She recalls her dream of being an author starting at the ripe age of nine years old, when a published author visited her school and empowered her to reach for the stars. It was then she realized her ability to write a great story could be something that made her shine in a world full of bright lights.

C. Penticoff began writing her first full length novel when she was 12 years old, and finally published the new and improved story September of 2017.

C. Penticoff lives in the Pacific Northwest with her two sons and husband. They are in the process of building a tiny home for their family.

Connect with C. Penticoff!

Website | Newsletter | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon

Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 3.57.58 PM

Author Spotlight with Cam Johns

It’s the start of another week. Can’t believe it is another Monday already. Thought I would start the week out on a good food by featuring an Author Spotlight. Today I will be showcasing Cam Johns books and some fun facts about herself. Read below to check it out.


Cam Johns

unnamed (3)Cam Johns began her career as a published author in 2016 with the release of Arousing Consequences, the first book of her trilogy, The Arousing Series. However, actually publishing wasn’t part of her plan. After her husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she found that writing became a great way to relieve the tension, and mounted pressures that come with watching someone she loves suffer from such a harsh diagnosis. It was her husband that pushed her to share her voice, regardless of how erotic that voice would become.
Live. Love. Laugh.  A well-known mantra that has become her way of living. Live, by accepting the things you cannot change. Love, the ones closest to you as if there’s no tomorrow. Laugh, each day because sadness will get you no where!
Six Fun Facts About Cam!
1) Love Reality TV my favorites are all on VH1 lol
2) My favorite movie is Dirty Dancing
3) If I’m upset with you, buy me chocolate and I swear I’ll act like nothing ever happened lol
4) I’m an introvert and shy if i don’t know you
5) I hate wearing jeans they’re the enemy
6) i have no children but am a proud fur-mommy

Connect with Cam!

Website | FB | Street Team | Twitter | Instagram


The Books

unnamedArousing Consequences

Book One introduces Karisma Washington who has just graduated college and looking forward to moving on with her life, following the untimely murder of her father Blair Washington. If it weren’t for the constant support of her boyfriend, Kevin Matthews, there’s no telling how deep her depression would have taken her. Support she thought she couldn’t live without, which, in turn, carried their relationship regardless of the discontent building between them.
Here it is, a few years later, and she’s now ready to start her career at the top Rehabilitation Center of Seattle. The place where characters come into play compelling rousing desires, carnal elation and amorous internal struggles. Karisma is finally impelled to realize her life is worth more than Mr. Right Now. But is her new crush really better for her? Lies told, truths withheld, and awakening sexual thoughts arise…where all choices are forced to face consequences.

Download for FREE!

unnamed (2)Arousing Secrets

Finding my way back into her arms.

There comes a time in a man’s life when you have to face the past, to build the future. I tried avoiding it at all costs. Tried masking it. Tried pushing it back to that far side of your brain where my secrets hide. Then, everything changed when I met her. The woman of my dreams. My future. My soul. Karsima. Our life together thus far hasn’t been blissful and let’s face it, she’s been stalked…shot…and above all, deceived. By everyone, including myself.

Seeing her leave, carrying my child only intensifies my desire to keep her in my life and there’s only one way to do that. My secrets have to be revealed. As our saga continues, I can only pray that our love will withstand what was done in the dark.

Purchase Today for $6.99!

unnamed (1)Arousing Inferno

Taking back control.

I’m sick of this! It’s been a year of secrets that have revealed themselves at the cost of my life. Who knew that meeting the man of my dreams…my future…the other half of my soul would uncover such turmoil. Turmoil that may be beyond our control, but our future can’t survive until the secrets of the past are diminished…or killed.

That secret being Thomas Malcolm.

That lowlife snake who has tried to destroy my father, Jackson, and me…my family. I’ve even had to kill someone because of him! I’m done with this. Done with letting Malcolm run our lives. Done living in fear. Done waiting for his next formidable move. It’s my turn. And I’m nobody’s pawn! It’s time to end him…end this…Inferno.

Purchase Today for $6.99!

Author Interview with Gracie Wilson

Welcome to another wonderful Sunday. What does your day look like right now? Right now in Sioux City, IA we have been fighting off the rain all week. It will be a happy day if the sun decides to come out to play for awhile. I believe we had only a few hours of sun all week. But, enough about bad weather lets get down to the fun stuff. Today I am sitting down with Gracie Wilson. She is an awesome author and I am featuring her in her very own interview. Read on to check this chick out.

Author Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Gracie Wilson. I come from a small town in Southern Ontario. Yes, that’s right. I’m Canadian. ❤️

What genre do you write in? Why?
I write across all genres. I started off in YA and now have dark books that can and have known to be banned from Amazon. Haha!

If you could change one thing about your life what would it be and why?
I’d want to move to the middle of nowhere and have my own little animal sanctuary away from the crazies of the world.

Tell us about your latest release?
Breaking the Cages is a charity box set where all royalties go towards the animals at the Sarnia Humane Society.

What is your writing process like?
I’m what some call a binge writer. So I won’t write for months then finish two books in two weeks and repeat. I can’t write in silence either.

What is the weirdest thing you ever put into your books?
One of my MC bestfriends gets a crab in her eye! HA!

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as a writer?
The sky’s the limit!

What is the one thing you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for sticking by me and all the support. I’d not be where I am today had I not had the support of so many.

Are you Indie Published or Traditional? Why did you choose this route?
Hybrid. I started off with a publisher and then went Indie.

What should we expect from you in the coming months?
DARK things are coming.


About the Author

61WYEzBr7dL._US230_Look for her in the trees enjoying nature’s wonders, traveling to see the latest animal conservations, or at aquariums all around the world. This girl loves nature and all animals. She has many pets and is always adding new additions. The more the merrier in her mind. Sitting under the shade reading a book, letting the world around her pass by, while she is safe in her bubble of imagination. Well, that is where she’d love to stay. She is a softball player, can be talked into the occasional Karaoke and loves going out to dance. She is a first generation Canadian living in Ontario. Her family is from Scotland, so finding her in the hot sun for very long is unlikely, but give her rain and thunderstorms and she’s golden.

For a chance at a FREE copy of The Lonely Girl! 

Stalk me!

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Operations Homes for the Holidays


The Book

51DfzAogPKLSeven authors have banded together to raise money for The Sarnia Humane Society.

Each romantic story will have you begging for more and we don’t disappoint. This collection isn’t a small one.

The Sarnia Humane Society provide shelter for abandoned and abused animals; giving them the care and love they desperately need.

All royalties made will be donated to this charity to help provide for the animals’ care and helping them towards finding their forever home.

So go ahead, pick it up, you might just find your next book boyfriend inside.

Purchase Today for $3.99!

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Kobo | Nook | Apple | Other

Stress and Writing

Wow it is hard to believe it’s another month already. Let alone the fact that it is my birthday month. Yeah this girl is an October baby. My birthday actually falls on Oct. 20th, just a 11 miss of Halloween. Did I mention that Halloween is my favorite holiday of all time.

You will have to forgive me on my typos and grammar issues this time around. I am at my job writing this post without the aide of my trust prowritersaide software. This last month has had a long of changes for this girl. If you haven’t figure it out then let me spell it out. Yeah, this stay-at-home mom got a job. It is just part-time for now, not sure when I will get up the nerve to go full time. If things work out though I am hoping to work a day job part-time and make the rest of my money I need from writing itself.

You’re probably tired of me drowning on about everyday stuff. So, lets get down to my writing. It has been dwindling down to nothing lately. I accomplished getting “A Forbidden Friendship” out this last month and got 1k written in the next story. But with everything going on I haven’t found time to write as much as I would like too. I’m hoping to get the final story of my Tales of Ferres series down before the end of the month. It is just up in the air for now with my schedule and the kids being ornerier than hell.

Just recently I signed up for an anthology for Historical Fantasy. I was thinking of doing a story around Pearl Harbor and Supernatural beings. I don’t know what the story is going to be about yet but I have till February to get it written. It isn’t that back since it is only suppose to be a 10k story. So, wish me luck.

Do you like my ramblings when I do my monthly update or are there specific things you would like me to address? Let me know in the comments below.

Interview with Rena Marin

Welcome to another hump day everyone. Today I am sitting down with multi-genre author Rena Marin. Please sit back and relax and enjoy the read.

Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from a little town in Tennessee. I suppose you could call me a typical country girl. I love the mountains, warm summer days, and of course, spending time with my family. I’m married to a great guy and we have two kids together. I’m a huge fan of movies and TV. I’m also a huge horror buff. Whether it’s shows, movies, or books if it’s scary I’m interested lol.

What genre do you write in? Why?
I’ve tried my hand at several genres. Most of the time I like to call myself a multi-genre writer. Lately, however, I have been bouncing back and forth between horror, fantasy, and rom-com.

If you could change one thing about your life what would it be and why?
My job. It’s great for paying the bills and all that but it takes a lot of time away from the family and writing. I would prefer a normal 9 to 5 gig, but living in a small town like this doesn’t offer a lot of options for that.

Tell us about your latest release?
My latest release is set for October 2, 2019. It is called The Hunter’s Guild of Dark Hollow Ridge. This book is the sequel to my The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge which was released in October of 2018. In this follow up, my witches learn a lot more about the new world they find themselves part of and have quite a few big decisions to make in the process.

Tell us about your main character in your book. What makes them unique?
Sadie Love James is your typical 18 year old girl. She finds herself in a situation where she’s lost all the adults she depended on is left with the responsibility of taking care of those around her. It scares her, but she’s not one for giving up easily. When it comes to being a witch though, Sadie loves it. She wishes she’d been told all the dark secrets her coven has been hiding but now she’s to the point where nothing surprises her. She is ready to stand on her own if need be but luckily for her, she still has a few allies around to help her out.

What is your writing process like?
I’m an early morning writer. I like to wake up before daybreak, grab some coffee, and get some words down before I start my day.

How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?
Each one is different, but I can definitely pinpoint where my Dark Hollow Ridge saga came from. It was a dream. I dreamed my 14 year old daughter and her friends were a coven of witches. When I woke up that morning, I jotted down what I remembered and the rest came from there.

Who are your top three favorite authors?
Stephen King, Erin Lee, and Joe Hill

What are you reading right now?
The Diary of a Serial Killer series by Erin Lee. I love it!

What should we expect from you in the coming months?
In October alone I have three releases. The Hunter’s Guild of Dark Hollow Ridge is on the 2nd. Devoured, a horror novella releases on the 15th. On the 30th, Erin Lee and I have a quirky, monster satire releasing called Coming Out Monster. Then in November, the same thing. I have two more horror titles releasing that month along with a couple of anthologies, so busy busy lol.


About the Author

71rcx-zJfbL._US230_Wicked Words with a Southern Twist
Rena Marin was born in a small town in East Tennessee where she, her husband Daniel, and two children–Cody and Amber–still reside today.
Growing up, reading and writing her own stories was Rena’s favorite pastime. Her once-unreachable dream of becoming a published writer came true when she was in high school and found herself with many writing awards and accolades, including a short story in Reader’s Digest.
After starting her own business, Rena continued writing shorts online before moving on to freelance work. Taking a chance, she and a friend submitted a novel to their first publishing company and were delighted to be accepted.
As a member of Crazy Ink Publishing, Rena now has several co-written series underway, including the Best Selling Dead Oak Terrors Series. Halloween Nightmare, the first book in that series, recently won the Reality Bites Best Horror Book of 2018. Rena also has her own solo series called The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge. She looks forward to bringing readers with her into a world of magic and adventure.
Keeping close to her short story roots, Rena is part of several anthologies with many more in the works.
A lover of all forms of entertainment, Rena enjoys horror and fantasy movies new and old. When she isn’t writing or working, she often finds herself cuddled on the couch with her family–including their five fur babies–and lost in a fantasy world or hoping to be scared.

Connect with the Author

Website | Newsletter | FB | Street Team | Twitter | Instagram | MeWe | Pinterest
Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub


The Book

51SSzjDgEHL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_On the run from the strongest witch alive, Sadie has tightened the reigns on her coven and declared Love Manor their refuge. But that is only the beginning. Soon, Sadie joins the hunters, and their young leader Ryder on a mission to face creatures she thought only existed in nightmares. Can Sadie and her new allies stop the vampires before they take over Dark Hollow Ridge, or will the powerful Ebony succeed in bending them all to her will?

Purchase Today!

Ebook $2.99     Print Copy $12.00

Wednesday Writing Tips: How to Write Dialogue

How to Write Dialogue: 10 Simple Rules (Plus 5 Mistakes to Avoid!)

By: Reedsy

No matter what your genre, learning how to write dialogue effectively is a vital part of any writer’s education. Poor dialogue can make readers put your book down in disgust — but great dialogue can transform your characters into truly believable people, and your readers into satisfied customers.

Of course, the best kind of dialogue isn’t just believable. It also provides exposition, involves distinct language depending on who’s speaking, and — perhaps most crucially — moves the story along. Without dialogue, you’d just have pages and pages of description with barely any character dynamics or interpersonal drama. How boring would that be?

Because dialogue is one of the essential components of strong writing, we want to help you get it exactly right. To that end, we’ve put together this list of rules, examples, and more that will have you writing sparkling conversation in no time! We’ll also cover how to format and punctuate dialogue, for those who aren’t sure exactly what goes where.

If you’re especially curious about formatting, go ahead and skip to #10 using the table of contents on the left — otherwise, let’s jump right in with dialogue rule #1.

1. Enter the conversation late

Alfred Hitchcock once said that “drama is life with all the boring bits cut out.” Comparably, we could say that good dialogue is like a real conversation without all the fluff. And one of the best ways to cut out that boring fluff is to enter the conversation as late as possible.

Think about it: few “classic” scenes start with characters going, “Hey buddy! How are you doing? Wow, long time no see.” This is because people enjoy making inferences based on details in action and speech — and the last thing you want to do is insult their intelligence by spelling everything out for them.

For a more tangible taste of this technique, here’s screenwriter Aaron Sorkin talking about the first scene of his Oscar-winning screenplay for The Social Network:

“We started at 100 miles an hour in the middle of a conversation, and that makes the audience have to run to catch up. The worst crime you can commit with an audience is telling them something they already know. We were always running ahead.”

Sorkin’s ability to give the audience just the right amount of detail is a huge strength, and something all writers should strive for. So don’t slow down to accommodate your readers — make them catch up to you.

how to write a book

The dialogue in The Social Network is famous for its sharp edges and quick pace. (Image: Sony Pictures)

2. Keep dialogue tags simple

Dialogue tags are the phrases in your writing that indicate who’s saying what. For example: “I can’t wait to read this article,” Rita said. In this case, “Rita said” is the dialogue tag. It identifies the speaker and clarifies the action.

Of course, there are plenty of other dialogue tags besides “said”: stated, declared, proclaimed, the list goes on and on. But when writing dialogue, you generally want to keep these elaborate tags to a minimum.

As American novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard put it:

“Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But ‘said’ is far less intrusive than ‘grumbled,’ ‘gasped,’ ‘cautioned,’ ‘lied.’”

The key word that Leonard uses here is “intrusive.” You want to bring readers into your scene and make them feel like firsthand observers, without drawing attention to the fact that they’re actually not. When you raid your thesaurus for fancy dialogue tags, you risk taking readers out of the scene for a brief display of your verbal virtuosity.

In that vein, keep your tags simple — use “said” where you need to, and other dialogue tags even more sparingly. Luckily, much of the time you don’t even need a tag to show who’s speaking; either readers will already know, or you can imply it another way. Speaking of which…

Continue reading…

Empowered is Now Available for Pre-Order!

EMPOWERED

A mysterious book holds the secrets of the zmey, the creature that marked Kara with magic. Kara’s growing magic sparks her curiosity to seek answers, yet she finds none until she’s handed a parchment with a map and a name. Her search sends her on a disconcerting journey into an unknown place and a world that holds enemies of Asgard, but the pull of the magic cannot be denied.

Kara has finally earned the right to answer the call of Midgard. Even without a healthy welcome from Mistress Sigrun, she is determined to participate in reaping souls for Valhalla. With Elan by her side, she meets with Harut, the angel of death, and puts her soul reaping to the test.

Pre-Order Today!

FREE on KU or $2.99!


KATRINA COPE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKatrina is an author of several Young Adult and Preteen/Middle Grade novels. Each of her released books reaching the top 100 in certain categories on the Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank – a few even as high as number one.

She resides in Queensland Australia. Her three teen/preteen boys and husband of over fifteen years treat her like a princess. Unfortunately though, this princess still has to do domestic chores.

From birth, she has been a very creative person and has spent many years travelling the world and observing many different personalities and cultures. Her favourite personalities have been the strange ones, yet the ones under the radar also hold a place in her heart.

During her last extensive travels, she spent 16 nights in a bomb shelter on a Kibbutz 8 kilometers off the Lebanese border. It was to avoid Katyusha bombs that the resident volunteers decided to name her after (she is still trying to work out why).

Connect with Katrina

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub

Author Interview: J.L. Leslie

Welcome to a new month. It’s my birthday month and I’m super excited for October to be here. To help celebrate this awesome month I am sitting down today with MC & Contemporary Romance author J.L. Leslie. We are going to talk about herself of course and her latest book. Stop by and check it out. Happy reading :).

The Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

There’s not much to tell LOL! I am a country girl, born and raised in Alabama. I’ve always loved reading and have always had a wild imagination. I love music, television, and movies just as much as I love books! I’m not super outdoorsy, but I’ve been known to catch a fish or two! I can also be found cheering my kids on at their sports events and rooting “War Eagle” during football season!

What genre do you write in? Why?

I write romance and the reason for that is I was drawn in by a romance book when I was a freshman in high school. In middle school, I decided I wanted to be a writer, but romance was definitely not the genre I envisioned myself writing. I actually thought I would be writing horror! But as I grew older, my taste in books began to change and I was hooked on the way a love story unfolds.

What inspired you to become an author?

I would always write short stories and draw pictures when I was a kid, letting my imagination go crazy. I told myself when I grew up, I was going to be the female Stephen King and write these amazing horror stories. As I said, my taste in genre changed and as a teenager, I was more into reading books than writing them. In my early twenties, I sat down and wrote a historical romance novel, which has not been and will not be released. This was prior to self-publishing. I shopped around for publishers, but as a newlywed with really no financial budget for writing, I realized paying a publisher to simply read my work was something I couldn’t afford to do. I tabled the book and my writing for a while. Fast forward several years, after getting divorced and re-married, I was a new woman with a new outlook on life, and decided I wanted to give writing another shot, especially since self-publishing was now an option. In 2015, I sat down and wrote my debut novel, Demons From My Past, and with the support of my family, I haven’t looked back.

Tell us about your latest release?

My latest release is Something Honorable (Dirty Southern Secrets Series: Book Two) and I have truly enjoyed writing a series based in my home state of Alabama! I have one more book to go in this series, but this series features the Holt brothers, each with their own love story. I have never been one to shy away from sensitive subjects and this series definitely hits on topics that aren’t normally found in books. I want my readers to read something they can relate to or might have experienced and understand that others have gone through the same.

Tell us about your main character in your book. What makes them unique?

The main characters in Something Honorable are Tauren Holt and Helene Jacobs. Tauren is a construction worker during the week and drives a race car on the weekends. Helene is the goodie-two-shoes daughter of the pastor and local chief of police – yes, they are one in the same! What makes these characters unique is that they make mistakes, huge ones, but they also learn how to deal with the consequences of their decisions and how to fight for what they want. This isn’t a sweet, everything goes perfect, love story, because life and love isn’t like that. There are obstacles to overcome and sometimes we are the ones who create those obstacles.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as a writer?

This is a tricky question for me honestly! Although I set personal goals for myself, I don’t set goals as to say “Okay, in 5 years you’re going to be a NYT or USA Today bestselling author!” My plan in 5 years is to still be writing what makes me happy. If I’m not writing what makes me happy, what’s the point?

How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?

I get my inspiration from everything! Music, television, movies, and personal experiences all play a role in my books. There have been a lot of times I can hear a song on the radio and a story will unfold immediately! I’ve also seen a photo online or a scene in a movie and I’m hit with inspiration to go write! It just happens out of the blue and sometimes I’m a plotter, meaning I plot out the entire book before writing, but the majority of the time I let the story come to me during the process of writing it.

Who is your biggest support system in your life?

When I originally decided to sit down and start writing again in 2015, my mom was my biggest support system. She told me to go for it and I did. Of course, my husband supported me as well, but he doesn’t read romance books LOL! My mom read my first two books and was reading my third when she passed away. I still have the support of my husband and family, but my mom was definitely my biggest supporter and I dedicate all of my written words to her!

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading an ARC of Hidden Pain by Anna Edwards, which I’m loving so far! This book is part of the Glacial Blood Series and is PNR, so if you’re a fan, pick it up!

What should we expect from you in the coming months?

I am always working on something and my current WIP is the follow up to The Sinner Within (L.A. Sinners MC Series: Book One). I love writing difference romance sub-genres and after writing the Ravens MC Series, discovered that I enjoy the gritty side of MC romance! The Sinner Unleashed (L.A. Sinners MC Series: Book Two), is Warren and Mackenzie’s story and I am furiously writing on it, so I hope to release it very soon! I will also be releasing Something Reckless (Dirty Southern Secrets Series: Book Three) this year and plan to release the fourth and final installment in the Hearts of Hollis Series with my co-author, Nicole Dykes. I’m certain these will not be my only projects though so be sure to check in and see what I have in store!


The Author

eventpicI am a happily married mother of three (two boys and one girl). I live in a very small town in Alabama. Never lived anywhere else. I’ve been writing since my early twenties, but I couldn’t seem to finish a book. I’ve started self-publishing with the encouragement from my mom. Without her encouragement, I don’t think I would’ve done it. She always supported me and writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.

Connect with the Author

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The Book

Something Honorable Full WrapShe’s the perfect incarnate of an angel. Pure. Innocent. The only reason I come to church on Sunday mornings. The only woman I treat differently than the others. The only woman I unintentionally make promises to.

Promises I do intend to keep.

I’m practically sin walking. Immoral. Dishonorable. The very reason she should be in church on Sunday mornings. The only man she has ever allowed to touch her. The only man who makes her turn her back on everything she believes in. The only man who has the capability to destroy her.

And does.

Promises aren’t always kept. Life can unravel at the seams. The decisions we make when our world is falling apart can either be cowardly or something honorable.

**Something Honorable is Tauren and Helene’s story and is book two in the Dirty Southern Secrets Series. It is a standalone full-length novel. It contains adult content, adult language, and sexual content. It is intended for mature readers only.**

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