Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dialogue Dos and Don'ts

First off, thanks for all the great compliments on my book cover. FYI I haven't found publication yet, I just wanted a little inspiration and Ms. Fena Lee offers her services free of charge. ;) You like how I stressed the word yet?? I think for those of us still seeking representation, being positive is essential. So please join me in leaving any negative thoughts behind with 2010.

Back to dialogue.... I believe this is something that improves with writing over the course of time. We don't notice the stilted dialogue in our first drafts because the words convey the message we want. It's only after learning to hone our craft that we can go back and isolate the dialogue, reading it aloud, and picking out unnecessary words and beats to give it a more natural, realistic flow.

One thing I've gotten better about picking out is exposition in dialogue. I was watching a movie the other day and  the delivery of exposition between two of the characters was so obvious my skin crawled. Two years ago I never would've noticed it. I think that's how most stories are--to the untrained eye ( or ear) it's unnoticable and doesn't intrude on the story. But to agents and editors with a fine tuned eye, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Don't worry, I'm not in any way comparing myself to an expert, but I'm becoming better at my craft with each story--which is five in total now. Check out My Projects link to the right to peruse my story blurbs.

Here are some tips on dialogue:

1.  Make sure words and behavior are meaningful. In real life we have meaningless exchanges all the time. But in books, every spoken exchange must advance either the story or our sense of character. Don't write little physical details just for the sake of writing it.

Ex.)    "I really like you," she said, while cutting an orange in half.
(What does an orange have to do with this confession??)

Ex.)    "I really like you," she said, scuffing her feet.
(The scuffing denotes nervousness without having to tell the reader she's nervous.)

The second example is much more effective. Not only does it show the action, it relates to the speaker's words and behavior.

2. Think of real life situations where you'd notice someone's physical behaviors, and those you wouldn't.

Ex.) At a party, two best friends are screaming at each other because one hooked up with the other's crush. You wouldn't care if a lock of hair fell over the right eye or fingernail polish was chipped. You wouldn't care about anything except the exchange of words.

Writing should reflect the intensity of the moment--people (or characters in this case) lose perspective and sense of detail when angry or terrified or overwhelmed.

3. It's much easier to cut physicality down than add to it later. Focusing on the physical forces the writer to vividly imagine the moment--to slow down and understand what characters are thinking, feeling, and/or doing. You must understand them better in order to evoke them for the reader.

4. In many cases you can cut any kind of explanations you've included with dialogue. If you mention an emotion outside of the actual dialogue, chances are you're telling instead of showing. Go back and convey that emotion inside the dialogue only. Of course, by this time we should all know when we use an adverb to modify the spoken action, we are taking away from the dialogue. (no -ly words after the tag... she said forcefully.)

5. Are your dialogue tags varying too much? Using anything other than said, pulls attention away from the actual dialogue. The occasional replied or answered or asked is acceptable, just watch you don't use them too frequently.

6. Read your dialogue aloud!! This is so important. It's so hard to get the true feel of the dialogue without acting it out verbally. I like to pretend I'm reading for an audience and really get into character. I find so many places to trim and/or add contractions. I've found in almost every type of dialogue (unless it's a period piece with proper English) using contractions will smooth out that dialogue and make it more believable. Same holds true for using sentence fragments. People just don't speak in full sentences. Your characters shouldn't either.

7. A good rule of thumb to follow: if you're tempted to change the dialogue, do it. That little voice inside your head is trying to tell you something.

8. Stilted dialogue. Argh! I've been guilty of it on numerous occasions.

Ex.) "But what about the map we found?" I said.  "It says the treasure is buried in the furthest most point, west of the mountain ridges."
      "Good idea," Bart said. "I'll get the men together and we'll follow your lead. I just hope we're able to avoid the Pit of Despair near the Death Mountain Ridges. Men have been lost forever trying to pass over."

Oh my, so stilted. I tried really hard to give you information in the dialogue. The result is an artificial feel that makes it super obvious what I'm trying to do. I'm not letting the characters be natural--I'm forcing them to give information, or exposition, so you'll understand the story. In most cases, the reader is intelligent enough to pick up the pieces and put them together.

9. Unfinished sentences, outright lies, deception. Never underestimate the power. When these techniques are used in dialogue there's a very believable effect. Think of real life exchanges. How many times are we interrupted in mid sentence? Or tell little white lies to avoid real conversation? Sometimes we just outright deceive each other. Maybe we're having a bad day and we pretend we're happy as ever. These little nuances happen all the time. Your characters' dialogue should reflect that.

Thanks to Lauren Oliver Books and Self- Editing for Fiction Writers for these very important points.

So what's in your little dialogue bag of tricks? Any pointers or techniques you'd like to share? I'm all ears ...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just Wanna Show This Off ....

Presenting my book cover for my WIP:

Isn't it cool? It was done by Fena Lee. Feel free to check out her blog here. She's fantastic and super nice.

She may be able to help you with your own eBook covers.

On a completely different subject, I saw Tron Legacy yesterday. It had fantastic special effects and a stellar eighties style soundtrack/score. The concept is awesome, but I had a little trouble suspending disbelief. I couldn't quite grasp the idea of The Grid--not that I didn't understand it--but that I found it too hard to buy into. Aside from that, it's a fantastic 2.5 hours of entertainment.

Well, I feel like I've been so distant. Sorry for that. Work has been a bear with all the cancelled flights from weather problems in the UK and US over past week. Plus, with the holidays I just haven't had the usual blog time I like in order to peruse your blogs and update mine. Hopefully, that will be changing once kids are back in school.

If you've stopped by, thank you so much! Hope the remainder of your year is extraordinary. How are your WIPs coming along? Had any chance to work on them? I know I haven't. :(

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas To All .....


          Peace and love to all my lovely bleeps! May your
                   family be blessed with all good things.
                                   Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Weekly Spotlight .... Could Be You!

Last spotlight of the year here. For any new followers, Wednesdays are the day I shine the spotlight on a blog I follow and tell you why.

Today, the blogging Oscar goes to ....


Lydia Sharp   of  The Sharp Angle

Now most of you probably follow Lydia already. If not, consider this a golden opportunity to hop over. Do yourself a favor and read all of her posts. If you're a writer like me, Lydia's posts are invaluable if you're hoping to improve your craft. I usually take notes when I read hers. Seriously.

Lydia also started a forum for Writing Mothers on Writer's Digest Community--a free forum where writing moms can connect with other writing moms and share the challenges and joys.

Alright, I won't keep you any longer so you can get right over to Lydia's blog and start catching up on her archives. Do yourself a favor. 

This is it for me until after Christmas. I'm saving the next few days for family and trying to stay away from any distractions. I'll see you back after the 25th. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and/or leave a comment. 

Wishing all of you the very best of the season!!

Monday, December 20, 2010


In the spirit of all things merry and festive ...

Thanks, Melissa and Jen, for this fantabulous idea of sharing our holiday decorations and traditions!

Thanks to all who stop by! Check out mine, then click on the pic above to be swept away to Jolly by Golly HDQ and check out all the other participants. Ho Ho Ho!

My hubby and I are HUGE Christmas geeks. We break out the decorations day after Thanksgiving and instead of shopping for Black Friday, we decorate! Music, movies, trimming the tree ... it's so much fun. We don't celebrate it as a religious holiday--although we do have strong Christian beliefs--for us, Christmas is a cultural celebration of fantasy and fun. (Remembrance of Christ we observe in church on Sunday mornings.)

Here are some pics of our decorations:

The Tree ... small and fake, but just right for us!

Ah, the unparalleled glory!

The stockings all hung by the French doors with care ...  Yep, that's right. We live in Florida, so no fireplace. :(

And my darlings with Santa ... our Christmas cards that went out. Consider this one addressed to all of you.

Now, for a recipe of my fave holiday treat! I make these sugar cookies every year and it takes all day and is laborious and exhausting. BUT! They are always a humongous hit and they're gone by the end of Christmas day! It's an old family recipe, but I don't mind sharing it with you. (ancient Chinese secret )


1.5 C. sifted powdered sugar
1 C. butter
Mix together

1 egg
1.5  t. vanilla
Mix thoroughly til blended

2.5 C. sifted flour
1 t. soda
1 t. cream tartar
Sift and stir into butter mixture
Refrigerate dough for 2-3 hours

Roll out dough quarter inch thick; cut with desired cookie cutters; place on lightly greased pan. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes.

Icing: Blend 1 C. powdered sugar; 1/4 t. salt; 1/2 t. vanilla; 1-2 T. cream or milk. Tint to desired color and spread, sprinkle. (Note: I usually need more cream with my icing to keep it less thick and easier to spread)

These make some of the cutest and most delicious cookies ever! I'd snap a pic for you, but I haven't made this year's yet ... plan to Wednesday... yum-o! Goodbye, bikini body!

As for holiday beverages, I like to have a little eggnog with a dash of Captain Morgan's spiced rum on wrapping night. My hubby and I usually spend the evening together wrapping and sharing a few drinks a couple of days before Christmas--one of my fave parts of the holidays. Mmm... I can almost taste it now!

Since my hubby is a firefighter, he works 24hour shifts at a time. This year, like last year, he works Christmas day. Luckily our kids are young enough that they don't know which day is which, so we celebrate Christmas day on the 24th. We'll have our big Christmas eve festivities this Thursday and kids will wake up Friday morning as though Santa has come and then the dive into the cornucopia of presents with unbridled avarice. lol.

It's supposed to be cold in Florida all week and I'm looking forward to snuggling up with cocoa and listening to music and getting ready for the big day. My kids believe %100 in Santa which makes it a lot of fun getting them all hyped up for the big day. They've been on their best behavior since the Elf on the Shelf arrived. ;)

I'm guessing blog hopping will be slim pickings this week, so if you've stopped by here, I really appreciate it! Please leave a comment and let me know how you celebrate. Or if you don't celebrate at all, tell me what you do celebrate--Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? Eid al Ramadan? Anything special? Spill it all, right here ...

However you celebrate this time of year, I'm wishing you all the best! Loads of good cheer to you and your family!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oo La La ... Writing the Romance ... *blushes with a grin*

I interrupt this regularly scheduled program so that I can bring you somthing much more tasty and fun ...

I had intended to post today on helpful chapter one feedback, but much to my dismay, I'm flat out unprepared. So I'm going to be working on that. I hope to have a some really useful info compiled and want to take more time on it.

On to writing the romance.... It has to be one of my fave parts of writing fiction. The ability to create charismatic, sexy characters who don't even know how sexy they are and set them up for love scenes .... mm, mm , mm ... I. Just. Love it. ;)

Now, I know if I can give myself butterflies from reading my own work--it's pretty darn good. And I don't have any trouble saying that, A) because it's so darn fun, and B) because it takes a lot of work and effort on my part. Kind of like baking homemade cookies--always worth it in the end.

So many genres and story styles out there-some of which really have nothing to do with romance or love. However, when the authors sprinkle a little romance in ... oo la la! I just love it.

Which got me thinking, what kinds of characters really turn me on. I think that's what it boils down to. Because you can write romance scenes out the wazoo, but if the characters don't have what it takes to get my blood pulsing ... forgedda bout it! It's part of the reason why the Twilight saga is so popular with readers of all ages. The writing is okay, but the characters of Edward and Jacob get women everywhere swooning. I think the saga makes a great study if you want to learn how to build a swoon-worthy male MCs.

And since I am female and can only truly vouch for male swoon-worthy MCs, I thought I'd share with you a few of my fave. I'm sorry I can't say all of them are literary, but part of what makes a character so knee-weakeningly adorable, is a particular charisma and finesse that's either there, or it isn't. Completely subjective. You may disagree with me there... and that's okay--disagree away in the comments. The fact remains, these characters are my all time fave and will forever have my heart.

Without further ado ....

Oh yes. Who could resist Tristan Ludlow from Legends of the Fall? Back in the 90s Brad was the ultimate hottie, but he also played in a lot of other roles that didn't have me swooning at all. Tristan Ludlow, however, has got to be my top pic for total turn on--not because it's golden boy Brad Pitt, but because Tristan is smart, wild, tough, sensitive, confident, earthy, mysterious, outdoorsy, and a total family guy. *dreamy sigh*

I've been a Ewan mcGregor fan since Trainspotting, but it was his role as Christian from Moulin Rouge that had me swooning and falling helplessly in love. What about this character had me weak in the knees? His heart felt crooning voice could've been enough, but the fact that he was a starving artist--passionate about writing and passionate about love made me starry eyed. He was sensitive, yet determined; cute, but sexy in his desire for Satine. Christian could sing to me all day, with his boyish charm and larger than life romantic vivacity.

Another Tristan ... who knew?! Yeah, James Franco is a good looking guy, but it was this role--this character, Tristan of Cornwall from Tristan & Isolde, who had me breathless. How about the intense stares of longing? Or the gallant maneuvers of chivalry? A true knight with a noble and integral spirit. One who has experienced loss, and it has made him stronger--unbeatable. His loyalty to his king is contrasted only by his deep love for Isolde. Wow. This character only made James Franco's looks better. In truth, it wasn't James' looks at all that had me giddy. It was everything about the essence of Tristan--his charisma and honor.

Last, but certainly not least, Jude Law as Inman. Yeah Jude is pretty darn hot, but honestly, it was Inman's quiet, intense and honest character that melted my butter. There's just something about a quiet, genuine man that evokes mystery and intrigue. Add in some good looks and calm coolness, and I melt even more.

These are my absolute faves when it comes to male MCs. If you're needing a little inspiration on creating your own compelling (and swoon-worthy) male MC, watch these films, or read the stories (Cold Mountain, Tristan & Isolde) and you'll be sure to find your muse. BTW I'll always have a place in my heart for Mr. Darcy. ;)

Now it's your turn. Tell me who makes you weak in the knees--who melts your butter? Male or female, it doesn't matter. And I don't mean the actors/actresses. I mean the actual characters. Let's hear it, then ....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Spotlight.... Could Be You!

Well, I'm late getting this out, but what can I say... I'm just an overworked mom and wife who tries to get a few minutes of blogging in in between. lol.

Anyway, for new followers who don't know, Wednesdays are the day when I shine the spotlight on a blog I follow and tell you why I follow them.

Today, the Blogger Oscar goes to .....


*gasps of anticipation*

*confetti falling*

*streamers streaming*

(lol ... I love dragging this out)


So what I love about Quinn's blog is his evocative posts. He always has some interesting, thought-provoking subject that has everyone commenting--not just a few words--but long rants. lol. I find myself typing small novels in his comments section, and I'm not alone! Sometimes his comments section is so long I have to grab a cup of coffee to drink while I'm scrolling through them.

That's a good thing! I find myself making it a point to read his blog every chance I get. Not only because he's a great guy (way over in Korea and speaks fluent Russian btw) but because his posts always intrigue me and I can't resist commenting.

Are you following Quinn? If not, you should be. If you are, pop on over and show him some blog lurve. He does not disappoint!

Tune in Friday when I'll sum up what I've learned from my chapter one feedback.

So how are you , my pretties? Tell me all about it, then go visit Quinn! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Chapter One Blues

Recently, I had the good fortune of winning two different critiques on the first few pages of my NaNo WIP, StarSong. One from Roni Loren and the other from her agent Sara Megibow. They just returned my critiques and wow! So helpful! Roni picked out so many areas that were concerns for me anyway, and Sara gave such great advice, as well as some surprising praises.

I was so mind-bogglingly lucky to win both these critiques, but now I'm back to square one with my WIP and doing a first chapter rewrite. UGH! First chapters are always my weak spots. I can never seem to nail it like I want. And I've read all the popular guides: The First Five Pages, Hooked, etc. But I always have trouble getting it like it needs to be.

Roni's and Sara's feedback was such a humongous help, and it's a start in the right direction. I've already rewritten chapter one and I'm going to sit on it awhile and let it slow cook. Meanwhile, I plan to go back and reread some writing manuals to see if I'm on the right track.

I'm looking forward to getting caught up with all of your blogs in the next few weeks. My apologies for not having been around as much.... I was just so consumed with my WIP.

But I leave you with some words of wisdom from Noah Lukeman. May it help get you where you need to be with your own WIPs:

Forget the writing before you and instead summon your original intention when setting out to write your book. Go over each chapter and ask yourself what your goal was when you set out to write that chapter. Did you have any general ideas about where you wanted it to go? Did it go there? If not, where did you go off course? When you went off course, could it be the source of some other point? Does it belong here? Can you add anything to the chapter to help bolster your original intention?

On a side note, my love letter to Sirius Black for the Harry Potter Blogfest made it to the top 5. Yay! If you wouldn't mind hopping on over to Michael's blog and voting (up in top right hand corner of his blog) I'd appreciate it. Of course, I'd love you  to vote for me, but read the other entries too... they're all fantastic and fun. Vote for your fave! I'm sure all the contestants would appreciate it. :)

Now, what techniques, if any, do you have for nailing that dynamite chapter one? Is it a weak area for you too? If not, share your wisdom.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Than I Can Chew....

So I realized the other day that I've signed up to do TWO blogfests for today. I lurve blogfests and sometimes I stumble across them and think how much fun they look and sign up--then realize later that I better get to work! So here I am, this lovely Saturday, sharing with you my two different entries for two different blogfests.

I hope you'll enjoy mine, then click over to the blog HDQ and enjoy some of the other entries. :)

The first is the Harry Potter Blogfest taking place on Michael di Gesu's blog. Contestants are to write up to 500 words invloving any HP character during the holidays. Fun, right?? Here's mine:

Dear Sirius,

   As I write this, the snow is falling in London like silent raindrops. As usual, the muggles are scurrying about as though it's the first time snow has fallen. Try as I may, I'll never understand them.
   I miss you more than words can say. Whilst I sit here--at our table in The Leaky Cauldron--I'm reminded of the first time we met. I am alone, listening to other witches and wizards as they talk of their Christmas plans. I wish you were here--we'd be trimming our tree right now--you with your wand, I with mine--drinking together as decorations attached themselves to the branches. You wouldn't care that no one else has their tree inside the Cauldron. We'd laugh and make a spectacle.
   Knowing you're gone forever is a sword to my heart, but trying to maintain our love as secret after all this time, is torture. They still don't know about our past--about our love. I know what you'd say, "it's safer that way--the Ministry has no business in our personal lives."
   Still I long for others to understand what I'm going through. I met with Harry and Ginny last week. Oh, Sirius! You should see young Albus! He's just like his father, and like James. It brings me joy to see how he flourishes. Harry misses you awfully. He always makes time for me when I stop by for tea. Do you see our old friends where you are now, my love? It comforts me to think they are there with you--in that great unknown.
   At times, I pretend you're still in Azkaban, and I write these letters with a sliver of hope you'll respond. Then truth settles over me--cold and bitter as the snow--and I remember you're gone forever.
   I've been offered a teaching position at Hogwarts, and I think I must take it. Teaching Divinations is what I've always wanted, and I don't see how I can refuse. It will be the start of something fresh--a new life, hopefully. Though, you'll always live in my memories--and in my heart. Do you remember the talks we had of our future? Of the family we'd raise together? I save the memories in my heart, but I fear some I've had to put to pensieve ... too much for me to bear.
   I shall leave it at that for now, Sirius, my eternal love. Diagon Alley awaits, and there are still more presents to buy. I'll write again soon.

All my love,

Okay, that was fun. Thanks, Michael, for an awesome idea and for allowing me to participate!

Now for the next blogfest from Marieke at Marieke's Musings. Contestants are to write up to 500 words on how their MC of their current WIP celebrates the holidays. here's mine:

   My name is Wynonna Pinks, and this is my last Christmas as a resident in my parents' home. I graduate high school in June and then I'm off to New York city. Pinks family tradition has us gathering around the fireplace and tree, singing caroles kareoke style--Mom's idea. She started it back when she used to sing--thought she'd be a professional one day, til her worst nigtmare came true.
   I used to love it when my older brother, Jake, and I were younger--we'd ham it up and act overly dramatic. But then something happened and I didn't participate for a few years. Mom would always nag me, say someting like, "You spoil everything, young lady," and that would only make it worse. Every Christmas, Mom and I would fight, til Dad and Jake would duet It's Cold Outside and get us all laughing again. 
   This year, I'm back at the mike--got my boyfriend to thank for that--he helped me find my voice again. Who knows what will happen next? If Mom can stand him being around long enough, we may just convince him to get in on the Pinks fun.  

Thanks, Marieke! Also a fun idea and glad I participated.

That's it! Thanks for stopping by and reading. Don't forget to check out the others, there's a list of entries on the main blog from the links above. Also, would love your comments here. Anything you want to share? Who's your fave Harry Potter character and why? Or how would your MC celebrate the holidays? Tell me everything!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Spotlight .... Could Be You!

Thanks for tuning in! We've made it mid-week, which for me, means two days off from the day job. My life is completely backwards from the norm. But it has its perks.

Today being Wednesday, it's the day I shine the spotlight on a blog I follow and tell you why I follow it. It gives me an opportunity to thank a fellow blogger, while giving you an opportunity to find a new, helpful and unique blog to add to your list.

My spotlights are always on blogs I find particularly interesting, and I just know that you will too.

Today, the Blogger Oscar goes to .....


Okay, you know why I love JE's blog? She always has interesting little facts on words and their origins. She's a total word nerd, and I can relate to that. Her posts are nice and concise, to the point, and I almost always learn something. They're fun to read.

JE is also a fantastic follower and commenter. She's super involved, and to me that's the kind of bleep to have around. So don't be shy ... click on the link above and visit a new blog today. If you already follow her, be sure to pop a comment over to her.

JE is a new bloggy friend worth making. For sure.

And now .... back to my first round of revisions .... oh how the words flow with such feverish fluidity .....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Art of the Critique ...

So it's getting to be about that time.... Time to send over my blood, sweat, and tears for someone to rip apart and demolish my oh-so-blown-up writerly ego. Perfect. That's what I need. Funny, how after writing that first draft I feel so proud of myself and unstoppable. Then, chapter by chapter, my beta readers/critique partners whittle away at my masterpiece and expose it for what it is: a first draft in need of revisions.

Thank the Lord for good critique partners. Seriously. I value them so much--they pick out things I don't notice and offer suggestions for improvement that, well, just never occured to me. That's the power of more than one brain.

Knowing my new baby is soon to be in the hands of my trusted beta readers makes me excited and anxious. SO I thought I'd share what --to me-- makes a good critique and what I hope to find out about my own work. I'll also share some of the things I look for and strive for in returning the favor.

One thing is for sure: writer's should never assume their story is finished before running through at least one trusted critique partner.

What I hope to discover after the first time my baby has been read:

*How the story flows/pacing

* Does it make sense

*Is the conflict clear

*Are the characters easy to visualize

*Is the voice clear/consistent/entertaining

*Do you feel like you're reading a story or do you feel like you're part of the story

Also, I love line edits. I don't expect them and I know not everyone cares for them, but if I misspelled or mispunctuated or, heaven forbid, dangled a participle, I wanna know!

When I give critiques, I look for the same things, but my strengths are picking out inconsistencies with characters and spotting unnecessary adverbs. I'm a stickler for using verbs in place of adjectives and modifiers.

Every beta reader/critique partner has different strengths and weaknesses. That's why it's so great to have more than one. At this partcular time when 2010 is nearing a close, and so many WIPs are enduring the brunt of full force revisions and critiques, I thought it'd be nice to find out what you look for when giving/getting critiques.

Please share, so we all may benefit in makinfg our babies glow with precision.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Calling All Harry Potter Fans....

Hey did you know our fellow bleep, Michael di Gesu, is having a Harry Potter blogfest??? It's a contest, and get this ... you write a 500 word scene with yourself and any character from the Harry Potter series. What HP fan hasn't ever wanted to do that??

And the prizes are real HP souvenirs from the Wizarding World at Universal in Orlando. There's still time to sign up. The actual blogfest date is Saturday, Dec. 11. So set that NaNo project or WIP aside and take a magical break to flex your writing muscles and spark your creativity. Step inside the writerly shoes of JK Rowling and let yourself have some fun!

Click on the pic to be magically whisked away and sign up for the Harry Potter blogfest! * waves wand* *stupefy*

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I'm sorry for the delay on getting out the winners to my giveaway. Yesterday was so busy for me, I had to neglect the blogosphere... much to my chagrin. :(

We had a blast on Wednesday with the kids' first trip to NYC. It rained the whole time and flights were delayed so it was a bit stressful, too. Completely worth it, but exhausting.

        My lil holligans at Rockefeller

Yesterday was spent playing catch up. And, as if Wednesday wasn't awesome enough, I found out I won two contests for a 30-page critique of my NaNo project from lit agent Sara Megibow of Nelson Lit! How fantastic is that?? It seems I won Roni Loren's contest as well as Ashley March's contest. That is so unlike me! I'm never this lucky!!! *huge grins*

But I'll take it and run! If you don't already follow Roni's and Ashley's blog, click on over and make it a point to. They're both represented by the ever impressive Sara Megibow and I promise you'll get some great advice on writing from both of them.

So back to MY winners! YAY! I had so much fun with My Favorite Things Giveaway. Most of the prizes were donated to me. My airline colleague makes the soap and runs her own herbal soap business, the Out of Print tee clothing company donates books to children in Africa for every tee bought ... great shirts and a great cause!

 I went old-school and literally tallied up each entry and put names in a bucket. I swished them around, stirred, tossed. I fondeled each of the contestants names on little tabs of paper ... lol. No high tech random selectors for this girl ... There's just something so exciting about physically drawing a name. ;)

Anyway ... the winners are:

Starbucks gift card:    Debbie Curran

Choice of 2 handmade soaps from Natural Mystic:   Marissa Farrar

The Secret Year YA novel by jennifer R. Hubbard:   Susan K. Quinn

The One I Want women's fiction by Allison Winn Scotch:  Nas Dean

HP Deathly Hallows soundtrack:   Oddyoddyo13

Choice of Out of Print tee:  Carla

WOW! Equal new and old followers for winners! What are the odds??? I promise it was completely random.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated. Winners, please email me at so I can get your address and/or make arrangements with you for your prize. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weekly Spotlight: Web Splash!

This week's spotlight will be a little different. I, like many others today, will be shining the spotlight on Talli Roland and the release of her debut novel : The Hating Game.

Let's rally together to support our fellow writer and blogging goddess by helping to promote her new book and taking Amazon by storm! Hey, if it were your debut book, wouldn't you appreciate the support??

Help Talli's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at and by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

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Coming soon in paperback.  Keep up with the latest at


When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?

Sounds clever and entertaining, doesn't it?

I confess, this is a scheduled posting. With any luck from the weather, I'm on my way to Manhattan for the day with the kids. It's their first time seeing the tree in Rockefeller Center, before we spend hours lost in FAO Schwarz. lol ... So I'll catch up with the blogosphere when I return ... BUT I'm bringing my Kindle with me so I can download Talli's book at the airport. I love helping out fellow authors, don't you??? Karma, baby! :)

What are YOU doing today??? I love reading your comments, so please share!