Sneak a peek

I’ve done it. I’ve peeked ahead.

I really, really get into books. I love the characters like crazy and when things go wrong…well, I don’t handle that well.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t read mystery very often. I just can’t handle the stress. Recently, I read Hands of Evil and bit through all of my nails. Don’t get me wrong, the book was excellent…I was just worried–actually, terrified might be a better word. And don’t get me started on Darkness Concealed. Can someone get an ulcer from reading?

I don’t always read ahead. It depends on the book. I bet with Stephen King it wouldn’t help to peek ahead…I might see something worse! **Shudder**

It got me thinking though, do you sneak a peek? Ever? Does it depend on the type of book?

(credit: collectingcandy.com)

(credit: collectingcandy.com)

Posts I loved this week

A ton of excellent post this week as we say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall. Check out the beauties below!

If you’re looking to submit to a literary agent, check out this post from one of them with her best tips on Romance University. Then stick around the site to enjoy this great post by K.M. Weiland on tips to make your love story an epic love story.

Avoiding the dreaded info-dump is crucial for a good story. Here are three essential questions for a better backstory on The Write Practice. And this fantastic one on writing villains.

Joe Bunting promises that this exercise will get you unstuck every time you try to write and can’t. I have to say I tried it and it worked–at least for me.

If Mondays get you down, go over to DBCII for some inspiration. Starting next week, he’ll post writing prompts from books he has. Check out this great idea here.

When I don’t write, I worry about my book and when I write, I worry about making mistakes, so I worry about my book! This post on the Tiny Buddha on how to relax was just what I needed to read.

Sooo excited because I was certain we might not get it but Outlander is coming to Canada. A huge thank you to Penny Dreadful for letting me know and for reviewing it!

If you’re into Westerns, check out this post by Amy Alessio with seven fantastic Western romance reads for you to check out on Romance University.

Five ways to increase your productivity while you’re not writing by Chuck Sambuchino from Writer’s Digest.

Just for fun, this post had me in stitches. So funny by Suzie81 Speaks.

This one has great inspiration with quotes by those who’ve achieved great things on Jen Owenby.

If you’re writing a query letter, check out this post on how to write a killer blurb on Writer’s Relief.

Here come the categories. Again, keep in mind they’re just for fun.

* Best Achievement of the Week – To D. Emery Bunn for completing his book Darkness Concealed.

* Best Short Piece of the Week – A definite gem, this one‘s by Mishka Jenkins.

* Best Rant of the Week – to Infinitefreetime, for this one.

* Best movie Review – to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Natacha Guyot.

Most Unusual Tips for Writers – This one needs a word of warning. Some tips are truly…disturbing, from the Thought Catalog.

* Best find of the Week – Very cool. You type in three words and it generates 5 blog topics for you. Check it out here at HubSpot.

* Funniest Post of the WeekWhat not to say to a mom with a Colicky Baby by Outmanned. Never had a baby colicky or otherwise, but I still laughed out loud.

Posts I loved this week

Another great week in posts. It was tough to select these and keep some out. Still, there are some really great posts here. Hope you enjoy!

Big congrats to Infinitefreetime for this great review.

Absolutely beautiful pictures. Here and here. Thank you to Sourcerer and Part Time Monster for the great shots. Keep them coming!

12 useful sites to Improve your writing. Everything from dictionaries to name generators. Awesome post by Just English.

Wondering what books are coming up in August? Here are August’s releases by date thanks to The Book Chick!

Writing part-time while holding a Day Job and dealing with life can quickly add up. If there aren’t enough minutes in your day, check out this post with 5 helpful tips for writers to help avoid being overwhelmed from Live Write Thrive.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a single idea for your novel, try this post on maximizing your creativity by Writerology.

I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard to get critiqued. It’s so helpful and the advice is honestly what I need, but I still resist hearing it. So this post was perfect for me because it gave me ideas on how to accept critique. A huge thank you to The Write Practice for the tips!

Novel length is something I stress about. What if it’s too long? Too short? This post by D. Emery Bunn has great tips for lengthening or shortening different types of manuscripts and was just what I needed!

A very interesting July wrap-up, I loved this post because it gave me a glimpse of Inky Tavern’s month all in one go.

If you’re looking for marketing tips, here‘s a post on just that from Writer Unboxed.

If you’re looking to buff up your website, here‘s a post with seven tips on how to keep it looking fresh from Writers in the Storm.

Loved this Top Ten by Part Time Monster: Authors whose books I own the most of.

This one was an excellent post on fear as a character motivator. Since my WIP is Amy’s Courage, this was just what I needed. A huge thank you to Creative Writing with the Crimson League for the excellent tips!

If you’re burning out, check out this post on reasons to keep writing by James Preston.

If writing full-time is your goal, check out this post by Carlos Cooper.

And finally, it’s a long weekend here, I hope you have a lovely book to keep you company this weekend.

Keep-calm-read

Posts I loved this week

Another great week in the blogging world. Check out these awesome posts. What would I do without you guys? This post would suck.

A great round up of reads for those hot summer days. A big thank you to  for the great post!

Another incredibly helpful post by Sourcerer on Stats and engagement for blogs. If you want facts about blogs and how to raise traffic, this is the post for you. A big thank you to Sourcerer for sharing those numbers and secrets!

This one is both cute and useful. Thank you, Joe Bunting for the list of reasons to write!

Funny, witty and interesting, check out this list of Blogging Confessions from Part Time Monster. Great post!

Blogging tips, I’m always looking to improve my little blog. A big thank you to Out of the Well for these gems!

I loved this one because it’s a funny rant about cellphones…and it has a Star Trek reference. An awesome post from Steve Vernon!

Hilarious and about soccer! Well, this post is just up my alley! Check it out here. (Wee note: You don’t need to know anything about soccer to appreciate it). A big thank you to Steve and Jon’s best things for the great post!

This one is serious and very, very important. Back up your work. D. Emery Bunn has a great suggestion because the very moment you finish your masterpiece, the computer will die and, unless you’ve saved it…Exactly. A big thank you to D. Emery Bunn for those helpful tips and steps.

So cute and funny because that’s exactly what happens with kids, this post had me laughing. Thank you Infinitefreetime for that laugh!

A cute twist on ending that Writer’s Doubt. Thank you to Karin Gillespie for that great post!

I find bloggers and indie authors are very kind people. Here’s an example, Winter Bayne announced that James is back in her blog to give the guy a little help. I wasn’t surprised because Winter has to be one of the most supportive people I know, still it moved me. I thought it was a lovely thing to see.

Here‘s another example. Ch’kara Silverwolf is supporting indie authors by letting them promote their books on her blog. I thought that was absolutely awesome on her part.

There’s something so nice about reading posts from other pet lovers and none is as loving to her little doggies as Rachel Mankowitz. Check out this instalment of Butterfly’s adventures. So cute!

I love these posts. I wish I could take pictures like this one. I have to settle for not cutting people’s heads off and admiring Just Gene’O‘s or Sourcerer‘s.

Sometimes life gives us great cards, sometimes, we get some sucky ones. I was so impressed by Sonia Lathem because she’s dealing with a very difficult medical situation and still managed to put some humour into the post. Now that’s perseverance!

I loved this one because it’s a countdown but also because it’s a TV show countdown with opinion. Good shows and reasons why they’re good or not. Thank you so much for the great post to Part Time Monster! But, before you go, here‘s Sourcerer‘s version of the same idea. Compare!

A wonderful post on what Disney’s Princesses would look like if they were real women. This one had me at the title but the pictures are even better! A big thank you for that lovely post to Frances from Frances and Lynne.

Found this teeny, tiny post and it’s absolutely delicious! Had to share it here because it’s so good. A huge thank you to Adventures in Date Night for the post!

Last but definitely not least, a recommendation from Interesting Literature, 10 Classic Vitorian Novels everyone should read. I’m not big on people telling me what to do but I love to hear book recommendations. A big thank you to Interesting Literature for the great post!

Posts I loved this week

This was a particularly festive week with Canada Day and the Fourth of July and there were a ton of great posts out there as well. A ton! Check out these beauties!

I loved this post because of the picture of Bella mid-twirl. I can just see how happy she is and there’s something magical about a child smiling and being happy. If that wasn’t enough, I also read the background into this very special picture in this other post and that doubles the reason for this comment.

A great post by Sourcerer on Search Engines and how to get your posts at the top of a search. Sourcerer keeps putting out amazing how-to posts for bloggers. It’s a site I’d highly recommend following. Here‘s another example, this time on tags.

I love the theme posts “If we were having coffee.” I look forward to them each week. Here’s one that’s particularly beautiful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This post is a taste of the newest book by Jill Shalvis. Since I’m a big fan, this post was right up my alley.

I loved this post by . He claims that, if you know too much, you can lose touch with the newcomer and your audience as a consequence. I loved not just how well he wrote it (it was light and funny) but also his ‘fix’. “If your grandma doesn’t understand it, you need to revise.” Ha! What a hoot.

Congrats to Infinitefreetime for this. Awesome accomplishment!

I’m in awe of those Camp Nanowrimo participants. I have no idea how they manage to juggle that with life and work. Big congrats to Crystin Goodwin, Chris Musgrave, Inky Tavern and Winter Bayne for taking it on. (If I missed you, feel free to give me a shout and complain! 🙂 )

This one is very beautiful and full of Zen. I do the exact opposite of what it suggests. I resist life with every molecule. I gain acceptance in spite of my resistance through tears, shouts, and sometimes, even kicks.

Part Time Monster had this great list of the Top Ten Monster Books. I love lists and I love book lists even better, so this post was an instant hit with me. A big thank you for the list to Part Time Monster!–A side note: check out this little guy painting! Awwww! So cute!

This one moved me almost to tears. I have a lot of trouble reading about animals who are in pain or neglected. Careful if read this post and you’re sensitive about the topic because it’s very well written and will definitely make an impact. A big thank you to Living With Izzy for the beautifully written post.

This post is a great how-to if you’re considering getting beta readers. It explains what to ask and how to work with the feedback you get. An excellent post to keep as a reference or just to read by someone who really knows the craft.

Sending out query letters and work to editors is one of the hardest things I’ve done. If you’re in the middle of that process, check out this post by Winter Bayne. She changes a very stressful situation into a funny one and made me laugh out loud.

This post united writing and soccer and had me at the title. They’re definitely two of my passions and love anything that puts them together. On a personal note: I can’t wait for those final games! Soooo exciting! I know Birgitte Rasine gets where I’m coming from. 🙂

These Wordless posts are absolutely amazing. No words, just a beautiful picture. They certainly have me smiling every time I see one. Check out this one and help me cheer on the newly re-named blog Just Gene’O!

I loved this post because it’s eloquent, beautifully written and so logical. It’s one of those I could just sit and savour. At the same time, it’s on a subject close to my heart: self-publishing. Definitely one worth reading. A big thanks to D. Emery Bunn for the fantastic post!

And finally a new blog was born, The Mighty Trebuchet. It’s a blog with a very interesting mission. Check it out here.

Wow! That’s a lot of awesome posts in one week!

Sleep-deprived

 

Surprise!

Thanks to some amazing help from D. Emery Bunn, I’ve just finished polishing Olivia’s Choice! So I thought: let’s have a surprise!

So, I’ve uploaded the new spiffier Olivia’s Choice to Amazon and lowered the price to $ 0.99. So that’s a bit of good news. It’ll stay at that price, so don’t worry if you can’t get it today or tomorrow. It won’t go up in price. Here’s the link.

Even better! If you send me a comment letting me know you’d like one, I’ll give you a free copy of the book! I’ll do that to the first 5 people who want to try Olivia’s Choice. Free! (free is my favourite price). Now, keep in mind I only have the mobi file right now, so you need a Kindle to read it, but it’s a free book. 😀

OC_200x300

Note: if you’re not into romance, no worries! Here’s a little something to make you smile.

(credit:alanrinzler.com)

(credit:alanrinzler.com)

Another five star review for Olivia’s Choice!

Olivia’s Choice got another five star review on Goodreads! I’m over the moon! So happy, I couldn’t stop smiling.

Check it out here. Yeey!

As well, I’m almost through the edits. D. Emery Bunn did an incredible job with my book and now it shines like a diamond. It’s unbelievable what good editing can do.

When I’m done…I’ll have a surprise! (a good one, not the one where you’re at the dentist and have a cavity).

Olivia’s Choice Page: Updated.

The Page for Olivia’s Choice is getting some exciting changes.

One, the blurb has been shortened and spiffed up.

Two, I’ve cleaned up the reviews and added two new ones. One by the Bookie Monster and another by Romance Reviews.

Three, D. Emery Bunn has run through the book and checked the editing. He’s an absolute grammar-Ninja. Any and all misplaced comas suffered an untimely death. The new, shinier Olivia’s Choice will be up and running as soon as I can update all those changes. See the sidebar for an update to where I am in my fight against those run-on sentences and that dreaded passive voice.

I’m pretty excited about it all. Why not check it out and let me know what you think!

Editing help

I got Olivia’s Choice done all on my own. I combed through the book over and over and over again. I did this for an entire year. Until I got to the point that if I saw it one more time, I was going to throw it across the room.

Then I got a review back that commented on the superfluous words in the book. Nuts. I knew almost immediately I couldn’t do it alone. That’s when I heard of D. Emery Bunn.

I’ve said before he’s like a grammar ninja. I’ll add that he has suggestions that strengthen the message and deliver the punchline without taking away the flavour of my writing. I told him I only wanted line edits…and of course he did much more. To say I was impressed vastly underrates my reaction. I was blown away.

I wanted to mention him on my blog because he honestly did such an amazing job. I know my book will be so much better because of him. Not only will it be grammar perfect, it will be tighter and deliver the message with less words. For example, Emery suggested a change in the Glossary at the beginning that compacts it and helps make it easier to read.

If you’re looking for someone to do some editing, I can’t recommend him highly enough. On a personal level, he’s approachable and very reasonable. On a professional one, he did an incredible job and finished early!

Here are his links:

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/

 http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/contact-me/

Editing links

If you’re editing and you’re like me, you don’t want to spend any more time at this task than you need to. That’s why, before you start adding comas and deleting adverbs, you might want to keep in mind how these pros do the job. I certainly wish I had done so before I did the editing of Olivia’s Choice. Instead of an entire year, the thing might have been done much sooner.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/05/how-i-edit.html–author, writer and literary agent, Nathan Bransford knows writing. Here’s how he edits.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2013/12/30/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-2-novel-length-edits/ — Big edits first. Don’t edit the little things first. It’s like choosing paint while you still haven’t finished the roof.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2014/03/19/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-7-in-line-revision/— little edits. When the big guys are done, check out those little things. They add up, so get a good cup of coffee and your eagle eye.

http://elizabethspanncraig.com/1559/approaching-messy-first-drafts/–when you don’t know where to start, start here.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/06/how-i-self-edit-my-novels-15-steps-from.htmlIPPY Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as the  western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the epic fantasy DreamlanderK.M. Weiland certainly knows writing. This is how she edits.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/09/07/five-things-to-consider-during-revisions-with-loucinda-mcgary/–five things to look for while you’re editing by author Loucinda McGary.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/03/09/the-best-way-to-edit-by-tracy-sumner/–If the traditional ways don’t work for you, try this post!

http://www.profkrg.com/11-tips-for-editing-your-own-writing–eleven clear steps anyone can follow.

Do you have a way to edit that works for you? Share it! I’d certainly love any tips you can send my way.