Vote, vote, vote!

Your vote really counts!

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksI have a small favor to ask of you nice people: The Rave Reviews Book Club, which you may remember from my earlier posts, is having its annual Rave Awards.

Anyone can vote (not just members), and I have entered my blog in the best blog category. So, if you like what you’ve been seeing so far here, please consider voting for me. It won’t take more than a minute of your time, and it will be much appreciated (playfully batting eyelashes)! 🙂

While you’re there, you may also want to check out the rest of the categories, including best book trailer and best interview. Oh, right: I have also entered the best interview category, as my interview on the shelf with Nonnie Jules, RRBC President, is one of the contenders.

If you have read this far, thank you. If you’re considering voting, double thank yous. And…

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Happy Thanksgiving: Gratitude Day

Happy Thanksgiving from Florida

Sweet potatoes are in the oven and the Cornish rock hens have been seasoned and herbed. There will be mashed potatoes and sweet potato soufflé with asparagus and cranberry sauce on the side. We’ll top it off with pecan pie stuffed under a mountain of whipped cream. That’s the table spread for today.

Why do we do this?

To let our family and friends know how much they are treasured.

To let strangers know they are cherished as hopeful new friends.

To express thanks for another year of blessings and give hope for the coming year.

To remember and honor all of those who came before us.

To let our God know that we are grateful and pray for peace, compassion, health, knowledge and comfort.

To say Thanks!

I especially want to say thanks to readers and writers, my many friends on WordPress; supportive bloggers, authors, new writers, seasoned writers, all those somewhere in the middle. You are my colleagues and I spend the better part of most days in your company. You make my days bright and give me the encouragement I need to keep the faith. The light you shine on my path is brighter than the Florida sun. I appreciate you!

Happy-Thanksgiving-from-Move-To-New-Smyrna-Beach

Book Review: Wild Concept By C.S. Boyack

Craig Boyack is one of those engaging people you just love to have around. He has a blog where he talks about real-life things like pruning peach trees and perusing county fairs for pumpkin beer as well as his fiction writing process. His muses stay in his writing cabin which he welcomes us into from time to time. Most of his muses are characters from his books, which he has for free over the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December; Wild Concept, Panama, and Arson, respectively. I started with his first published: Wild Concept .

Book Review:

X2 is a prototype robot created by a company that makes automations, but X2 is so much more than the typical robot. With the capacity to have human emotions and life-like qualities, X2 becomes Lisa Burton. Lisa has more compassion and common sense than your average human. Lisa is extraordinary in every way. Both a sci-fi and a crime novel, with her unique capabilities and the understanding she is gaining about human behavior, she is sent to join the local P.D. and sets about with her partner to catch a serial killer.

Lisa is an excellent sleuth, but she is also one of the most colorful and endearing characters you will find in a fiction novel. In her effort to be a capable companion, as well as a top-notch robot, Lisa develops the sort of deep and meaningful friendships meant to last a lifetime, and Bunny makes me want to get a cute little rabbit of my very own.

Boyack has a character that has no backstory. There is no history to Lisa Burton, but Boyack takes this thing and breathes a fascinating life into it. Lisa has style, many of them actually, and the fashions she picks for herself echo her adaptive abilities. The supporting characters are as equally well-developed and seem as real as people you would know in real-life, each with their unique personalities and behaviors.

Either Boyack is brilliant or he has done his research…perhaps both, he has Lisa Burton engaged in some complex situations she works diligently to resolve. The novel has a few grammatical errors and a couple of typos, but nothing that impedes the read. The writing is reasonably tight with respect to the story line, but lack of scene breaks make it read more like a stream of consciousness novel style. This was a fun read and exciting adventure. It also offers some room for deep reflection on prejudice and what it means to be different. If you are looking for an entertaining read that will make you think about mankind’s journey beyond the natural, make you smile and make you cry, this is a neat little story to pick up.

4 of 5 Stars

Don’t feel bad, I want you to download my free book

Another free book!

Suffolk Scribblings

2ndchance

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see an author running a free promotion I find myself in a dilemma. If I’m aware of a book promotion then the chances are I know of the author, or somebody I respect knows and likes the author’s work. And that’s where things get a little awkward.

On the one hand I would like to download the book. If I’ve heard of the book then it may well be a work I’m curious about but for whatever reason has never made it onto my reading list. It may be I’ve only just met the author and it’s on my wish list but below a number of other authors I’ve met earlier. It may even be a genre or style of book that I don’t usually read but I enjoy the author’s blog. Either way, I’m interested.

But

On the other hand, I’m a big supporter of my…

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Get ’em while they’re FREE

Free Books!

Entertaining Stories

I rummaged through the basement at the writing cabin until I found my soapbox. I texted Lisa* as I climbed upstairs, “Almost ready?”

“I’m all set. Iris** is on the easel so she can flip my cards. I’ll be down in a moment.”

I placed the soapbox in the main lobby, just right of the easel.

Iris walked toward me along the top rail of her easel. “Do you think this is going work?”

“Giveaways always work in varying degrees. Lisa’s first one went absolutely crazy. Maybe it’ll jar some sales for your book, The Cock of the South.” I walked behind Lisa’s desk and tested the spotlight. Everything was ready, so I dimmed the overhead lights.

Lisa entered, wrapped in a bathrobe. She sat in one of the other chairs and put on her white stilettos. She dropped off her robe and stepped onto the soapbox. She wore a…

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“Beats” and Attribution

It has been a while since I wrote about my writing. I put Naked Alliances in a drawer after my last edits following my beta reads. I wanted to give the MS time to breathe and come back and do a reread to get a fresh perspective on what else it might need.

One of my beta readers is a professional editor. He did a most thorough edit and made some invaluable suggestions on how to improve the manuscript. I have always had a handle on doing realistic dialogue well, but I have struggled with attribution tags and how to avoid them except in the most necessary of situations where more than one person is speaking. Unnecessary speaker attributions slow down your flow. Unless the speaker would be uncertain, giving no attributions makes for a faster exchange.

He suggested what he refers to as “beats” showing the speakers action at that moment. Eg. Rather than, “I think it’s time we left,” he concluded. Try, “I think it’s time we left.” His brow furrowed, his worry obvious.

There is a chapter where I felt the use of dialogue tags was necessary because there are four women talking and I did not want anyone to feel lost in the conversation. Here is a brief excerpt between two or three of the characters that demonstrates how the tags seriously slow down the read. I wanted it contemplative, yet needed something to indicate which of the four are engaged in conversation:

“So sad about Maria,” Patty said with a sigh.

“Not so sure what she saw in that politician,” Sabrina stated.

“I know what she saw and you do, too.”

“Well he’s hot for you now,” Sabrina reminded.

“He’s just a good time for me. I don’t plan to fall in love with him.”

“Maria sure did. Do you think he loved her, too?” asked Sabrina

“Hard to say. His relationship with her was politically motivated. But I don’t think Maria loved him either,” answered Patty.

“You don’t?”

“She lied to him,” Gail interjected. “She put on the act of devoted housewife and mother for his constituency. She partied with us on the sly every chance she got. I feel sorry for Tim and his loss. More than that, I feel sorry for him that she misled him so.”

 

Here is the exchange cleaned up. It starts with a couple of “beat” sentences and that’s all that is needed until another person joins the conversation and a “beat” is required.

“So sad about Maria.” Patty sighed.

“Not so sure what she saw in that politician.” Sabrina arched her overdone brows.

“I know what she saw and you do, too.”

“Well he’s hot for you now.”

“He’s just a good time for me. I don’t plan to fall in love with him.”

“Maria sure did. Do you think he loved her, too?”

“Hard to say. His relationship with her was politically motivated. But I don’t think Maria loved him either.”

“You don’t?”

“She lied to him.” Gail slammed the photo album closed and pushed it aside. “She put on the act of devoted housewife and mother for his constituency. She partied with us on the sly every chance she got. I feel sorry for Tim and his loss. More than that, I feel sorry for him that she misled him so.”

 

More examples of “beats” added to the MS:

“Jason Pauly, you don’t run,” Richard said while standing.

“Jason Pauly, you don’t run.” Richard was now on his feet.

 

“How long do you do it? A year, five, ten?” Sabrina asked.

“How long do you do it? A year, five, ten?” Sabrina’s voice was venomous.

 

“A lot of folk think bikers are bonkers,” Brandi said.

“A lot of folk think bikers are bonkers.” Brandi laughed and leaned in closer.

 

While best to have no attribution tags, when required, “beat” sentences show an action identifying the speaker when there are more than two and carry the story forward with momentum.

This is where I am today with my progress on Naked Alliances. I have cleaned up most of the attribution tags. I have a few places where I am tightening up the manuscript and minimizing exposition. Then, it’s done.

I would be out on the boat today if the weather was better, but it’s overcast and windy. Not good for boating.

What are you up to this weekend?

Any time for reading, outlining, writing, editing?

Path of a Bullet – hits the mark!!

The rocket scientist and I are big fans of Ike. This book of short stories will be out just in time for Christmas!

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

You never hear the bullet that kills you … but you can read it!

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Path of a Bullet, A Collection of Short Stories Featuring Ike by Tim Baker will be released after Nov. 24 in both eBook and print!

I have contributed a story to this book, along with Becky Heishman, Becky Meyer Pourchot, Lockie Young, Ann Marie Vancas, and Gigi Arena. S.K. Nicholls has written the introduction, and Seumas Gallacher provided a promotion blurb for the back cover.

This is going to be a great book, folks! Available just in time for holiday gift-giving, too!

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Final day for the Occasional Soulmates 99 cent countdown deal!

Last chance for the 99 cent deal on Occasional Soulmates!

WHAT THE HELL

Blue gorilla

That’s right. If you’ve been fence-sitting on this thing, today’s the day you have to act. Occasional Soulmates is 99 cents until midnight PST.

It’s been a successful promotion, but only thanks to EReader News Today. On its own, a Kindle Countdown Deal doesn’t attract much attention, it seems to me; you need an outside push to ensure that lots of eyeballs see it. Luckily ENT isn’t terribly expensive, like a lot of them, but it’s effective.

To ignite one last flash of interest, I’m reposting here Cinthia Ritchie’s interview with me earlier this week on her blog. Hope you like it. Tell your friends. And, as always, thanks for your support on social media throughout this promotion.

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Q: How did you come up with the idea for Occasional Soulmates? Did it pop inside your head suddenly or was it a slow tease?

A: It was a pretty…

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Read Tuesday will Launch with Thunder

Time to add your books if you are an author and get ready to support and browse if you are a reader!

ReadTuesday

Lightning

SPREADING THE NEWS

Read Tuesday is a Black Friday type of event just for book lovers on December 9, 2014.

Authors can participate for free. Signing up and participating is easy.

Readers and gift-givers just need to browse the Read Tuesday catalog in early December. Find the books you like here, but buy them at Amazon or Smashwords like normal. Except for saving big, of course.

To help spread the news, we have a ThunderClap promotion scheduled for the morning of December 9.

Our ThunderClap currently has a social reach of over 300,000 through 100 supporters (thank you, everyone), with 18 days left to improve these numbers. We have our sights set on a million, and we’re nearly one-third the way there.

What the ThunderClap does is announce the big Read Tuesday sale by synchronizing posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. It’s easy to add your support (see below).

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