I’m over at With Love For Books today talking about ‘What Makes My Heart Beat Faster’. While you’re there, register for the Amazon gift card giveaway and check out AnnieK and Suze’s book reviews!
Today I’m excited to welcome Staci Troilo with her new release, Tortured Soul, the final book of her Medici Protectorate series. I haven’t gotten to this series yet (I’m currently reading the last book in her Cathedral Lake series), but the excerpts I’ve seen this week are making me anxious to get started!
Hi, Teri. Thanks for inviting me here today to discuss Tortured Soul, the fourth and final book in the Medici Protectorate series.
With the Halloween season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to discuss all things supernatural. This series is best classified as a steamy romantic thriller with paranormal elements.
The guys have magic powers. It’s not the most important part of the novel, but it is crucial. And how did these powers come about?
Alchemy always interested me because it’s part fiction and part fact (which is kind of how I write). It was actually a precursor to modern chemistry, but the practitioners were less concerned with converting moles to grams and more interested in converting lead to gold. The transmutation of metals was of paramount importance to alchemists, as was the pursuit of immortality. Some say there was something that could do both—the illusive philosopher’s stone. (Bet that sounds familiar to many of you.)
In my series, alchemical rituals were performed by Michelangelo, who both mastered metal transmutation and conquered death. He used his alchemical abilities (including vast knowledge of the properties of stone and the mystical properties of colors) in addition to his sculptural talents to create a collection of marble daggers. Wielders of these weapons were imbued with great powers that corresponded to the color of the stone.
This series took a great amount of research to lend an air of authenticity to the stones and colors and rituals. Not that I minded; it was fun.
Gianni wields the red dagger. His powers are summed up by the words passion, blood, vengeance.
Vinnie wields the white dagger. His powers are summed up by the words purity, clarity, beginnings.
Nico wields the green dagger. His powers are summed up by the words life, balance, transformation.
Coz wields the black dagger. His powers are summed up by the words resilience, protection, potential.
Then there was the dagger wielded by the leader of the group. It was a gold dagger. Michelangelo was the only one who ever knew the three governing words associated with it.
After all, words have power. And he wasn’t about to give anyone an edge over him (he was the first leader of the group).
I really enjoyed the research into stones, colors, elements, and powers. I hope that comes through in the work.
Can you imagine having in your possession something that could extend your life, provide you with unlimited riches, and summon and control the elements themselves? I don’t know many people who could be trusted with such power.
Thank God such a thing is fiction.
Or is it?
After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.
Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.
Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.
As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.
Author Bio and Links:
Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.
Standalone or Series? Haven’t all writers wondered this at some point? Georgia Rose is here today to discuss her decision to make her new release, Parallel Lies, a standalone. Welcome, Georgia!
Standalone or Series? Keeping Your Options Open – Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose @GeorgiaRoseBook
I have already written a series, and mighty hard it was too, so I had no intention of doing that again. Ever. Parallel Lies was definitely going to be a standalone I thought as I started out on writing it. Although it wasn’t a conscious decision I found at the end I’d made sure of this by killing off someone crucial to any future story line. Dead, done, finished and that is that I’d thought as I’d metaphorically walked away from the completed manuscript.
At least that was the case until my editor took his first look at it. Why have you done that! Was something along the lines of what he’d said, along with, there’s no future in that. You have no possibility of a sequel without him/her (no spoilers!)
I had never considered the possibility of a sequel. Still haven’t, if I’m being totally honest. I have no storyline for that, not as yet anyway.
But when I gave it some thought it did seem a sensible way forward, to leave my options open. I mean where would George R R Martin have been if he’d killed off the hero/heroine in his first book – oh, wait, no, he did that, scrap that, it’s a bad example.
Anyway I rewrote a major section which led onto something completely different (and potentially quite controversial) happening and consequently there’s a subtly different feel to the ending. I think I like it better too, which just goes to show how useful it is to have an editor on board.
I’d be interested to know what other writers who come this way think. Do you always plan for a sequel, or a series? Or, does that happen along the way and, I guess, become more pressing if the first one is a success?
‘My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…’
Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.
Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.
Company… when she wants it.
It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.
Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe he might be worth letting into hers.
But, all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets.
And they never stay buried for ever.
Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him.
Or her past.
Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have.
Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new?
You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.
But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish!
Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.
Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone to be released on 12 September 2017, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.
Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!
Georgia loves Spring for its display of daffodils and Autumn because her favourite fruit, the Victoria plum, is in abundance. She dislikes olives and can’t see the attraction of hummus.
Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage!
Thank you for inviting me on your blog, Teri, it has been a pleasure to visit you and get to chat to your readers.
Lisa Burton is in the house!
Today I have the honor of welcoming robot girl, Lisa Burton. Lisa’s an extremely busy woman, and I’m thrilled she was able to stop by.
Gosh, thanks for inviting me over today. I love getting away from the writing cabin for a little while.
It’s a loose collection of short stories that serve to tell an overarching story. It covers one year in the life of a professional baseball league. The Enhanced League does not test for performance enhancing drugs or supplements. They allow the players to make their own decisions. This leads to some superstar players, but also some hard falls along the way.
Craig wrote several women characters into the book too. Lara Toryanski is a high school girl. She pitches on the school softball team. I like Lara because she’s kind of an old mind on young shoulders. She dreams of bigger things, but understands the obstacles that stand in her way.
She winds up at the mid-season break called Enhanced Con. While her father and brothers are being true conventioneers, Lara wanders the floor. She winds up in a pickup game of softball with some of the professionals. One of them befriends her and gives her some good counseling.
This story speaks to how women fit into the professional sports world, but it has a neat human side to it too.
To honor Lara, I posed for this poster that represents her. I can’t stop being me, so I turned away a bit to let the Wildcats uniform take up more of the image.
If you’d like to learn more about Lara and the others, pick up a copy of The Enhanced League on Amazon. It’s a 99¢ book, and baseball makes for great summer reading.
The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.
Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.
I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
I wrote a guest post for Deek Rhew’s blog – Is Anyone Still Reading Horror? Click here to read. While you’re there, check out Deek’s books – he’ll be a the featured Indie Author here on Friday, June 23rd.
Today we welcome Lynn Goodwin to Books & Such as part of the WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour! Lynn is here today to share some tips about how to make your writing stand out from the crowd. Her coming-of-age novel, Talent: Real Life Doesn’t Have a Script, was released in November 2015. Leave a comment below to be registered to win a copy!
Beyond Show—Don’t Tell:
Fifteen Tips To Make Your Writing Shine
Here are some tips that will help your writing sparkle. One of my tips is “Less is more.” In keeping with that sentiment, I have kept these short and simple.
- Write about an idea worth sharing. Everybody has them, you know.
- Figure out what makes your idea unique. If you look at it from that angle, you’ll interest more people and they’ll want to read something new, fresh, and exciting.
- Hook your readers in the first paragraph. Contemporary readers have very short attention spans.
- Know your characters. Know what they want, what they can do to get it, and what is in their way. Explore these three elements for each character in your journal. Interview the characters. Give them plenty of chances to share with you. It will pay off, because sympathetic, well-rounded characters draw readers into any story.
- Let events happen naturally and logically. Actions have consequences. Let one event lead to another.
- Be wary of digressions. Instead of deleting them, save your digressions for a different story.
- When you finish a draft, read it over. Underline words and phrases that have energy—whatever that means for you. Those are places that you may want to dig deeper and explore further.
- Delete anything that doesn’t belong. If you want to use it sometime, put it with your digressions and use it later.
- Read your writing out loud. Listen for places where your writing trips you up. Rephrase. Dig deeper. Eliminate unnecessary words. If none of that works, go to your journal and ask yourself why the passage trips you up. One idea will lead to another and you will figure it out.
- After you read, ask yourself what you want to know more about and make a list of questions that address those issues. Answer them when you are ready to do so. Keep going back and adding. Trust your instincts as you weave your newest discoveries into the story.
- After the next draft, have a trusted friend read your work to you. What do you hear that works? What could be clearer? What could be smoother? Make notes.
- With every draft, journal about the issues that came up for the author as well as the characters. These journal entries will give you insights.
- Write to elicit an emotional impact in the reader.
- Less is more. Don’t over describe, but give us enough thought that we sink into the story. Don’t flaunt your vocabulary.
- Write with your heart at least as much as you write with your head. Be subjective. If you are telling a story, let us live it with you.
My last piece of advice can be easy to follow or extremely difficult, depending on how you are hard wired. Be open to the suggestions of others, but don’t be governed by them. If an idea appeals, use it. If it makes you bristle, ask yourself why. You can journal about it if you want to, but maybe you don’t need to. Consider the knowledge and sensitivity of the person commenting. If a suggestion confuses you, ask the person who gave it to you what he or she means.
Remember, you need your approval and maybe you need an agent, editor, or publisher’s approval. Maybe not. Tell the story that you want to tell, a story you will be proud to call your own. I’ve given you tips. Please use whatever will work for you as you continue on your writing journey.
Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver’s license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.
Talent is a timely story about a girl who learns her brother is MIA in Afghanistan. What does she do? How does she cope while trying to be part of the drama department and attempting to live normally? Lynn Goodwin has captured the angst and the pathos of this situation and created a character who will appeal to many teens. All she wants to do is fit in and live her life, but events keep happening that don’t allow her to do this. I highly recommend this book as a way for young people to understand the effects of war on the people left behind and the kinds of problems teens face today.
TALENT is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Talent-B-Lynn-Goodwin/.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below to be registered to win a copy of Talent! This giveaway runs through March 16th.
Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, and the author of both You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing), and TALENT (Eternal Press). Her blog is at http://blynngoodwin.com. Goodwin’s stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good Housekeeping.com and many other venues. She is currently working on a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62.
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