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I'm an opinionated mom, writer and lawyer. I'm not currently practicing. I prosecuted for nearly fifteen years, so my kids call me a drill sergeant. I hope to use the time off to finally finish revising my first legal thriller and I just completed the second draft of my second novel another legal thriller/domestic noir. I'd love to write an unreliable narrator next.

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CrimeSpace: A place for readers and writers of crime fiction to schmooze, booze and draw up plans for the heist to end all heists.
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fiction Writer's Toolbox: Top 11 Resources

A Fiction Writer's Toolbox of Resources: Top 11


Do you have any resources that you rely heavily on? I was going back though some of the sources that I couldn't have lived without last year and a few that I just leaned about and thought I would share them with you.

11 Resources Fiction Writers Shouldn't Be Without: {In no Particular Order}


My favorite, of course being, her Larry Brooks Beat sheet.

And if you're going to really put Jami Gold and Larry Brooks or any of Jami's other amazing worksheets to good use you need to be using Scrivener, if you aren't already. I'm sure by now, most, if not, all of you are familiar with Scrivener. I don't know of many people who don't use Scrivener. If you happen to be one of the holdouts, let 2016, be the year you finally jump on the Sciv wagon. I know the opposition -- the learning curve? Right? I'm telling you, it's really not that bad. I put it off for quite a while because of the learning curve hype and once I finally bought it, the hype did not live up to the rumor mill. Sure, you can play with it for twenty-four hours a day and never sleep. There are functions you'll never need. Just try it. Your writing will never be the same. Your writing will thank you.

2. Scrivener
It's only $45 Bucks. Comes with a free trial Now available for Windows (has been for a while). The outline is fanF---ingtastic! Revision Mode is super Cool. I love the labels best.













And if you find the learning curve still too steep.


 I'm told Gwen Hernandez's Scrivener Classes are reasonably priced, easy to follow and will quickly bring you up to speed.

3. Evernote
I'm probably the last person to finally start using Evernote. I caved. It's too easy to import Evernote into Scrivener. I just had to do it. I still don't really understand all the bells and whistles, but that's pretty much what I'm preaching about so I guess I'll eat my own sermon as it applies to Evernote.

4. Writers Helping Writers
I've always turned to Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers and their Award Winning Book Series, The Emotional Thesaurus and The Positive Character Traits and The Negative Character Traits and Emotional Amplifiers, but now they have opened up a galaxy of resources for writers with their new

5. One Stop For Writers.




Have You Checked out The New One Stop For Writers? If not, I strongly recommend you stop by.


6. Elizabeth Spann Craig's Blog
I look forward to reading her Twitterific links each week. I always find the very best writing advice. I don't know how she finds the time to scour the net and load up on the best of the best, but she does and she is gracious enough to share them with us. Which leads me to another of my favorite resources.

7. Hiveword Writer's Knowledge Base
A Search Engine for Writers

8. Distraction Free Writing
I haven't tried this, but I plan to this year. Freedom will block social media, email and other Internet sites for the time period you request to ensure distraction free writing.

9. Aeon Timeline
For a timeline, you can't go wrong.

10. Novlr
I'm just getting started with Novlr, but you can write your novel on any device, iPhone, iPad, laptop and it keeps a record of your words and helps you meet your writing goals. I'll keep you posted.

11. Story Skeleton
I've been using this outlining, note card app on my iPhone for about a year now. It's a great brainstorming tool.


How about you? Do you have any special resources in your fiction toolbox? Any specify iPhone or iPad apps you rely on when you find yourself stuck in the doctor's office waiting room or carpool line? Do you return to the same website or blog time and time again when you need help for character development or need a plotting template? Do share! Don't keep it to yourself.


  I keep an ongoing list of websites that I believe may be of interest on my Writer's Resources page. I also keep a list of articles about Twitter Pitch Contests & Query Contests on my, Fiction Toolbox Page. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG - Happy New Year 2016

It's That Time Again: The Insecure Writer's Support Group

And it's a brand new year.
Happy 2016!


Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of the wonderful Alex Cavanaugh

I'm entering 2016 with positive thoughts, but I'm still feeling insecure ... hey aren't we all. I know I've been MIA on this blog for quite a while. It began during NaNo, which I was ready to chalk up as a NaNo fail, until a light bulb went off and salvaged a prior manuscript, but that's another story. Then the Christmas holidays crept up on me like an ill-timed tormentor. No, I don't sound very cheerful and with good reason. Our family didn't celebrate the holidays this year. My dad was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room on the morning or our annual family Christmas party. We host our party at my parents, with all the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., a couple of days before Christmas. With our extended family and a few friends this festive event always brings in well over 100 guests and is the highlight of our holiday season. My dad is still in the hospital, hanging in there, so we have yet to celebrate.
{Photo of my mom & dad Xmas 2014}

Back to my insecure post. For personal, family and career reasons, I may need to take a social media hiatus. I've taken quite a few breaks from blogging over the years, but I've always stayed in touch with most of you via Twitter, FB or other forms of social media. I'm afraid that if I am serious about tending to some serious issues that are important to my family and me while maintaining time to continue writing, I'm going to have to make changes. I have to prioritize. My family and I have debated these issues and nothing is set in stone, but until I know whether or not my husband's health will permit him to continue practicing law, I'm likely won't be around very much. I will still read your blog post and tweets as often as I can, I just won't be able to interact the way I once did. I will miss the connections I've made. This is only a temporary situation and I hope you will all welcome me back when I can come back.

I'm hoping it won't come to a full blown disappearance, but I don't want to overextend myself anymore than I have and I need to concentrate on my family. 


My mom nearly died last year. My dad is elderly and I don't know how long we have with him. I have an aunt, actually she has always been my favorite aunt ... she and I didn't speak to each other for years. I mean it ... years. It was my fault. Something I said, then something I did. But, it's weighed heavily on me for a long time. When my dad first entered the hospital, her son, my cousin and his wife were welcoming their second baby. The ER was placed on lock down for a couple of hours and we were all required to remain in the ER treating room with my dad. Once the lock down lifted, my aunt hugged me and told me she loved me. I can't tell you how good that felt. Even during the stress of my father's dire condition, my mom noticed a difference in my entire appearance, attitude, mood and demeanor. Later that day, my cousin walked up to me on his way to get the car to take his wife and baby home and I got another unexpected hug.


You know what I learned that day? I didn't really learn it because I already knew it, but it was so vividly reinforced. Life is short. Life is precious. My father, elderly and sick gasping for breath in the emergency room. My cousin and his wife welcoming another addition to their beautiful family of four (he has a daughter that she has pretty much raised and she has an older son). The circle of life was right in front of me and I vowed right then to treasure it. I promised myself to take care of myself and those I love and to go out of my way to make sure that they know I love them. I will never let years pass with unresolved conflict. It's not worth it. Family is the most important thing in this world. Cherish your family.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bish Denham's List Blohhop: Top Unreliable Narrators

Bish Denham: The Listing Hop, Question of the Month,  a Win,  and Being Thankful:


Now That's my kind of bloghop:  A Listing Hop. How fun. I love making lists. I make list of the lists I need to make each day. Anyone else do the same? C'mon, you're among friends here.

Bish has been making lists most of her life, but the idea for this blog hop came from Ray Bradbury's book, Zen In the Art of Writing.


This fest will be so easy and fun it should probably be a crime.

Well, that's all I needed to hear from Bish, and I was on board.


You had me at "crime."

A quick breakdown of the very simple rules: {and I'm taking the rules straight from her blog, so there is no confusion ... they are her rules, not mine. But, to simplify and for clarity, I'm copying her rules, word for word.

The rules are simple. All you have to do is sign up in the linky thingy below, grab the banner, and make a list. I suggest you keep your list to between 5 and 25 items long. We'll visit each other on October 26th.

You can list whatever you feel like (except for adult type content). That's it! Of course, if you'd like to help spread the word, I'm not going to fuss at you.

And, if this bloghop does well, it will become an annual October event!

Here are some examples from Bish's blog of lists you might choose: Really the options are endless.

Think about it, the ideas are endless.
You could list:
favorite trees/animals/flowers/insects/pets
favorite books/movies/actors/heroes/villains/music/concerts you've been to
places you'd like to go/places you've been to
make a bucket list
favorite food/desserts/drinks
favorite names
favorite scientists/mathematicians/artists
favorite activists/saints/prophets
favorite myths/mythological places/gods/goddesses
your morning/evening routine
important things to pack when going on vacation
what to take on a picnic
biggest fears
greatest loves
the birthdays of your family members
holidays
things you like/dislike doing
foods you don't like to eat
pictures of your cat/dog
cars you've owned
places you've lived/schools you've attended
musical instruments you play
important moments in history you've lived through
historical eras you'd like to have lived in
famous people (dead or alive) that you'd like to meet

And there you have it, Bish came up with a 25 to 50 point list, listing things, without even thinking about it. 

And while you're thinking about it, hop over to L. Diane Wolfe's Spunk on a Stick, for a real treat. She takes you on an an adventure to my favorite places in the world. Amusement Parks. I haven't had a chance to scroll through the blog hop yet, but I will this week. And I'm sure, the mighty ninja and co-host of this fun blog hop, Alex J. Cavanaugh, will have some fun, interesting lists full of knowledge and tid bits we will all learn from.


So, now ... for my list ... 


I'm tying my list into NaNoWrimo theme for this year:

Unreliable Narrators:

I've been studying unreliable narrators, which means I've been re-reading some of my favorite novels; reading some of the classics, I've never read and I've tried quiet a few that were suggested by many of my blogger friends and I've also found a few recommendations from the comment section of other blogs, Amazon & Goodreads. Some, I've fallen hard for. Others, I couldn't manage to complete, but hey ... we can't all love the same books and actors now can we.

The first 10 in my list are my absolute, all time favorite stories told with unreliable narrators:

1. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
2. The Girl on the Train by  Paula Hawkins
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
4. Defending Jacob by William Landay
5. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haass { this book actually has a little story to go along with it. I really wish I could remember the name of the blogger who recommend this incredible book, because it blew me away and left Gone Girl and the others in the dust)

 But, you see, I couldn't find the damn book I was looking for because the dark psychological thriller written with an unreliable narrator that I was searching all over the world for, with the title, Dangerous Girls, was authored by, Abby McDonald, and I googled and searched online and inside every actual book store and apparently this dark and disturbed writer who made Gillian Flynn and Amazing Amy seem like Barbie and Marie Osmond, didn't exist. Abby was a ghost. A figment of someone's imagination and that person was hell bent on playing a cruel joke on me. Which, of course, if you know me, only intensified my search to find this Abby McDonald and demand to know why she had entered the witness protection program. It turns out the the mystery surrounding Abby McDonald Haass' real life is nothing as sinister as her deeply disturbing psychological thriller, Dangerous Girls. She does indeed exist and she is alive and well.

Fortunately for me, I discovered another blogger who directed me to Abby under her new ...  last name. Thank you Writer of Wrongs. Without you, I  might never have discovered Abby McDonald is now Abby Haass. However, my initial problem remained. I did finally get my hands on Abby's book, and it just might be my favorite psychological thriller to date. Which is why, her own blog post about her sales broke my heart. I'm not that far along in my own career, but it saddened me. Abby has a contract with Simon and Schuster UK, but apparently they weren't impressed with her her sales and won't be bringing her beloved book to the U.S.

You should read Abby's words. She passionately talks about her readers sending her tweets that Dangerous Girls is their favorite book. Having read it, I can see why. Abby's finally plot twist rivals any other I've ever seen and believe me, you don't see this one coming.  The author is truly devoted to her fans and despite having a contract with Simon and Schuster in the U.K., she has self published Dangerous Girls in the U.S and her sequel Dangerous Boys. Read more about Dangerous Girls & Abby Haass here.

6.  The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

7. The Usual Suspects

8.  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

9. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

10. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

The remaining in my list are all favorites of mine, but they are not in any particular order.


11. Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes

12.  In the Woods  by Tana French

13.  The King of Lies by John Hart

14. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

15. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

16. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Unreliable Narrator: Insecure Writers Support Group

Insecure Writers Support Group; NaNoWrimo & Writing a Novel with an Unreliable Narrator:

Greetings fellow writers & IWSG members. Another month has flown by and it's time to share our insecure feelings and support one another. As always, I want to give a shout out and a great big thanks to Alex Cavanaugh, the vigorous creator of this rewarding group.

Today's co-host are: TB MarkinsonTamara NarayanShannon LawrenceStephanie Faris & Eva E. Solar. So make sure you visit each one of the cosponsors as they have a busy day (and night) ahead of them and they go out of their way visiting each of our blogs. They not only visit our blogs, they read our posts and they pay attention to our content. These selfless co- host engage us in conversation and genuinely seem to care about our struggles and insecurities. Sure, they leave comments, but that's not the end of of what some of you might think of as their obligatory duty.  I've noticed that if you reciprocate, the co- host continue visiting and before long you've made a new friend ... and that, my dear blogger buds, is what blogging is all about. 

Yup ... that's what it's all about. Connections. 

You put your left foot in ... you take your left foot out ... you put your left foot in and you shake it all about ... you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around ... That's what's it's all about!

We all want friends and connections so it stand to reason, we have to put in the time and effort. I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best blogger. That's why I never complain about lack of connections or lack of followers or comments, but it irks the crap out of me when I read posts from people who complain about their readership. It irks me even more when I notice the leeches who follow simply to up their number then quit following. 
I love that word. Leeches. But I can't take credit for it. L Diane Wolfe nailed it though & I know some other bloggers including myself who've had our own share of bad experiences with Internet trolls and they are anything but cute little deformed creatures living under bridges. Many of them are lonely. Some are unstable. Others are just vindictive, but some can be dangerous.

 I "borrowed," the term leeches from, L. Diane Wolfe, in an article where she blasts the Blog Leeches & Trolls, for following just to you to follow them, visit them, feature them, or list them in your sidebar. And then there are the trolls who comment just to harass you or get a rise out of you. Hail to Diane! But, that's not my gripe, I mean insecurity or my topic of the day


 NaNoWriMo 2015

I've Finally Decided to Participate in NaNo this Year 

But what I'm most insecure about this:

I’ve been tossing around the idea of writing a novel with an unreliable narrator. I know … either love the idea or your hate it. If done well it’s a mind-blowing literary device full of unpredictable plot twists. If not, the the story tanks. 

After Gillian Flynn’s breakout novel and blockbuster movie Gone Girl, just about every fourth book jacket I come across compares their story to Gone Girl: If Your Liked Gone Girl, you will love …

     On the Heels of Gone Girl we had another breakout novel, The Girl on the Train, and the book jacket hype ramped back up with a with a two book comp: Fans of Gone Girl & The Girl on Train will devour

The unreliable narrator can be unreliable for a variety of reasons. A liar, such as Verbal Kint, in one of my all time favorite movies, The Usual Suspects; an alter ego, in Fight Club, or Multiple Personality Disorder as in the novel and film Psycho. Many critics claim that the main narrator in the novel, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, wasn’t a true unreliable narrator, rather a simple drunk who couldn’t recall the events as they occurred when she got pissed (Brit for drunk).

The reason I keep referring back to The Girl on the Train is because this is the book that sparked the seed in me that continued growing and wouldn’t die. It eventually won me over and now I’m hell bent on writing a story with an unreliable narrator. For those of you who read the novel, you may remember it being told from the POV of three women. Rachel, Megan & Anna. Rachel is the drunk, Megan is the missing girl and Anna is the woman now married to Rachel’s ex husband. Most of the story is told from Rachel’s POV, until the third act. In the third act or part four (if you follow Larry Brooks' story telling structure) the three alternating POV'S continue, but more of the story is told from Anna's present POV and it continues alternating from Megan's past POV right up unit the moment she was killed which eventually catches up with the other two female POV characters. Rachel’s story is told out of order and begins before she disappears and ends when she is killed. The author uses a fascinating storytelling method of alternating POVS and alternates between past and present.

Throughout the story, I didn’t really root for Rachel as the protagonist and I suppose she was she was the protagonist as she was the character who changed the most, but I did grow to like her more as she attempted to change her life. She gave up drinking, made her life better and in the end, she made an ultimate sacrifice, even saving the woman who ruined her life.  I didn’t feel one way or the other about Anna. I didn’t really like or or dislike her. If I had to choose. I guess I leaned more toward disliking her, just because she she didn’t appear to have an ounce of sympathy for Rachel and she didn’t seem to care at all about the poor girl gone missing, other than how poorly it reflected on her as a mother. She and her husband had used the girl as a babysitter in the past. Anna just rubbed me the wrong way, but there wasn't anything specific I could pinpoint. Megan was missing from the beginning so it would be wrong to form an opinion one way or the other about her. We knew she was cheating on her husband, but it's not my place to judge. She was a young woman and regardless of her fidelity, no one deserves to die. I'm not going to go into the male characters in this post. In a review I certainly would. Of course I would. I would have to. I'm touching on the females simply to give you the reason I feel compelled to tackle an unreliable narrator.

Very close to the ending, however, something that Anna said, struck me as extremely disturbing. She let on about creating a fake Facebook page in her husband’s name for the sole purpose of posting family photos and comments so it would appear her husband made the comments. She knew his ex-wife would read the comments. She hoped the fake comment would hurt her husband's ex-wife so badly they would drive her to drink and injure herself. Anna didn't stop there You see, Rachel was a really bad drunk. Anna truly hoped when Rachel read the comments and believed that Scott wrote them (he didn't - Anna wrote them, pretending to be Scott) Anna hoped Rachel would get so drunk she would injure herself and that would ensure she would no longer be a part of Scott's life. 

I had to re-read that passage. Up until that point, I had no idea the suburban housewife and mom had a devious streak. Vindictive. Jealous. But Why? She had nothing to be jealous of. As the book continues we learn just how devious Anna is. She isn’t the killer or anything, but ever since I read that book, my mind has been playing the “What if,” game, every writer plays, and I’ve conjured up all kinds up wicked and mentally unstable characters.

What kind of person would do that? What kind of person would deliberately create a fake Facebook page and pretend to be her husband and write messages that purport to be from him for the sole purpose of hurting another person with the hope of causing the other person serious bodily harm? What happened to that person to cause them to become the way they are today? What is their problem? What is their fatal flaw? What is their secret? What is their wound?  

If the past is to blame for who we are today, what happened in this character’s past? I’m going to spend the rest of this month digging deep into my character study so I can get a jump start in November. 

What do the rest of you do to really get to know your characters, warts, wounds, flaws, secrets, lies, traumas and all? Have you ever studied your villains as deeply as you’ve studied your protagonists? This is weird, because when writing a story with an unreliable narrator it feels like my MC is a villain. Is she? Can I make her redeemable? Or do I want to? Would that ruin the story?

How do we unearth from our character’s past, her emotional trauma? Where do I dig to find her wound? If she’ll do anything within her power to avoid suffering it again and keep it hidden, where do I begin? Where is the lie buried? This should be a fun month? 

Is she mental unstable? 

Or just evil? 

Cruel? Or does she suffer from a personality disorder? Was she abandoned by someone as a child? Betrayed? Hurt? Bullied? The ugly duckling? I think I will start with Angela & Becca over @ Writers Helping Writers 

Elizabeth Spann Craig will be by my go to girl for advice and tips. I just discovered this article on her blog. She explains why some people don't like unreliable narrators and what kind of unreliable narrators make us feel cheated. 150 Thoughts on Unreliable Narrators.

What do you think of unreliable narrators?

Call me a sucker ... but I loved this book and the movie, and yes, I even liked the ending. I saw no other possible way it could end. 



Feeling insecure about anything this month?

Have you visited the other writers?






Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dynamic Writing 1 - by Tyrean Martinson - Dynamic Writing Lessons for Middle School Students

Need Help Getting Middle School Students Excited About Writing?

How hard is it to get your middle school child/student fired up and excited about a writing assignment? I feel certain that teachers often struggle to come up with new, fresh, innovative ways to capture and keep the attention of their tween and teen students.


I have the answer you've been searching for.


 Well, I don't have it ...  I didn't create it or write it, but I did read an excellent book that will change the way teachers and home school parents approach writing with middle school students.


Tyrean Martinson, author of Dynamic Writing (Everyday Writing Volume 1) has authored the perfect book for teachers and parents. This is one book you will want to add to your current curriculum. Martinson offers enough lessons, games, and challenges for middle school writing that her book could replace your current resources for engaging middle school students in dynamic and creative writing.

Dynamic Writing 1 is a full curriculum of writing for one year.

This is what the author, Tyrean Martinson has to say about Dynamic Writing 1:

"Dynamic Writing 1 is available in complete form in paperback through Amazon. Containing 161 Lessons for Middle Grade Students, this curriculum is meant for a complete year of home-school, home-school co-op, or classroom use. Eighteen of the lessons are "double" lessons and may be split over two days worth of time to extend the school year to 179 days with a planned celebration day at the end. Teaching notes, grade sheets, a resource list, and extra writing prompts are included in the text, as well as an answer key at the back of the book for the writing exercises. Within a year, students will study journal writing and essay writing, with short forays into fiction and poetry. Specific instruction in sentence variations, similes, and other writing concepts is spread over the course of the book and reviewed throughout the year so that students can wrestle with these concepts over the full course. "

Now Let me share with you what I have to say about Dynamic Writing 1:

I normally review fiction and occasionally I review non fiction, usually writing craft books for the novelist. When I review a book I like to begin with what I liked about the book and follow that with what I didn't care for.

What I Liked about Dynamic Writing 1: A lot:





What I Didn't Care For: Can't think of one thing I disliked about this book



I like how functional this book is. It has unlimited potential, and can be used by anyone. A teacher can add the book to her school's current curriculum. A parent can use the book for home school lessons. A parent, like me, whose child attends a public or private school, can use this book to help the child gain a better understanding of writing or to encourage creativity.

I absolutely love the journal entry idea and that spelling and grammar are not graded during this brainstorming activity. This encourages the kids to turn off their inner editor and write without all the inhibitions that so often paralyze young writers. This free writing is what will lead our kids to their most creative and imaginative work.

The author gives many easy to follow examples of every type of writing. She provides lists and examples. In addition, Martinson provides examples of how the student's work should be graded.

Her book encourages parents and teachers to help students develop their own unique writing voice and she also demonstrates how to teach more structured writing.

Her journal prompts are amazing. They give the student the perfect push to spread their creative wings.

One of my favorite things about the book is that the author provides a plethora of lists. A list will prevent students from staring down at a blank piece of paper while their mind goes blank on them.

I keep going back to the author's use of lists. She offers a list for everything. List of books. List of books I've read. List of books to be read ... my TBR list. A list of all the books I've read during my lifetime ... last year. A list of books I didn't like. A list of books that had an impact on me. Martinson's variety of lists will enable even the most reluctant writer to feel they have something to share.

I've been praising the author for her fresh and unusual approach to writing for middle school students, but she also teaches basic writing, such as format and useful topics like subject - verb - predicate and sentence variation.

I love that the author teaches students to use concrete words rather than vague words.

The author really makes use of the journal and drawing and other unconventional techniques to pull the vibrant writing out of the students. She uses an abundance of exercises, games, and challenges that require the student to experience sensory perception in a hands on way.

Another of my favorite learning adventures from Dynamic Writing 1, was the author's use of columns and charts to emphasize each of the senses. I used this right away with my son, an 8th grade student. He now understands sensory perception and how to write with all of the senses, not just sight or sound. He has a new appreciation for envisioning and feeling sensations prior to writing his first word. He raves to his friends about this lesson.

I like that the author recognizes the popular use of sentence fragments, but does not use them for this course.

I truly adored the loss of sense journal prompt because my daughter is hearing impaired.


You will reach even the most hesitant, wary or disinclined writer with the use of Dynamic Writing 1. 


The author's approach to teaching and learning is above reproach. She offers games, campfire journal stories, timed journals, easy use of time transitions and she makes learning fun and challenging. She does so in a way that ensures the student will remember each assignment and lesson forever, rather than just memorizing rules for the sole purpose of completing an assignment. Martinson's book teaches all of the writing fundamentals and offers oodles of resources outside the book.

I highly recommend this book for any parent or teacher who strives to reach middle school students. This book will teach the joy of writing, creativity and individuality while never failing to expound upon the integral components of writing.

Does your middle school aged child or student need extra encouragement for writing? Do you want to inject passion into a student's writing? Then you can't go wrong with Dynamic Writing 1 by Tyrean Martinson. Buy it now at Amazon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Release: The Amaranthine by Murees Dupé & Other Announcements

The Amaranthine is now Available:

Is that an alluring cover or what?

It is such an honor for me to announce the release of Murees Dupé's debut novel:

Title: The Amaranthine (Thelum Series)
Author: Murees Dupé
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 8 September 2015

Blurb
Claire is sassy, human, and an outcast of societywho only wants to know where she belongs. 

Alex is arrogant, selfish, and an immortal warriorwho thinks he’s prepared for everything. 

Claire knows the world of immortals is where she belongs. As her guide and guardian, Alex finds it hard to resist Claire’s subtle charm. Can the two overcome their differences and embrace their passion for each other, or will the possibility of true love be lost to both forever?

Find your copy here:
E-book: Kindle * Nook * Ibooks * Kobo 
Paperback: Amazon

About the Author
Murees Dupé was born and still lives in South Africa. When she is not thinking up new stories, she is spending time with her family, playing with her three dogs and cat, watching TV, or overindulging on desserts. To learn more about Murees, visit her website www.mureesdupe.com.

I would like to add something here. Murees is one of the very first bloggers I connected with when I started blogging. She has been a loyal friend. Murees is a dedicated author/blogger and she always has time to help new or fellow bloggers and authors. While I'm always excited when a fellow author announces the release of their debut novel, with Murees I feel like the blogging world and all authors should join in the happy dance with her.

I hope you will share this blog post announcing the release of The Amaranthine with all of your friends, not just your writer friends. Way to go Murees! We're all so very proud of you and wish you a long and successful career as an amazing author. You deserve it.

Other Announcements:

Do you have a completed, polished, unpublished manuscript that is query ready? If so, don't dare miss out on Brenda Drake's #PitMad - a Twitter Pitch Party It takes place on Twitter, tomorrow, September 10, 2015. Don't worry ... if your novel isn't quite ready, you'll have another opportunity for #PitMad on December 4, 2015. 
For more tips on Twitter Pitching, check out Carissa Taylor's Twitter Pitch Party Roundup. Her article is chock full of advice, tips and links to just about everything you need to know before pitching your novel on Twitter.

Carissa shares How To's, Past Winning Pitches & a Pitch Contest Calendar. You'll want to bookmark this page.

Carissa Taylor even includes some fun links like her Pitch Factory - a Twitter Pitch Logline Generator

So, I gave it a try. I opted for the High Stakes Pitch and was directed to the YA Writer's Toolbox - High Stakes Pitch Generator. It works for all genres, not just Young Adult. I typed in my answers to the questions and the generator spit out about twenty pitches for me. With a little tweaking here and there, some of them were quite good.

I just tried it again and this is what the generator popped out for me. Feel free to critique my pitch in the comment section. 

This is the generated pitch, before I tweak it. Just curious what you think:

Ambitious prosecutor has 2 options: Expose illegal adoption attorney & risk losing son or leave innocent person on death row. #PitMad #A



Even with adding the hashtag for #PitMad and #A for Adult it leaves 5 spaces on Twitter. I need to work on it and I'm not sure I'm going to jump in tomorrow. I keep putting it off, but I feel like I will have a better chance in December and I want to make sure my first encounter with visiting agents is a good one and I leave a good impression. Nerves? Yes. How to figure out if it's just nerves and fear of putting myself out there or if I really need more time and work on my manuscript before I put it out there. What a question.

Another Fabulous Contest: 

Miss Snark's First Victim - On the Block takes place tomorrow as well. This is an auction type contest. On the Block will showcase 24 first pages. There is a $20 entry fee for this contest.

My Last Announcement: well, this isn't really my announcement, but a recommendation that you pop over to Cherie Reich's Blog for her List of September Book Releases ... it's a big un!

Please don't forget to stop by Murees Dupè's Site and check out her fantastic debut novel, The Amaranthine or better yet, pop over to Amazon and purchase your copy of Amaranthine by Murees Dupè now!

So have any of you entered Twitter Pitch Contests? Any luck? 

Have you read Murees Dupé's debut novel, The Amaranthine?

Have you checked out all the new releases for September?

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