November 22, 2014

Writing Tips (VI)


Reblogged from:
by  Alison Guynes
A flashback is 'a device in the narrative of a motion picture, novel, etc., by which an event or scene taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work.' The flashback is a plot device used in many forms of media that should be used cautiously and with care.

Kristen Lamb is a best-selling writer who has posted many blog posts on her blog about writing and tips for social media. Something she recently tackled was the flashback.
Flashbacks can break the flow of a story. An author can be progressing along, have their readers invested in the current scene, and then break off into a flashback. This can pull a reader out of the story. That is something you want to avoid at all costs because a reader who loses the thread of the story will put it down and not pick it up again. 

The thing to keep in mind with flashbacks is while there are suggestions, there are no hard and fast guidelines. There are also devices that may appear to be flashbacks that aren't. 

A story full of flashbacks causes problems for the reader as well. Generally, if an author has to put a large number of them into their manuscript, then there is a very good chance the author isn't telling the right story. If the events are so important that the flow has to be disrupted more than once or twice the story should be overhauled to make a more continuous storyline. 

Flashbacks should be kept to a minimum or eliminate them completely. Find a method for conveying the information in a more linear fashion. If it is backstory, look for a way to insert it where it doesn't disrupt the progression of the story.
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November 19, 2014

Guest Promo (LI)

My guest today is Linda Andrews who shares with us her latest release. She will also offer a copy of her ebook to someone who leaves a comment on this post.

I sometimes think that instead of asking for the tired, poor, and huddled masses the Statue of Liberty should really ask those who wash up on our shore to give us your holidays that involve eating and drinking, and if there's a commercial edge to it so much the better. We'll do what we do best in this country, change it beyond all recognition and export it to the world.

That's why I find it so interesting when I stumble across holidays that we don't celebrate in the US. Take for example St. Nicholas Day. Now my Grandmother was full-blooded German but it took a Bavarian to tell me about this holiday.

Like Christmas, it involves gifts (win), food (win), and fun (win). St Nick is there—The skinny bishop not the Coca-cola fat man. And best of all, there's this guy called Krampus who will stuff bad little boys and girls into his sack and carry them away. Hey, it's kinda like combining Christmas and Halloween.

There were just as many German-Americans in the US as there were Irish and English when Christmas was catching on. So why don't we celebrate St. Nicholas's Day ?

If I had to guess, it comes down to one word: War.

Both the first and the second World Wars created a strong  anti-German sentiment in the US, and it affected everything from the music we could listen to, the language we spoke and what we called food (sauerkraut became liberty cabbage, German shepherds were police dogs, etc). This sentiment also gave us Prohibition—all those German beer gardens and breweries.

But I digress. It's time to add more holidays to the calendar. June and August are wide open. April has taxes due and we definitely need something to celebrate to forget that. So what do you say, let's start a movement to bring forth another holiday, conceived in fun, food and drinks? What would you propose and why? Leave your fabulous idea for a chance to win a free copy of my latest book.

Now a word from our sponsor, er, my latest book celebrating: St. Nicholas's Day.
                           Gift from St. Nick
Blurb: Hans Lubeck lost his birthright to a woman's deceitful games. Ten years later, he's on the cusp of fulfilling his dream of captaining his own ship. And another woman could jeopardize everything.

Schoolteacher Lenore Kerrigan devotes her time to her pupils and good works. She has no use for a man or the damage he could do to her reputation.

But this holiday season, fate and an island of matchmakers have other plans. Will they accept the gift of a lifetime, or will the past steal away any chance at happiness?

Excerpt: When a first kiss, isn't exactly a first kiss
"Are you awake, Lenore?"

Her stomach dropped into the basement. Of all the hotel lobbies in the world, why did Hans Lubeck have to walk into hers?

And why did she have to kiss him?

She swallowed the disgrace wadded in her throat, then slowly worked her fingers out of his knitted sweater. Sweet Mary, maybe I should join a convent in Ireland. At least then I won't be able to get into anymore trouble.


Biting her lip, she looked away. He pitied her. She heard it in his voice. "I'm sorry. I was dreaming and..."

And she'd lost her mind.

But she hadn't known it was him. Although she should have known it wasn't Dixon. He'd never kissed her like that. No one had. "I'm sorry."

Color spotted his cheeks. "No need to apologize. You weren't responsible."

Her eyes narrowed. "Are you saying you kissed me first?"

"No, I'm saying I interrupted while you were sleeping." He rocked back on his heels.

Her fingers traced her lips. But he had kissed her back. She could still taste her mother's cobbler. Why had he kissed her?

November 18, 2014

Guest Promo (L)

Our guest today, Marie Christie, shares with us her latest release a Regency Romance novel
                                ROYAL REGARD

Book Blurb

After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.

Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.

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Author Bio

Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym for Mari Christie, a mainstream historical and Regency romance writer. She is also a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer with twenty years' experience and a Bachelor's in Writing from the University of Colorado Denver, summa cum laude. She lives in Denver, Colorado with two kittens who have no respect at all for writing time.


Nick didn’t take up with a man’s wife every Season. On occasion, he engaged a paid companion or keep a mistress in the demi-monde, but he seduced men’s spouses often enough to be known for it. With no inclination toward marriage, logic dictated he choose women who would never ask it of him. His lovers were always worldly, with plenty to lose and no intention of losing it. He would rather remove his own feet with a penknife than dance with anyone in the marriage mart.

The coterie of women circling his sister was becoming unruly. Girls laughed aloud against their mother’s whispered admonishments; dowagers made half-accurate pronouncements about Nick’s lifetime of debauchery; the female yammering became so noisy Nick could almost hear the married women and widows discussing the cut of his breeches. He was surprised none of the hostesses had made her displeasure known, though Lady Sefton was eying him with an unquestionable glower and the orchestra had increased in volume.

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November 15, 2014

Guest Promo (LXIX)

My guest today is best selling Colorado author Leslie Ann Sartor. She shares with us a few interesting things about her writing and her latest release.

Carmen, thank you for hosting me on your blog, it's an honor to be here.

It's a treat for me to have the second book out in my Star Light ~ Star Bright Series; Forever Yours This New Year's Night .

I didn't intend to write a series when I wrote the first book, Be Mine This Christmas Night, but my editor and my beta readers all mentioned that they wanted  to read Jen's story since they loved Annie so much. 

Well, that stunned and scared me. But seriously, how could I NOT do this. So I did.  Mitch's story is book three and there will be a novella for Caro, Brice's sister, whom you learn about in Forever Yours This New Year's Night.

So what started out as a single book bloomed into 4.  And when my readers told me they wanted to know when Jen's story was coming out, I knew I'd made the right decision.

I hope you enjoy the books, whether you read them in order or not, they all tie together.

So sit down, grab your favorite hot beverage and be transported to cold and snowy Boulder, CO where you can fall in love and experience the holidays with my Star Light ~ Star Bright series.

And please, join my mailing list.  I only send out a few  newsletters a year, but they're filled with information about new releases and great deals.  Mailing List

Blurb for Forever Yours This New Year's Night:

Jennifer Malone Can't Believe What's Happening To Her

How dare he? Granted she's far from home, dining alone on Christmas Eve. But that doesn't give Major Brice Young—the cocky man who'd out-experted her on a big cyber forensics case months ago—the right to invite himself to her table and then do what he did.

Brice Young Can't Believe He Did What He Just Did

Stupid move. Brice needs Jennifer Malone to be the beta tester of his new cyber defense program and he bet he'd just ruined his chances. Why on earth did he come here at all, let alone do what he just did? Would Jen still show up at tomorrow's meeting and agree to work with him on testing his new system?

Can Two Prior Adversaries Work Together?

Getting Jen to test his new system is Brice's priority until he discovers she is so much more than the icy cyber geek she portrays to the world. Jen fights to keep her distance, despite Brice's undeniable charm. There is no way she ever mixes business with pleasure, especially with a recently divorced man…or can magic happen on this New Year's Night?

Buy Links:

Forever Yours This New Year's Night   2014 release

Be Mine This Christmas Night   2013 release



Leslie Ann Sartor (aka L.A. Sartor) began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at Leslie’s insistence, wrote them down and Leslie illustrated them.  As an adult she writes suspense and action adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she's had a contracted adaptation!  She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date.  Leslie loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey.  She has a blog and a mailing list.

Titles published:

Dare to Believe (2012)
Stone of Heaven (May 2013) Carswell Adventure Series Book One

Be Mine This Christmas Night (Holiday 2013)Star light ~ Star Bright Series Book One

Forever Yours This New Year's Night (Holiday 2014)  Star light ~ Star Bright Series Book Two

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