February 2016

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

WeWriWa: A Question of Motivation

Giving characters a plausible, relatable and compelling reason for what they do takes them from words on a page to sympathetic people we connect with. How to turn a hateful, selfish woman into someone readers want to champion? A daunting task. One I’ve been chipping away at for nearly 40,000 words by exploring what motivates the female protagonist in my paranormal W-I-P PRINCE OF HONOR. Hopefully, I’m getting closer with this internal moment:
Why would he do something like that, something so reckless, so dangerous, so . . . wonderful? 

No one had ever championed her before, even her mother’s actions from self-interest, not to protect her daughter. She’d spent her entire life bracing against attacks, so used to fighting her own battles the thought of someone else taking her part mystified, confused and alarmed her. 

Why? What reason did a prince in the selfishly arrogant House of Terriot have for flaunting the power of his king at the risk of his own life? 

Who was this strange, quixotic prince who bound her to him for reasons she didn’t understand? She was no bargain, no tender, loving mate—if anything, she was blight upon his chances to rise within their House. Was he fool? Didn’t he realize there was nothing to gain from weighting himself down with a pariah who only lay beside him because she had no other choice? 

What the hell was wrong with him and what did he want from her?
Self-doubt and curiosity seems to be opening Sylvia up to possibilities, and if I’m doing it right, will nudge the reader into her corner.

What hateful characters managed to win you over despite their best intentions to behave badly? Scarlet O’Hara, anyone?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Happy Writing and Happy Early Spring (which can’t come too soon!)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

WeWriWa: When All Thoughts Turn to Romance . . .

For Valentine’s Day, since I can’t give everyone chocolates with gooey centers, I’ve decided on a sweet taste from PRINCE OF HONOR, my paranormal W-I-P:

“I’m going to find us a ride.”

“You’d better find some pants first,” she suggested, the small quirk of her smile his undoing. 

Though she stiffened when he rolled suddenly to his feet to stand so close their body heat collided like two nova suns, Sylvia drew a breath but didn’t retreat from the light skim of his hand along her jawline.


The soft stroke of his voice had her taking an abrupt step back from what suddenly flamed between them as she reminded, “About that ride.” 

Thrust back into provider mode, Turow assured, “I’ll take care of it.”

He was bending over, pulling on his jeans when her palms stroked up the curve of his back. He straightened slowly, not turning, letting her step into him, her arms banding his middle, her cheek pressing warm and soft against his shoulder as she sighed, “Thank you, Row.”

He didn’t ask what for, instead, covering her hands with his own, clutching them gently, bringing them up to his lips for a brief kiss before striding to the door. Not daring to look back, because if he saw her standing there so vulnerable, he wouldn’t be able to leave.

Ain’t love grand, even when these two cautious, prideful people can’t admit that’s what’s going on between them? They’d better hurry up and make up their minds. A confrontation is right around the corner that will strain everything they believe in. Enjoy the moment. It may not last . . . just like those chocolates.

Happy Valentine’s Day!! I hope you’re all doing something nice for yourselves! I’m doing my nails-once I finish typing! XOXO

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Take Five: with Dana Nussio's Strength Under Fire

STRENGTH UNDER FIRE is my critique partner Dana Nussio's latest title, but it also sums up her journey to this particular publication. Already a multi-published, award winner in the Inspirational genre writing as Dana Corbit, dealing with a transition back into the work force, and three daughters at various stages of starting their own lives away from home, she could have continued doing what she was doing so successfully. But she had stories whispering to her that didn't fit into that traditional mold, stories that pushed her and provoked her (almost as much as this critique partner did!) until she forced herself to take that step of faith - in herself.

I like bigger books with grittier problems, topical causes and angsty characters. And law enforcement - Bonus! This first book in Dana's True Blue series is all that. And as a delightful more, she brings to its pages the heart that attracts so many readers to her inspirational titles.

So here's Dana, Taking Five out of her busy schedule working on the next True Blue installment and sharing STRENGTH UNDER FIRE. Buy it! Read it! Enjoy it! Review it! (and not just because I'm on the Dedication page -though that did put a big smile on my face!).

1. What was the hardest adjustment to make now that the nest is empty at home?

Since I’d gone from five plates at the table to four and then to three, I didn’t find the transition to two as tough as I thought I would. I do miss having the girls around just because I enjoy having conversations with them and sharing in their daily lives. My biggest surprise about the empty nest was that I didn’t suddenly have a bunch of extra time to fill. I am busy. Really busy.

2. Is it easier or harder to get your writing time around a full time job?

I find it much harder to carve out my writing time now that I work full-time. I come home pretty tired after my day job as a classroom assistant in an elementary autism program, but my stories are important to me, too, so I make the time to tell them on evenings and weekends. Yes, I’m a busy gal.

3. What were the biggest hurdles to breaking out into a new genre?

Although you, Nancy might not agree since you were the one who helped me hone my craft for the transition, I think my biggest hurdle was my own fear that I couldn’t take on the bigger, multi-layered stories. As for the writing, you pushed me to embrace the emotional side of my stories and to stretch my skills in writing crisper dialogue and weightier prose.

4. After that big birthday (You know, 30!), what have you learned as you matured as a writer?

I have learned that as a writer, there are only certain things you can control. Those include writing the best story you can and making your stories a priority in your life because there will always be something else that can come first. I have learned that you can’t take reviews too seriously – except when they’re good because then they’re absolutely right.
J But the most important thing I’ve learned is you should always keep learning. Every time I attend a writing seminar, I take notes, looking for at least one new thing I can take away and apply to my work. Even in a basic workshop on characterization, I might find a new approach that will help me make characters that will speak better to my readers.

5. What’s the best thing about writing outside the Inspirational box?

I liked being able to take on meatier issues – such child sexual abuse and drug abuse – in a more realistic way than I might have been able to in an inspirational because of reader expectations. Strangely, it was both harder and easier to write with this new freedom. I have loved writing inspirational romances as well; they offer a hope and a peace that not all stories can. But I enjoyed having this new opportunity.


One day Lieutenant Ben Peterson is single-handedly stopping a bank robbery and the next he is being accused of tampering with evidence in drug cases. Ben needs to clear his name, but he has been set up and no longer knows who his friends are. His only ally appears to be straight-shooting rookie Delia Morgan, who has never learned that there’s no “I” in team. Involving Delia in his secret investigation is the last thing Ben wants to do, but he is short on options. As their search intensifies, so does the temptation, and they open up to each other in ways neither expected. However, when it becomes clear that Delia still doesn’t trust Ben completely, it puts more than just their careers in jeopardy. 

The Excerpt

Find Dana on the Web

Dana Nussio enjoyed making up tall tales before she could spell her name, so it came as no surprise when the Indiana native chose to work in a field where she could tell stories every day. She left a career as an award-winning newspaper reporter and features editor to become a homemaker, but the people stories she loved came home with her as she discovered the joy of fiction writing. Now a multi-published, award-winning author, Dana also works as a classroom assistant in a local elementary school. She makes her home in southeast Michigan with her husband, three nearly grown daughters and two adopted and overfed kitties. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

WeWriWa: Truth or Consequences

Consequences. That moment when what seemed like a good idea at the time catches up to you with a bitter taste of hindsight.

Even Sylvia, my treacherous heroine in PRINCE OF HONOR, has to face the music after starting that fateful tune in the last few excerpts from my W-I-P. Is it the one you thought she’d be singing?
She’d survive. Wasn’t that the important thing? She’d never had the luxury of worrying over the moral implications that tormented her lover, so why was she now? 

Her lover, her friend. Her only one. Who’d now have every right to wish he’d let Cale murder her back in New Orleans. She took no pride in outsmarting him. Shame came closer to what knotted uncomfortably in her belly as miles and hours whipped by the luxurious vehicle. Carrying her to another sharp U-turn of consequences.
Settling into the new digs (digging out is more like it!) with laptop finally humming happily along as I sneak up on 25,000 words. Could there be an end in sight? 

Happy Weekend, fellow Warriors!! Make sure you check out my Insecure Writers Support Group post below on “You Ought to be Writing!” Time I listened to my own advice!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

IWSG: YOU Should Be Writing

Life gets in the way of the things we love (and are driven) to do. There’s a basement of empty shelves and full boxes to be sorted and unpacked. Dinner needs to be made. Laundry is calling. Cats need cuddling. There’s that next episode of Supernatural . . . It’s always something wooing you away from where you should be – at the keyboard. Sometimes it’s hard to hear that little urging voice over the roar of unfinished tasks. And sometimes, we just don’t listen.

Until that voice gets loud. And demanding. Those scenes, those dialog exchanges keep you awake, won’t stop talking as you drive to work. A whisper becomes a roar until life’s little busy work gets drowned out. You jot down ideas on Post-Its at work. Your lips move through the conversations in your head in the shower. The keyboard no longer beckons – it insists!

Why fight it? You know you want to? Fire up that laptop. Just a few sentences, a paragraph or two. Maybe a page. And suddenly – a chapter.

You should be writing. I should be writing. In fact, I’m going to be writing as soon as I finish this post. How about you?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the February 3rd posting will be Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend!