Friday, January 27, 2012
Check Please…Truthful Stories of Dates Gone Wrong
By Author: Richard W. Wiener
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Dating takes careful planning, practice and in this day and age you might say it has become an art or a full time job to find the right person to even consider going out with or even meeting over the phone. Stacy and Clinton’s show What Not To Wear is the prime example of how to get women and men to look and act appropriately. Now, all we need is a show to help young adults, adults and seniors do the same. Author Richard Wiener has written stories after going on over 180 dates to help the single reader discern Who and What Not To Date and Why? This book is hilarious, filled with short fast paced stories that will keep you laughing, brings tears to your eyes and hopefully teach you some valuable lessons in what to look for before you press send on an email, make that dinner reservation or decide to take that romantic plunge. One disclaimer or Warning: Make sure that you do not drink tons of liquid before reading this book. You will understand what I mean after I relate the first story and explain what happened to Paul when he dated Molly. But, first let me explain that our author, Richard has been widowed since 2007 and having a wonderful and life and marriage he was hoping to find another perfect mate. Here are his stories told from both the male and female point of view. Here is what or whom not to date!
Let’s get started and meet Paul the first guy who learns the hard way who not to date. First of all he went online and met Molly on Match.com. They went out and had a few dates but something was off. She drank too much but that did not deter him from wanting to see on New Years and have a romantic night. Needless to say all went well and the romance was strong but the end result well. Think about what happens when you drink too much and don’t make it there in time. Poor Paul never knew what flooded him. That’s all I’ll say. Next we meet Alfred and Angie who find each other quite attractive. But, dinner proved to be more than just an expense for him. But, the classic and really hysterical story is story three. The title I won’t give away as Roger and Alice go to dinner several times. Mexican food sets the stage for what happens next. Imagine a loud noise during a romantic interlude. You guess the rest. Some men want to date someone within their age bracket and others really do not care. Ralph met Brenda who claimed to be within his age range. Seeing her photo he emailed her and even used a magnifying glass to enhance the photo before contacting her for their first date. What happens and the end result is some women try to turn back the age calculator but think the correct sum will not be found? There is Debbie whose perception of her was off and whose drinking skills were definitely over the top.
The stories are told from both a male and female point of you in a straightforward conversation tone that will keep you laughing, reading, smiling and definitely taking notes if you’re single to learn the definite don’ts of dating. So many stories gone wrong and of course the check at times for these poor unsuspecting males: Well they should have asked for you it way before they did. This is a definite must read, must have book that will take away the fuss and muss of dating by explaining in no uncertain terms Who and What Not to Do and Date!
Poor Gerry actually met someone that he really liked. Eva was everything he hoped for and lived in a wealthy area and invited him for dinner. Unfortunately, he ate something that disagreed with him and the end result was not really odor free. Poor Gerry had to find a way to escape before anyone realized it was not perfume coming from the powder room. There are so many more stories. Poor Alex who really liked Georgia but what she revealed to him at the end of the date well, you had to be there to see his face when she told him the truth. Some dating secrets cannot and will not be revealed by this reviewer. I really don’t think Alex wants this tidbit to be spread around.
Jeff was desperate for a date for a wedding and was totally unsuccessful with the online community. When meeting Jane at a deli counter who thought he might have a direct hit. Little did he know that the only thing this one hit was the bottle. But, we are not up to that yet. Several dates, the wedding at hand everything in place and what happens during the course of the wedding should make any man weary about any woman who drinks and has tons of pills in her purse. The end result will definitely make you think twice before bringing a blind date to a wedding. So, far all of these stories are from the man’s viewpoint. Wait until you get the woman’s!
What could be worse than having dinner with someone in a filthy home and finding more than you bargain for in the bedroom. As poor Ron learned as he looked around the room and up at the ceiling he made a mad dash for his car and prayed he did not bring any visitors back with him. There is the stalker and then the liars plus those who just get wasted plus the unruly kids which was really so funny. These poor guys were so polite and understanding it is too amazing. But, the funniest story in this part was the one with Jill and Ross and what happens on what was supposed to be an ordinary date to a concert. This one is priceless. Let’s move on Part Two and the Woman’s point of view!
Let’s meet our first male named Bob. Poor Joyce broke her own rule and allowed herself to go to his townhouse after dinner. Well: She got more than just a view from the terrace. That’s all I will say about that. You can draw your own conclusions or your own bare picture. Of course how would react if someone took out their bridge during dinner? The stories are really so true to life and after dating for 8 years before meeting my husband I can honestly attest to the fact that these things really do happen and sometimes the events are worse than ever. You begin to wonder why put yourself through it ever again. Men do strange things on dates just like women. I have to be fair. There is Al who thought show and tell might work. There are those who think nothing of splitting the tab. Then, there are some who are just plain rude.
Looks matter when dating and you cannot say that it does not go both ways. Men want to date women that are great looking, have great bodies and women want men that are attractive and appealing. Some women lie and men do too so when author Richard Wiener relates the stories from the woman’s viewpoint and having experienced some dates blind ones but never online and similar if not worse than those described you have to wonder why anyone would go through this torture just to meet a guy or gal and go on a date. Dates from you know where are definitely not uncommon. So when poor Liza meets Vince and gets stuck with more than just half the bill you wonder why these women do not speak up. All of the stories are hilarious, true and definitely will give the dater much pause for thought. If I could give a book more than five stars it would be this one. You can be sure that when I announce my picks for this month this one will be at the top of the list. Faye is our total heroine. Blind dates you need to be really careful and warning when they do not give want you to come over to their homes or never give you their home number who might want to do what she did and hire an investigator. You won’t believe what she does to Get Even and how the story ends. I could go on and tell you more about their horrific dates but that would ruin your fun reading these stories for yourself. You could not make this stuff up nor did the author. These are well written told in a conversational tone. You almost feel as if you are on the dates along with these unsuspecting people. From liars, to cheaters to self0 absorbed this book has it all. Author Richard Wiener brings to light one very basic question? Why do you put ourselves through it? Everyone needs a companion or most need one. The warning signs are all there. The evidence has been presented and the verdict is in: Check Please and Hurry is definitely a best seller and a great resource for Who and What Not To Date. This book would make a great reality show and definitely give daters a strong wake up call.
I never give stars that is so ordinary: I give Richard: FIVE PERFECT LAST DATES: HOPE YOU FIND HER SOON. You deserve the best!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I sat down to have an interview with Jaiden Sideth from my book Amaranth of the Wild Things, which was a rather difficult thing to manage considering he adamantly refused to do it, insisting that his personal life is nobody's business. However, after I firmly reminded him of all the trouble I went through to get his story told, he grudgingly obliged.
He is scowling when we sit down, which is nothing new to me. I spent quite a bit of time while writing Amaranth with Jaide scowling at me. He doesn't intimidate me any longer. He's dressed in black, which is also not a great surprise, and while I know him well, the malevolent power that radiates from his strong frame is almost tangible, making the air in the room slightly more difficult to breathe. His beauty is also a thing of wonder. His face is stern, harsh, full of strong lines, and every move he makes it etched with primal elegance. His piercing green eyes seem to see straight through me, into me. While this may be unnerving to most, I find it to be one of his more endearing qualities.
J: (With a heavy, almost growling sigh) Can we make this quick? I have duties to attend to.
I squelch my smile, which is almost uncontrollable, and get down to the business at hand, not wanting to torture him longer than necessary.
B: Thank you for taking the time to do this. I know it is against your wishes, but I do have many readers who I am sure would like to know more about you.
He gives me a noncommittal noise.
B: First of all, for someone who is such a private person, why did you contact me in the first place? Why did you want to have your story told?
J: (He looks up at me, and for a second, his harsh expression fades.) Because it needed to be told. Not because of me. My history is not important. But the world needed to know...about Amara. (He frowns and averts his gaze, visibly uncomfortable.) Others need to know that not all in existence is blackness.
B: Tell us quickly how you met Amara.
J: I was working as an assassin and one of my regular clients gave me a healthy amount of gold to kidnap her.
B: What was your first impression of Amara?
J: (His lips twitch only slightly, barely discernable.) That she was much more trouble than she was worth.
B: What was it about her that finally got past your defenses?
J: I still don't really know. Her blind acceptance of me, I suppose, and her all-encompassing goodness. I had never thought anyone so selfless and kind could exist in the world I lived in. It was foreign and horrible, and at the same time, divine. (He shifts in his chair, gaze still averted, obviously uncomfortable with this subject.)
B: Tell us about the amaranth flower. Why has it always been so important to you?
He heaves a sigh and I feel a twinge of guilt for my interrogation. He really is the most private person I have ever known, and I regret putting him in the spotlight this way.
J: The amaranth is the only thing that mattered to me, before Amara. It was the only beauty in the world, the only good thing. It was the only thing that offered me solace or peace.
B: Can you tell us more about your past?
The glower he shoots me should have murdered me on the spot.
B: (With a sigh) Can you at least tell us more about why the amaranth matters to you? That was the vaguest response ever. These people are going to read the book anyway. What’s the point of keeping it a secret?
J: Aren’t you supposed to be tactful and agreeable?
B: In the time you have known me, have I ever been tactful and agreeable when you’re trying to bully me?
J: No. It’s aggravating.
B: Too bad. Answer the question.
To my shock and amazement, his lips quirk slightly at the corners and his eyes glint with something almost mischievous. It is uncharacteristic, and a side of himself he only shows those allowed in his inner sanctum. All two of us. I am honored to be one of those people.
J: When I was a boy, I was forced to train at a mercenary barracks. It was unpleasant, to say the least. Outside of it was a field of amaranths. At the most crucial moment of my life, those flowers offered me beauty when all of it had been abolished. They helped me hold on to the last sliver of the man in me so the monster couldn’t have complete domination. Because of that, I was able to have Amara (he averts his gaze again, almost shyly.)
B: Would you say Amara is similar to that flower?
J: Completely. Entirely. She embodies it in every way.
B: Tell us how your life is different now.
J: It has meaning to it, a purpose. It is more fulfilling. And my nightmares no longer haunt me. I know what it means to love, and in effect, I know what it means to live.
To me, this answer is the most satisfying to hear, and I decide to leave it at that. I have bothered him enough and do not wish to make him more uncomfortable than he already is. I thank him for his time and wish him well. He stands abruptly, ready to bolt, but I am almost as fast as he is, although not quite as graceful. I force him to hug me because I know it irritates him. He stiffens at first, his strong body still and ramrod straight, a soldier, a warrior. After a short moment, he relaxes slightly, and with a defeated sigh, he wraps one arm around my shoulders and squeezes just a bit. When I pull back, I am granted a rare and fleeting smile and a curt nod before he escapes as quickly as he can manage.
Read more about Jaide by clicking on the picture below
Author: Brieanna Robertson
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Length: Novella 30,173, 93 pages PDF
Heat Level: Sweet
When Autumn finds a sexy, winged statue amongst her deceased uncle’s belongings, she thinks he’ll make a great decoration for her bedroom, as well as her solitary life. What she doesn’t expect is to wake up in the middle of the night and find her statue replaced by a living, breathing, gorgeous man made up of the four elements.
Gabriel’s been a statue for 500 years. He’s lost, confused, and wreaking havoc on the human realm.
In an effort to get Gabriel home, Autumn experiences adventure she’d never even dreamed about. But will they be able to survive the greatest adventure of all- falling in love?
Author: Crymsyn Hart
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: Novella, 16,861 words, 52 Pages PDF
Heat Level: Erotic
Amelia has been a ghost for almost a century and haunting Hell's Gate is getting old. She wishes for a change of pace only to have that come in the form of a ring that can make her flesh during the night. On her first night being alivish, she meets Barrett. A hunky man in a kilt who wants nothing more than to worship her.
Barrett comes to Hell's Gate to indulge in his fetish. When he meets Amelia, he knows she's the one for him, especially since she has beautiful feet. After their initial meeting, he can't get her out of his head. He will do anything to have her, even transcend death. Nothing will stand in the way for them to be together.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Baby Jane should have been just another statistic in the annals of New Orleans history, but the infant survived abandonment. A few years later she should have been a basket case after years of sexual abuse at the hands of a foster father, but she found a way to get free of him without losing her sanity.
Or did she?
Set in the charming hospitality of northern Mississippi, CROSSED LINES is a most inhospitable story of seduction, mystery, and revenge.
Driving down the rocky path I saw the overgrown grass, weeds and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew, the stench of the dried bones of animals killed by cars along this dirt road coming up from the ground, the sadness on the faces of the drivers in the cars behind us; you could feel the pain and sorrow. As you looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, you began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they travelled down life's highway, possibly for the very last time. What stories lie behind the faces behind the wheel of each car? What stories lie hidden? Faces...so, so many stories. Here are seven that will make chills run down your spine and make you wonder: What lies behind the stones? Who lives there? Only the Faces Behind the Stones Know the Answers!
This is all the dating experience you will ever need! Save yourself the time and embarrassment while still relishing in all the juicy details of disaster and humor that unravel when dates go terribly wrong.
After decades of being married and now in his sixties, Richard Wiener dove head first into the dating world only to learn things had changed. How many spry cougars & belching athletic bodies with hidden agendas & occasional incontinence does one have to survive? He certainly did't recall these issues from his single life at 21. He may not have emerged from dating with a new love but he did survive with a few stories to tell and thankfully, all appendages in tact.
Check Please & Hurry is a men vs. women tell all of disaster dates that explore the ugly & charming truth of getting back out there!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Spurs for José, is a coming-of-age, historical adventure.The story links California’s mission period and rancho period, and ends just as gold is discovered and California becomes the 31st state of the Union. Because of José’s belief in curses, visions, and luck, it also blends the mystical with the real world.
When José Rodriquez’s papa says he must help tame Rancho Grande’s wild colts, he knew this day would come, for on the Alta California rancho, being a vaquero and training horses was his family’s tradition. Vaqueros’ horsemanship and roping skills were legendary and their lives full of danger. Many vaqueros had been killed or crippled while riding the mustangs. Would he have enough courage to ride the wild ones and measure up to his papa’s expectations?
Worried, José decides luck will help him ride the wild colts, luck he will get from a pair silver spurs and chaps made from a brave bull’s hide. But with no money, how can he buy silver spurs? Then, the Mexican-American war starts, and a few days before Christmas, Colonel John C. Fremont’s battalion camps on Rancho Grande and everything changes.
While researching Spurs for José, I felt like a treasure hunter exploring Indian painted caves, California missions, and old graveyards. As horsewoman, I already had hands-on-experience with the vaquero's unique way of training horses. My husband, a descendant of California pioneers, provided me with many interesting family stories, and I read all I could find on the history of the vaqueros, the rancheros, and the California Indians. I included a bibliography in the book, and I want to encourage Parents and Teachers of 4th through 8th graders to check out the Vaquero Activity page on my website: http://www.
Excerpt from Spurs for José
Outside, the wind and rain roared, interrupted by lightning flashes and thunderclaps that shook the ground. Cold and miserable in the darkness, José wrapped his arms around Amigo’s trembling neck, trying to get warm. It seemed like he stood in the dark a long time, hugging Amigo and shivering from the cold. Then in a flash of lightning, he saw Amigo turn his head and prick his ears toward the cave’s opening. Was it just the noise of the storm or did his horse hear something outside?
“Who’s out there?” he shouted. No one answered.
Amigo’s body tensed. Something must be outside. José hoped it wasn’t a grizzly looking for shelter. “Who’s there,” he screamed louder, hoping his voice would scare away whatever was out there.
Despite the noisy storm, he heard gravelly footsteps. Something had entered the cave. “Who is it?” José called out again.
A voice replied, “Who’s in here?”
“Who are you?”
“It’s Pedro. Is that you, José?”
“Pedro, are you following me?” José pretended he was angry, but was secretly glad he and Amigo were no longer alone.
“I was trying to catch up with Fremont’s army when this storm hit,” Pedro said.
Pedro’s teeth chattered from the cold and wet. Flashes of lightning lighted the cave, and he could see Pedro’s dripping, wet hair and sopping shirt. José was just as soggy. “Get closer to Amigo. He’ll keep you warm.”
In the dark, Pedro edged around the trembling horse and stood closer to José. The boys leaned against Amigo, finding comfort from the horse’s warm body and each other’s company.
“Why are you here?” Pedro asked.
“I was going to join Fremont’s vaqueros, too. Where is your horse?”
“He fell in the darkness. The reins slipped out of my hands, and he disappeared. I saw this cave and thought it would be a good place to stay dry. I’ve never seen it rain like this. I hope it stops soon. The war will be over before I catch up with Fremont.”
“Papa says it’s not our fight. Why do you want to join Fremont’s army?” José asked.
“For the money Fremont is paying vaqueros. If I earn enough money, maybe someday, if I save it, I could buy a little rancho.”
“You are a blacksmith, not a vaquero.”
“Maybe so. But I have a horse, and Fremont won’t know the difference. Besides, he may need a blacksmith, too.”
“Seems you don’t have a horse now,” José said.
“I’ll find him in the morning, after this rain stops.”
“You have big dreams. Owning a rancho? Me, with the twenty-five dollars, I want to buy a pair of spurs like the ranchero wears. A pair of beautiful silver spurs, that is all I want.” It seemed strange. A day ago, he was mad enough to punch Pedro’s jaw. But now, in the scary darkness, something had changed, and they were again talking like friends.
“You vaqueros love fancy bits and shiny spurs. I can make silver spurs for you. Wearing the beautiful spurs I make will be lucky, and you will become the greatest horse trainer in all of Alta California.”
“The greatest horse trainer?” To be the greatest horse trainer in Alta California had never entered José’s mind. He just needed silver spurs to bring him luck and help him be brave enough to ride the wild, bucking colts and make his papa proud. That would be enough to make José happy.
Tired, the boys sat down, leaned against the cold, stony wall and fell asleep. When they woke it was Christmas morning. It was quiet outside. The rain had stopped. In the dawn’s light, they saw strange patterns painted on the cave’s rocky walls.
“Look,” José said, pointing at the brightly painted designs decorating the cave. “These must be the sacred paintings Tomas said our people painted long ago. They are strange. That one looks like a snake, and that one like the sun. What do they mean?”
Pedro stood and reached up to trace the painted lines with his finger. “I’ve heard of these paintings, but have never seen them.”
“Don’t touch them! Tomas says they’re sacred. Spirits are here. That is why our ancestors painted this cave.” José knelt and whispered a prayer the padre had taught him. He no longer knew the prayers of the people who had painted the cave. “Our ancestors must have guided us here to protect us and help us on our journey. We should leave this cave and hurry to catch up with Fremont.” He stood and led Amigo out of the cave. “Let’s go.”
"They are part of a series of which I'm currently working on, Bulletproof. The father and son have parapsychological abilities They both can control minds. Clay can also read minds, acquire extra-sensory messages, and use telekinesis. Tanner can hypnotize people easily and use clairvoyance and precognition. Tanner's mind control is much stronger than Clay's. Clay can hear ghosts.
Clay and Tanner are good people who are cautious with their powers and don't want to use them for their own gain. In Loving the Rain, the main conflict centers around the consequences of Clay's past decisions, and in Skeleton Key the main conflict centers around Clay's desire to use his abilities for the good. He needs Tanner and readers will love Tanner's competitiveness and happy-go-lucky attitude."
Find more out about these books on Jeff's author page HERE
Monday, January 16, 2012
Angel, hero, monster, devil--we all become what we really are. I Am Wolf --The journey of a boy about to become a man who inherits his ancestors gift and must learn the right way to use it. He falls in love with Alaynee and begins to feel like he is normal again. When their world is shattered by the kidnapping of Alaynee's little brother, Jonah breaks the cardinal rule of his gift and bites the kidnapper, creating a creature called the unnatural. This sends him and all his friends on an adventure across the states to a place in Tennessee. There they find not only must they stop the unnatural creature, but they must save Cara--the girl the creature is after. Jonah must ask himself the most important question of all, would you sacrifice yourself to save another?
As the alkins head back to Crossroads, Claudia leads her normal life; but not for long. Having a special soul, Claudia attracts danger, and she soon finds out who Gamma asked to watch over her. The Twelve, known as Divine Elders on Earth, are very much involved when they find out that Aliah, one of the God's first angels, escaped from the Abyss when the gates were opened by Aden. Needing Claudia's soul to escape the only place Aliah can reside-a place between Heaven and Earth-he sends his demons in search of all Claudia Emersons on Earth. Taking her soul will enable him to be released from Between and cross over to Crossroads, which would give him immense power. As more secrets are revealed Claudia learns about the venators-nephilim, demon hunters. Now two opposing forces must work together in order to save Claudia and humanity from the most dangerous angel ever created. But along the way, trust becomes a big issue. Will love be enough to keep Claudia and Michael together? Who will make the ultimate sacrifice? Who will betray them all?
Rachel Wells loses everything she cherishes in a brief summer storm off the coast of Florida. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, driven to the point of insanity by survivor's guilt, Rachel turns her back on the world and retreats to a deserted island with her cat. Here she plans to live out her life in isolation, frozen behind an impenetrable veil of pain. That is, until she receives a gift from the sea that opens a slit in the veil and allows the world to intrude. Ignoring her conscience, Rachel learns too late that some gifts are not meant to be kept forever, and that forgiveness and redemption sometimes require sacrifice. The gods and spirits watch as the many layers of love unfold to reveal a complex finale.
After a tragic train wreck, Depot co-owner, Adrian Payne disappears. Seven years later, Clay Thomas meets Payne's beautiful wife and determines to help her by using his mind powers to solve the mystery of Payne's disappearance. With the help of Clay's son, Tanner, the local chief of police, and Adrian Payne's ghost, Clay discovers the body, catapulting the investigators into a mystery-a mystery with more questions than answers. If there was foul play, why do the coroner and Adrian's ghost disagree? If there wasn't foul play, why do all the suspects appear to be guilty? A twisted plot, full of surprises and interesting characters is the result. Lessons of faith, friendship, personal growth, and peace give meaning to a one-of-a-kind mystery.
Anraun is one of the most beautiful worlds in the Structure, but something is causing dark dreams among the more sensitive of its inhabitants. Something that was exiled centuries ago by the strongest Prime Lords of that time. The prison world of Danaach. Exiled long ago, it holds the worst criminals in existence. Actually, their offspring. Who after centuries on their own little world have interbred and honed the particular talents that put their ancestors there in the first place. And now, that wicked ‘something’ this way comes.
The instrument of Danaach’s exile was the Starstone. Created by energies drawn from the various Prime world rulers, the Starstone opened a way between dimensions, between realities, sent the prison world there and slammed the door after it.
Then, because of the vast power locked in the Starstone, it was divided and the ‘shards’ hidden throughout the Structure. Except now, some of them are missing. Varen, part Nightlord, all nasty, has one. Morgan, High Lord of Anraun, and seer Liath find one, using it to unlock the Land–Power. Another one is...well, that comes to light later. But the worst thing is, there’s one on Danaach, and the prison world is on its way back for revenge.
While old treacheries mingle with new, Morgan calls on Nightlord friends, other Prime Lords and the ghost of his father, as he and the seer fight for their lives and their world. To keep the exiled world away. Or be rid of it once and for all.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I cannot recall a time I didn't create stories. My mother was a storyteller and I made up stories too. At eight, I read Bambi by Felix Salton, and the book so moved and inspired me that I wrote my first poem. At twelve I submitted a short story to a magazine and received the first of hundreds of rejection slips over a lifetime. Dreaming of becoming a journalist, I wrote for school newspapers. I taught kindergarten and preschool, raised a family, worked as an editor/writer for national magazines, counseled people with disabilities, managed women's programs, and served as an officer with AmeriCorps.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Author: Anastasia Rabiyah
Genre: Erotic Romance/ Science Fiction/ Interracial Romance
Length: Novel, 55,925 words. 182 Pages PDF
Heat Level: Erotic
Upon touching the statue of the Unangi God of Desire, Shiemer Alonwei reflects on his life, a span of memories lacking in caring or love. With his wife and daughter dead, and the Kyleena Empire to overthrow, he is a man of purpose with no room for passion until he sees Melia. An envoy from the Empire sent to discover where his loyalties lie, she is much more than she pretends to be. The desire to possess her overwhelms him, threatens his obsession with the Empire, and his very life.
These two enemies are faced with tense attraction and must choose a new future or lose each other. In this sequel to Nimmet, Goddess of Love, Kyleena’s hold on the planets in the outer rim loosen. Enrue Alonwei is offered a chance at redemption for his past mistakes and the greatest gift of all, the opportunity to end his loneliness.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Today, we’re delighted to have Pat Dale as our guest. Instead of the usual question/answer format, I’m going to ask Pat to tell us something about his writing. Welcome, Pat. If you don’t mind, could you begin with something you’re not good at.
Wow. I haven’t been asked that before. Let’s see, I’ve been told that perhaps my biggest failing as an author is my inability to stay within one genre. Granted, had I done that, I would now have more than a dozen books and a cohesive readership out there. Well, I have an acquaintance who’s written over a hundred and almost all of them are in one general category.
I’ve read many of her books and, after the first fifteen or so, they all began to sound pretty much the same. Maybe it’s just me, but I see no reason to keep on buying the same story told numerous ways.
That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. At least, when you read my books you get different stories and characters. Also, maybe a different slant from the author’s pov as to what makes for interesting reading. That’s not to say that all readers will be interested in everything I write; they won’t. All the more reason in my mind to write different kinds of books.
I’m sorry if that threw you a bit. Why don’t you tell us what you have written?
Let’s see; I’ve written several romantic comedies. I hesitate to use that title for them because not everyone considers what I write to be comedy. On the larger global scale, they are. Not necessarily the classic chick-lit ‘Bridget Jones’ in your face humor, but they are funny and lighthearted romances that will leave you with a smile on your face.
Then there are the romantic suspense novels, and these range from generally pleasant circumstances to a couple with dark, even threatening, consequences. More variety in a category where, again, not all readers agree on what they want.
Of course, there are times when my muse goes amok and I never know for sure what will come of it until I’ve followed my instinct and written something off the wall. I have a few of those books out now and they generally defy classification. As a result, they’ll probably never make a best-seller list. But I did what my inner writer told me to do and there they are, like it or not. Go figure…
In the beginning, I wrote mainstream adventure stuff in omniscient pov, and we all know that is the kiss of death. I toyed with romance to the annoyance of my spouse, but it’s been fun and a real learning experience. I have answered the question, though, that a man can write romance. Now that I’m concentrating on mystery writing, I find that my romance background is invaluable in making my books three dimensional. Let’s face it folks, love makes the world go round.
Do you have anything new on the horizon?
I have a new novel coming out the last week in January that is a real departure. The Evil Within is essentially a family saga that describes an American soldier’s struggle with PTSD after his patrol is killed, leaving him slightly wounded but alive. He comes home on medical leave to his Ozark family, only to learn that the same evil he’d faced on the battlefield is present in his town, his family, and in his own heart.
Written in a style I believe a John Steinbeck or an F. Scott Fitzgerald might have used in this modern world, it is gritty, vulgar in part, and depicts scenes that are violent but realistic, including graphic rape and murder of an innocent woman. But it is more than that in that it brings into focus conflicting attitudes and beliefs we’re faced with these days.
I can’t be more specific than that, other than to say it details a good man who is found wanting, but still has the strength of character to do what has to be done when nobody else comes to his aid. Oh, and it culminates with a modern version of High Noon on the gravel street of a backwoods Ozark village.
That sounds fascinating; gruesome but fascinating. Can you tell us where to find your published books?
The Evil Within mainstream family saga, available January 27, 2012.
Dance with the Devil romantic family saga, available now
Sleeping with her Enemy romantic suspense, available now
Zach’s Amazing Dream Machine middle grade novel, available now
Blue Streaks erotic science fantasy, available now
http://museituppublishing.com/ go to authors, click on Pat Dale
A Girl’s Best Friend international romantic suspense, available now
Crossed Lines psychological suspense, available now
http://whimsicalpublications.com/ go to authors, click on Pat Dale
The Perfect Stranger western romantic suspense, available now
For the Love of Hattie sweet romantic comedy, available now
Goldie’s Bear sensuous romantic comedy, available now
Don’t Bet On It spicy romantic comedy, available now
http://www.redrosepublishing.com/ go to authors, click on Pat Dale
Toccata romantic mystery, available in April from Muse It Up Publishing
The first of a new mystery series, the St. Louis Blues Mysteries features crime fighting duo, clinical psychologist Sera Moreland and rogue police detective Daniel Quinn. The debut episode chronicles how they bond as they attempt to apprehend a serial killer whose young victims resemble Sera.
Thanks, Pat, for sharing with us today. One last question for you. Do you have a website where your fans can read more about your writing?
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Avoid Clichés Like the Plague by S. Evan Townsend
I once wrote out ten basic rules of writing. Number 10 was: "Avoid clichés like the plague." That is both clichés of phrase (such as "avoid it like the plague") and clichés of plot, background, and characters. We've all read Tolkien (haven't we?). How much epic fantasy has been written since The Lord of the Rings? A lot, I suspect. So the elves and the dwarfs and orcs and the swords and sorcery have been used and over used. If you want to write Epic Fantasy you need to read a lot of epic fantasy so you know which clichés to avoid.
When I wrote Agent of Artifice I wanted to avoid those clichés as much as possible yet also give a bit of homage to epic fantasy. What is the most clichéd conflict in epic fantasy? It's the orc versus the wizard. Or the warrior versus the wizard. Having orcs in 1963 America seemed a little unlikely so I went with the warrior. And, of course, the warrior wouldn't be wearing chainmail and have a broadsword and a shield. No, he'd be wearing a suit, narrow tie, and carrying a submachine gun. I joked to anyone who would listen that the novel wasn't "Sword and Sorcery" but "Machineguns and Magic."
However, I have a confession. I don't read a lot of fantasy, neither epic nor urban nor—God save us—paranormal romance (I've also joked that Agent of Artifice is "100% vampire free"). No, I read science fiction and old science fiction at that. I've read a little fantasy (i.e., Tolkien) but it's not a genre I generally enjoy. So how did I end up writing an urban fantasy? It started with an idea.
Sometimes I just sit and write for the fun and exercise of it. For example, once I put a friend and myself in a car chase and shoot-out in downtown Seattle (on a Saturday morning so traffic was light). It's nothing I'd ever be able to sell but it was fun to write. One day I started writing a story set in the near future about a man on the run. He gets into a non-descript motel room with his gun and his bag, checks to make sure no one is hiding in the room to ambush him, locks the doors and windows, and puts a secure spell on the door. I remember typing that and thinking "where did that come from?" But from there grew the background of the "adepts" (I didn't want to call them "wizards") and the universe in which Agent of Artifice is set. I also had to think of a term adepts would use for ordinary folk. I'd heard "mundane" or "'dane" used when I talked to people who read that kind of stuff and I wanted to avoid that cliché. (J. K. Rowling solved that by making up the word "muggle.") I decided, since my adepts were rather arrogant and looked down on those without their powers, I would use "lessers." (My spell check hates that word.)
That was the situation: I don't read a lot of fantasy and I was planning on writing one set in the twentieth century with guns, cars, T.V. and the political situation of the Cold War. While Agent of Artifice does have a classic clash between a well-armed warrior and the hero adept (the wizard), it also puts my hero in a lot of situations I doubt would be found in epic fantasy or even most urban fantasy. He not only invades Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, but he fights a fire-breathing pterodactyl at Seattle's Space Needle.
Here’s my links:
Kindle version of Agent of Artifice is on sale for $3.99 and free for Amazon Prime members: http://www.amazon.com/Agent-
Friday, January 6, 2012
My name is Jeff Horton, and I am a novelist. I say I am a novelist and not an author because an author can be someone that writes about anything including novels, historical biographies, travel guides, etc., while a novelist is an artist, a painter if you will. Imagination is the paint and the keyboard the paintbrush.
I enjoy writing because for me it is pure creativity. From my imagination proceeds people, places, sights, sounds, and events which have never really existed. For me, writing a novel is sort of like watching a movie. I start writing with an idea of what I'm after, but the story truly takes on a life of its own as I write, often taking me in a direction I never could have imagined it going in before. The end result is that I have no idea how the story is going to end myself until I have finished the first draft. Even then, the story can morph as I make my way through a series of inevitable revisions where the rough stone is cut and chipped away at, before being polished into what I consider to be a work of art.
When I write, I strive to create storylines that are meaningful on many levels. I like to explore and understand the emotions, the struggles and the pain that we feel as human beings, as well as the joy. It is also important that there is a message in the story, a warning, a message of hope, etc. I want readers to come away having learned something new, something valuable, something important. These are ambitious goals, of course, and I'm not as successful as I would like to be at meeting these goals.
Another thing that is important to me as a novelist is that the characters, the events, and the setting all feel very real to the reader. This then is a key, in my opinion, to drawing the reader more deeply into the story. People are complex creatures and rarely (if ever) do we really know anyone. It is unfair therefore to suggest to readers that a character is a cardboard figure. While I may not spend as much time on every character as I would like in the interest of brevity, I do try and ensure that at least the key players are well-developed, and that they also change and grow as the story progresses.
My first three books have been mostly futuristic, apocalyptic thrillers, all written for the masses but from a Christian worldview. My faith in God makes up a big part of who I am and what I do, and I'm sure it comes through in my writing. My next book, which reflects that faith, will be different than the first three because it will be a children's novel, possibly a series, entitled Tales of Eden. My goal (always lofty!) with Tales of Eden is to create a well-blended recipe of a little Chronicles of Narnia and a little Pilgrims Progress, with a pinch of science-fiction thrown in as well. In Tales of Eden a family of children stranded on another world will be faced with various obstacles as they try to find their way home. The novel following TOE will be a techno-thriller very tentatively entitled CyberWars.
Find Jeff around the web:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeff.Horton
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4478744.Jeff_W_Horton
Amazon Author Page: