Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Big Writing Boo-Boo

I'm working on the second novel, which occurs directly after the end of "Defiance". I'm almost 20k into the novel and it's going quite well. I've struggled a bit on getting into the mind of my character, Effie, because she is a very bitter person and very sarcastic. I like writing her now and I'm really enjoying this book.

While sitting in church this morning, I day dreamed a little bit on what I was going to write this afternoon. And I suddenly realized I made an awful boo-boo. I completely lost focus on the sermon after that. Oops.

No. At the end of the previous book, the main character and one of the secondary characters, Declan split from the main group to go on a specific task. (Sorry that's vague.) It is implied they don't return for a while. Begin new book, the new main character, Effie, befriends Declan a day after the previous MC left. Wait a minute....

Yep, I have the same secondary character in two places at once. FAIL. I can't have the same character doing two different things. But at the same time, I like him in both locations and I have to choose which one to change. Dang it. In the first book, I'd only have to modify about 5,000 words. In the second book, I'll have to change 6,000 words and fix a lot of the plot. Declan has become a more important character to Effie.

The big problem, I have the first book on a full request. I don't want to change it, but I think I'd rather modify the first book ending instead of a big chunk of the new one.

Would it matter to an agent if the ending of a book changed? (This really only applies if the agent loves it.) It won't be changing any of the main plot, just some minor details at the end of the novel. I know a novel isn't set in stone since it isn't signed, but I don't know if it would cause a problem in the novel. I would love your opinion before I rip apart either novel and attempt to sew it back together.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Friday Night Alibi" & "One" - Two Book Reviews

I just finished two wonderful books and I just had to share them with you! So, I'm writing two reviews in one post! I'm happy to say that I know both of the authors and I really enjoyed their books!


Title: Friday Night Alibi
Author: Cassie Mae
Publisher:  Random House Flirt
Publication Date: July 29, 2013

Genre: NA Light Romance/Humor

Plot: First, here is the summary of "Friday Night Alibi" from Goodreads - In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney. Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black., and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart... or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

Kelli is busy, very busy every Friday. But she's not having hot dates or girly sleepovers. Kelli is the Friday Night Alibi. Want to date a girl your parents don't approve of? Need a sleepover cover so you can stay at your boyfriend's place? Ask Kelli! She'll be your alibi. For a fee, of course. It sounds exciting, right? Nope, she spends her Friday nights in her pajamas playing Xbox because she can't leave the house. Makes it pretty hard to meet a nice guy.

Chase is nothing like the guys Kelli knows, meaning he isn't preppy or privileged and he definitely doesn't want her as an alibi. Her attempts to drive him away; pulling a waxing prank and getting mooned by him... doesn't exactly work. She's being drawn in by the boy with the black t-shirts in excess and wit sharper than Kelli can handle. Almost.

I was really drawn into Kelli's story. Her voice is very well written and strong. I found myself laughing at parts and cringing along with the character in parts. Chase. He was adorable. I oddly really liked that he kept his room clean and it wasn't like most male bedrooms. "Friday Night Alibi" is a light romance novel with lots of humor and a unique storyline. At times it did feel like Kelli was really young and it read like a young adult novel, but most of the time it fit. I did enjoy the book and I would recommend it to others.

My only complaint - there were a few too many oranges. If you read it, you might know what I mean. :)


Title: One
Author: LeighAnn Kopans 
Publisher:  Amazon Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Plot: First, here is the summary of "One" from Goodreads -When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak. It makes you a One. Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover. If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances. Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other. Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves.

Merrin is a One. She'll always be a One. Most Ones decide to accept they will never be a Super and move on, letting their One die. Merrin tells everyone she's given up, but when she's alone - Merrin tries to fly. After switching to Normal High School, she struggles to find a place. A part of her wants to know that she's not the only One who refuses to give up. Elias is mysterious, handsome, and Merrin finds herself drawn to the boy. There's something about him. As she begins to trust the first person ever, Merrin realizes something happens when she touches Elias. Something wonderful. But secrets surrounding her life pop up and everything changes. She has to decide if she wants to do what is right or her life will never be the same.

I was immediately drawn into the story of Merrin and Elias. Yes, I would love Elias as my new book boyfriend. He's great and apparently smells really good. The chemistry between the two characters had me squealing like a fangirl at times and reading with my fists wrapped in my blanket at other times. The plot was incredible and unique. I couldn't put the book down without thinking about it and wanting to be reading it. I really enjoyed the depth of how much Merrin's One affected her life and she knew it. She didn't lie to herself about it. I honestly cannot find a complaint with this book.

ONE is a story about finding someone to trust, opening up, discovering what is really important in life, and learning to fly. The plot will keep you reading and thinking long after the book ends. I'm very excited to read TWO when it comes out in October.

I highly recommend both of these books! Seriously, you will very much enjoy them. :)  Congratulations to Cassie and Leigh Ann on your books - you did a fantastic job!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"The Faerie War" Cover REVEAL!

Two cover reveals in a row - today I am overjoyed to present the cover for "The Faerie War" by Rachel Morgan. I've loved her story since the beginning, when it was just a tiny little novella. Her story taught me to love faeries again. (Sorry, but I still hate Tinkerbell.) I'm anxiously waiting to read the final book!!  Enough from me, go look at her AMAZING cover! :)

The fate of the faerie world is in her hands...

Title: The Faerie War
Series: Creepy Hollow, Book Three
Author: Rachel Morgan
Cover Designer: Morgan Media
Publication Date: Oct 2013

Congratulations to Rachel! An incredible cover - now we just have to wait until October to read the book! :)

IWSG - I wish I were a plotter

It's time for another installation of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month and is run by our Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. 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.

I'm stuck.

Yep, I'm on chapter six of "The Damned" and I'm not sure where to go. Well, I know where I want to go, but I don't know how I'm getting there. It's time like this that I wish I were a plotter instead of a pantser. I've been staring at my computer screen for so long, I did this:

Yep, that did just happen. Blah blah blah...

There's always the age old discussion with writers: Are you a plotter or a pantser? I'll always be a pantser. There was one novel I wrote, an epic fantasy novel, which I was a plotter for once. I had to have the points outlined or I couldn't get any writing done for the day. It was intense. I still have pages of plot points written in a notebook.

But by nature, I am a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. Or maybe I just put my butt on the seat and write. That might make more sense. I do like to have an overall story idea and how I want the story to shape up, along with some basic plot points in my head. Sometimes I scratch them down. But I can't tell you how many times my characters have taken the plot and ran with it. It doesn't always work, but I like being a pantser most of the time. Until I get stuck.

How I feel if I were forced to be a plotter:

How I feel as a pantser:

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And if you are a pantser, how do you get past a stubborn point where you are just stuck?

(Side note: This post was partially inspired by Susan Francino at The Feather and the Rose.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Out of Line" Cover REVEAL!

I'm very excited to show a gorgeous cover to you today! (Seriously,  I'm jealous of how wonderful the cover to Jen's book turned out.) I am honored to have had an opportunity to read an earlier version of her book and I loved it! Jen McLaughlin and I are name twins. Really, her first name is my middle name and we have the same last name. It's awesome. :)
Without further chatter, here is Jen's incredible cover for "Out of Line" --

Desperate to break free…

I've spent my entire life under my father’s thumb, but now I'm finally free to make my own choices. When my roommate dragged me to my first college party, I met Finn Coram and my life turned inside out. He knows how to break the rules and is everything I never knew I wanted. A Marine by day and surfer by night, he pushes me away even as our attraction brings us closer. Now I am finally free to do whatever I want. I know what I want. I choose Finn. 

Trying to play by the rules...

I always follow orders. My job, my life, depends on it. I thought this job would be easy, all the rules were made crystal clear, but when I met Carrie Wallington, everything got muddy. She's a rule I know I shouldn't break, but damn if I don’t inch closer to the breaking point each time I see her. I’m ready to step out of line. And even worse? I’m living a lie. They say the truth will set you free, but in my case…

The truth will cost me everything.

I'm also able to share a smexy little teaser with you!

Whew! Now that's a scene which begs for you to read more and you'll want to oblige! 

About the Author

Jen McLaughlin writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, is due out September 2013. She also writes Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts. She is a multi-published, bestselling author and is represented by Louise Fury from the L. Perkins Agency. Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is too write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Jen is offering a signed/personalized copy of OUT OF LINE to one lucky reader!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Jen! "Out of Line" is due in September of 2013! Be sure to read it - you'll fall in love with it!