ORACLE Cover Reveal – Can you solve the mystery?

ORACLE Cover Reveal – Can you solve the mystery?

My author friend J.C. Martin has revealed the cover of her upcoming new book ORACLE.  Join me in sending congratulations for her upcoming release.  (Congrats to you JC!

But that’s not all!

       There is a mystery afoot!

              Can you figure it out?  

                     There is a prize to be had!

Read on to find out more:

As the countdown begins, the body count rises.

With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn’t need a serial killer stalking the streets. They’ve got one anyway.

Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police are no closer to finding their latest murderer than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter’s disability.

Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential next victims.

One of whom could be his own daughter.

Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer’s only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.

JOIN THE FUN!  

Oracle’s book cover reveal tour has a mystery attached to it, one that the you readers must solve—in return for a $20 Amazon voucher! To find out more, head over to Mystery Tour Headquarters

Happy sleuthing! 

Writers: Try something new

Writers: Try something new

I’m guest judge today over at Leah Petersen’s #5MinuteFiction and wanted to take a moment and invite you to do something new.

As I stare at my Christmas tree and will it to undress itself, I ponder the possibilities of doing something totally different.  I imagine draping it artfully with multi-colored bed sheets and pretending it is a nouveau soft-art sculpture and soon to be all the rage. We’ll all laugh come next Thanksgiving when, over tea and pumpkin pie, I dismantle said priceless conversation piece to unveil my tree in its pre-lit glory. *instant festive*  Can you see it?

Seriously though, I want you to take five minutes today (at 1230pm Eastern) and participate in #5MinuteFiction because it is important to do things differently, change things up, light a new fire

When I first discovered #5MinuteFiction, I thought it was some exclusive club of writer friends who got together to stretch their collective creativity each Tuesday for fun. I watched in amazement as these writers created some truly awesome work in the span of five minutes with a prompt that was revealed only a second before.

When I found out it was a weekly contest open to all… I was instantly wary. Could I do it? What if my stuff sucks?

Well, let me tell you… some of my stuff sucked. But some of it didn’t! And some of it made it to the finals. And some of it won!  (see tab on this blog above) And all of it was so exciting and rush-inducing, not to mention the rather fabulous group of writer’s I have met as a result.

So, come on down today (and every Tuesday) for five minutes of brain-explosion and see what falls out of your head. I promise you one thing… you’ll never be able to claim “writer’s block” as an excuse again.

And if this wasn’t enough to induce you… carve out a little Time Bacon and come on over because Chuck Wendig said you should. (see #19)

See you there!

Be yourself: Write your own story

Be yourself: Write your own story

Just before the end of the year, I made good on a promise to myself to take up yoga again after more than a dozen year hiatus. It has been so amazing and transformative. There is something about being in a yoga studio and being so present in that moment – letting go of ALL THE THINGS.

Between the incredible music and the soothing direction of the different instructors, I find myself pondering their thoughtful words while breathing and moving through the different poses.

Since the new year, I’ve attended a variety of classes and each time the instructor has spoken about something so meaningful to me at that time.  Letting go of the old and allowing the new things in. Defining the one thing that is holding you back at this moment and turning it out. Speaking into your mind the intention this year brings with it for you.

Of course, I was able to relate all of this to my writing. My intention for this year: head-down determination to get my work done.  Letting go of the thing that holds me back: self-doubt.

This morning during my yoga practice our instructor spoke about being yourself. About letting yourself express your mind in your way. In that way that is uniquely you. This is fabulous life advice, of course.  It also rings true to the writer in me.

I wish I could count how often I’ve picked up a book and found some element from my own stories in there and think, damn – do I need to change my stuff because it’s now been done?  Then there was that time I found my character was named the same as a character in another book that is now quite popular and I was unable to keep that name in my story because it was so particular. 

But leaving yoga today I felt a bit more free and a lot more convicted about letting all of that stuff go and letting my stories be what they want to be.  I feel rather light about releasing the fear that my books will never go anywhere because some element or other in my novels has “been done before”.

The fact is even if all of us were given the same set of rules and told to go write a story, we would all come back with very different results.  Proof of this actually happening can be found in last October’s Rule of Three Blogfest where 70 writers got together and wrote 70 very different stories about the same thing.  It can be done.

My story (here) is so totally me. Many elements of that story exist and have “been done before” in other written works and yet my story remains uniquely mine.  At the time of this contest, all of us were marveling how each of our stories were so very different from each other and yet remained true to the prompts and the rules of the world we were given. I wasn’t able to liken that to my novels at the time.

So, today’s message: Be yourself.  Write your own story. Stop worrying that there are too many stories out with zombies or that there are too many out there that have a prophecy, or that there are too many out there with vampires and werewolves.  Just write your book and when the time is right, the market will be ready for it.

*ahh*

ok – back to work!

Namaste  :)

Do you use Scrivener?

Do you use Scrivener?
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

Happy New Year! I hope this new year brings you to a place of peace and contentment, and that you find yourself recommitted to whatever it is that will make your dreams come true. I am not one for resolutions but you can’t ignore the opportunity for new beginnings when the new year comes. I plan to be more mindful of my time management in order to achieve more of my goals. I used to be so methodical about managing my time, but it seems resting on my proverbial laurels has ruined my good habits.

Any of you writers out there use Scrivener? If so, I want to hear from you!  I downloaded a trial version and it seems quite useful for plotting. I am curious what you think about it overall. If you use it for your writing I wonder, what is your favorite feature?

I’ve spent some time over the weekend going through the comprehensive and very easy to follow tutorial and one feature that stands out to me is the research folder.

Looking around my office, I see paper. Lots of paper. There is paper stacked on my desk and stacked on the floor, sheets pinned on top of each other on my cork board, and a huge pile of shredding.  I find stuff and print stuff and use a lot of it, but much of the paper ends up sitting here useless. I can imagine using Scrivener to keep these digitally (most of the paper is stuff I’ve printed off the web anyway) so I envision being able to save paper and ink as well as clearing space and clutter in my writerly cave.

I also have a white board that I stopped using because I have nowhere to hang it when it is out. Not to mention the frustration when one of my children takes some spark of their own creativity to my work or a dog walks by and wipes it clean with a swish of a tail. #truestory

I want to hear from anyone who is or has been using Scrivener to find out if you utilize this research folder–or any other feature, for that matter–in a meaningful way that makes this worth switching over to. I wonder if it is convenient enough to let me break the old MS Word and Paper habit and move into storing everything electronically. Speaking of storage, it seems to save everything immediately as you go, so no more lost work – bonus!

I’ll give it a try and let you know what I think. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit so I’ll make a note on my calendar and revisit this later in the month.

Scrivener Image from: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

Thanks!