Wednesday, 29 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday


In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

I’m frantically getting ready for a family trip, so my blog break continues. We’re off to New Brunswick soon, which means I won’t be doing WUW next week either. Instead, I’ll probably be visiting the Bay of Fundy, home to some of the highest tides in the world. Can't wait! Hope you’re all well and that the words have been flowing. Good luck especially to all of you starting NaNoWriMo in a couple days! I’m off to do more laundry and packing and all that fun pre-trip stuff now, so have a super Wednesday!


Monday, 27 October 2014

More Than Exes Book Blitz

Today, I’m excited to announce the release of More Than Exes by Elizabeth Briggs. If you enjoyed Liz’s debut novel, be sure to check out this novella for more about Kyle Cross, band member and younger brother of Jared from More Than Music. Even if you haven’t read More Than Music yet, More Than Exes stands on its own. Take a look for more information below, and be sure to enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card...

Book & Author Details:

More Than Exes by Elizabeth Briggs (Chasing the Dream 0.5) 
■Publication date: October 28th 2014
■Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:

Keyboardist Kyle Cross may look like a bad boy with his tattoos and piercings, but he’s really the good guy who’s always stuck fixing his band’s problems and never gets the girl. His band is competing in a college Battle of the Bands, but when their bassist doesn’t show, Kyle must track her down with the help of the person he least expects: his ex-girlfriend Alexis Monroe.
Kyle hasn’t seen Alexis since she dumped him in high school, and she’s dropped her preppy image for fiery red hair and a bold new attitude to match. With only hours before his band goes on stage, Kyle has to be a little bad if he wants to win both the Battle and the girl he’s never gotten over. But when their old problems resurface, the good guy might just get his heart broken all over again.

Author Interview:

Where did you get the idea for More Than Exes?

In More Than Music, which is about Kyle’s friend, Maddie, and his brother, Jared, there’s a part where Maddie thinks about how it must be difficult to be Jared’s brother sometimes. That made me wonder about how Kyle sees his brother, and I quickly jotted down what would become the first chapter of More Than Exes. Right then I knew I had to tell Kyle’s story, too. I also had many fans of More Than Music tell me they loved Kyle and wanted a book about him, so that sealed the deal!

Do you need to read More Than Music to read More Than Exes?

No, definitely not. More Than Exes is a novella set about a month before More Than Music and can be read as a standalone. There’s nothing in it that would be confusing if you haven’t read More Than Music – but if you have, it will also shed light on a few things in that book. You can read them in any order, even though More Than Exes is a prequel.

What is your favorite thing about More Than Exes?

There are so many things I love about this book – the fact that it takes place over a few
hours, the sarcastic humor in it, and the love story of two high school sweethearts getting back together… but my absolute favorite part is the close sibling relationship between Kyle and Jared. I loved showing Jared from Kyle’s point of view – Kyle views his brother very differently from how Maddie does in More Than Music, but still loves him and would do anything for him.

What was the hardest part about writing More Than Exes?

More Than Exes is the first book I’ve ever written from a guy’s point of view, and that was a lot of fun but also challenging at times. I had to make sure that Kyle would be sympathetic to romance readers but also feel like a realistic 21 year old male. I don’t think there are many romances told from only a male perspective, but I hope people will give this one a chance!

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do?

A rock star, of course! I play the guitar, though I don’t have time to practice as much as I’d like. I’ve always wanted to be in a famous rock band, but now I just write about them instead.

What’s next in the Chasing the Dream series?

I’m currently working on More Than Comics, a novella about the drummer of the band, Hector, set at Comic-Con about a week after More Than Music ends. After that, I’ll be writing books about Maddie’s best friends, Julie and Carla, who both go on their own reality TV shows!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

Guys, this has been a difficult and stressful week for my family and me. I can’t get into the reasons why, but I wanted to let you know that I won’t be posting today, and I’m not sure when I’ll be back. It could be next week, or it might be a while. Writing is also on hold for me. Despite fall being my favourite season, October never seems to be a very good month around here. Anyway, I hope you’re all having a happy, productive week and that you enjoy WUW today.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

I’m about two thirds of the way through Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. I can’t even tell you how much I’d love to sit down and gobble up that last third. I love the new characters she’s added to the cast and the way she’s expanded the world in this awesome series.


What I’m Writing:

Since I last posted two weeks ago, I’ve added around 8k to my WIP. I also had the mother of all plot restructuring sessions. While I’ve known for ages what I want to happen in this WIP, I wasn’t happy with how some of those events were hinging together. There was much rearranging, trimming and adding of notes, and a few new ideas tossed into the mix. I also FINALLY worked out this story’s timeline, which was unbelievably hard for different reasons, and spent a chunk of time doing medical research.

What Works For Me:

Getting my husband to beta read for me. He’s an avid reader—in fact, he reads even more than I do—and I value his feedback. Plus, after spending all those hours locked away writing, I like to share what I’ve been working on with him.

He finished reading Engrave yesterday, and his overall comment was that "it rocked and was a killer second novel." I know, I know, he's my husband and he has to say that, BUT he did have more articulate comments about things like plot, pacing, and character development. Comments that made me very happy and boosted my confidence.

Aside from that, he also does encouraging things like drink Coke with one of my characters' names on it and then tweet about it while on his break at work. That made my day. :)

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and we filled it with fun and relaxing things. We finally saw If I Stay, and all of us enjoyed it. My son and I agreed that it was adapted well for the big screen.

We also spent time reading at Starbucks and went new and used book shopping. I was hoping to find a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel because part of it features in my current WIP. I wasn’t expecting to find a copy that was 113 years old though! This sweet little paperback was put out in 1901 by a Canadian publisher, and the cover is decorated with maple leaves. It’s a unique addition to my stack of dusty, old Romantic poetry books.

This year, we decided to have a picnic for Thanksgiving, so we took our turkey dinner to Blackstrap, a provincial park about half an hour away. The weather is still fairly warm for October, but it was really windy near the lake, and I froze my butt off. Still, we enjoyed our little turkey roast (perfect for a picnic for three seeing as it was small enough to cook in a meat loaf pan), sweet potato crisp with cranberry-apple-oatmeal topping, pumpkin cake, and other goodies. It was a gorgeous place for a picnic, but next time we’ll go when the weather is warmer and the boys can take me hiking. They did a trail run there before and were eager to show me how nice it was.


Well, that’s my week. How was yours?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

Please note that one of our WUW headings has changed. You can find further details on that here.

Things are busy around here lately, so no post for me today. Hope all of you are having a lovely and productive week though! Keep those ideas and words flowing! :)



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

Please note that one of our WUW headings has changed. You can find further details on that here.



What I’m Reading:

Let’s be honest here. Seeing as Heir of Fire is GINORMOUS, and I’m smack in the middle of drafting these days (which means less time for reading), I’m probably going to be saying the same thing here for a quite a while. That’s okay, because while I’d love to gobble it down in a couple days flat, it’s not a bad thing to stretch it out. I also just finished beta reading the cool, urban fantasy ms I mentioned last week and have to compile my feedback for that. I’m still reading Romeo and Juliet with my son for school as well.

What I’m Writing:

This was a real problem solving week.  I had to rearrange an entire group of scenes to try and fix a timeline/plot issue, which wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs. There are some things that have to be timed just right in this WIP, and for whatever reason they’re conflicting with each other.  Getting that sorted is a goal for this coming week. Besides mixing around and patching together scenes, I wrote 6200 new words, so despite one setback it was still a productive week.

What Works for Me:

Like I mentioned above, if I notice a plot hole—big or small—I tackle it right away, even if that means rewriting scenes in the drafting stage. I know some people recommend leaving issues like that for revisions, but I prefer to work them out before moving on, regardless of whether or not it takes longer to get the story out. My philosophy is that plot holes can snowball, especially since one plot point hinges on another. Plus, they nag me until I fix them. I want to be able to keep writing knowing that I’m not building the rest of my story on a shaky foundation. Obviously, this doesn’t work for everyone’s process, but it helps me keep all those plot threads from getting tangled or unraveling (on the page and in my poor head).

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

It’s been busy but not with anything out of the ordinary. I made three pumpkin loaves, which we’ve been devouring, especially with tea during our afternoon homeschool lessons. Lately, that’s involved my son answering discussion questions from the back of If I Stay, which he really enjoyed.  I have to say it’s awesome and so incredibly helpful when publishers include a list of thought-provoking questions in their books. What a great way to get people talking about stories and a really handy homework assignment too.

The temperatures have dipped, half the yellow leaves blew off our trees in a span of a few days, and my family is in what I like to call “pre-hibernation” mode. While a lot of people do spring cleaning, we always scramble to get things done around the house before winter gets here. So we’ve been busy with some renovations and dejunking and whatnot, trying to beat the snow, which could show up any day (although hopefully not yet).

I also discovered music by The Boxer Rebellion this week, particularly the song “New York,” which has been a source of inspiration. Epic, primal drums make me want to write moving scenes.

So how are you this fine Wednesday?


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

Please note that one of our WUW headings has changed. You can find further details on that here.

What I’m Reading:

I finished Phobic by Cortney Pearson and really enjoyed it. Phobic was a perfect spooky read for autumn. If you’d like to know more about it, you can check out this postNow I’m reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and beta reading a fun, unique urban fantasy ms.

What I’m Writing:

This week I wrote 5700 words. My mc is facing some big challenges right now, and that means big challenges for me in the writing department. This may sound crazy, but I actually like that. When I plan a story, I sometimes purposely work elements into the plot that I know will stretch my writing abilities. It keeps writing fresh for me.  I’m getting to the point in this ms when the plot is really going to kick into high gear, and I’m looking forward to that.

What Works for Me:

Writers often stress the importance of psychological triggers that put you in the mood to write. One of those items for me is my writing mug. Actually, I have two like this, which is a good thing seeing as one of them is usually clean then when I sit down to work. Why do I swear by this particular mug? Because it’s dark with a romantic flare, much like my WIP.  I often have a favourite writing tea as well. Right now, it’s wild cherry.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

This past Saturday, the hubby and I made a traditional Scottish dinner for Outlander night. I whipped up some homemade shortbread, decorated with my thistle stamp. The thistle is the national flower of Scotland, in case you were wondering. We also made haggis, clapshot (a potato and turnip dish), and oat bannocks with honey, all of which were quite tasty. Yes, we love haggis, although we made the quick version that only uses liver. Feel free to be grossed out. It’s definitely not for everyone. The husband also put together quite the selection of awesome Scottish craft beers for the occasion (we had Dark Island and Skull Splitter from the Orkney Brewery). Plus, I tried Scotch for the first time. Holy moly does that burn going down! I enjoyed it.

Other than that, we’ve been taking nice fall walks and “squooshing.” That’s what my family used to call running and crunching through the leaves when I was a kid. As you can see in my pics, the leaves here are mostly yellow now. Even though we’ve had summer temperatures during the day lately, it’s cold enough at night to turn the trees.

So how was your week?