Category Archives: Guest Post

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Belinda Garcia @MagicProse #Suspense #TBR

1. I am a closet romantic. I write love stories into most of my books. I love to watch romantic movies and read romantic books that make my heart beat fast. I love the famed romantic couples; Rhett and Scarlet; Darcy and Elizabeth, etc.

2. I’m a computer nerd (which is probably why I’m a closet romantic and not a romantic). I worked as a computer programmer and web developer. It’s like a drug, and I now get my fix by working on my website or creating my book covers.

3. I believe in personal power. I once heard that human beings only tap about 4% of their brain. Within everyone lies unimaginable power and strength. Believe in yourself and you can do anything!

4. I love movies. I go nearly every week. I prefer love stories but enjoy action-packed movies that my husband likes. Feel-good movies and funny comedies are the best; but so is a touching movie that stirs the emotions, leaving my cheeks wet with tears.

5. When little, I would stand up on a chair to dry dishes and count the silverware. Thank goodness for DVD players. When I used to watch a tape on a VCR, I would have to cover the numbers with a towel else I’d be adding them up as the movie played down. I think the counting is related to my nerdicitis.

6. I love to dance.

7. I’m a bit too independent. My father abandoned my family when I was 11 and my mother was ill so I would walk to a strip mall to buy my school clothes and supplies, etc. I was sort of on my own. When I was 16, my mother died, I was pretty much on my own.

8. I’m crazy about Zumba, a Latin-dance-exercise. I attend a class 4 or 5 days a week. I spend so much time sitting at my desk that Zumba keeps me limber. For some reason, when my mind is relaxed, my brain likes to start writing. I start hearing dialogue in my head, or narration starts writing. I have to run to my notebook, do some scribbling, and then get back in line to continue the song.

9. I never worry. It’s a total waste of time and doesn’t change anything. Worrying is frustrating and nerve-wracking. My philosophy has always been, don’t worry about the fire until you see the flames!

10. I have great faith in God, though I confess I rarely attend church. From the time I was six until the age of 16, when my brother and I were forced out of our home by the man who owned the mortgage, I used to lie on the roof of our shed and talk to God about my life. He was a great listener and many times helped me and still does in my life. God has literally reached out and touched me, and no one can ever convince me that He doesn’t exist.


The last thing Miranda ever expected was to see her brother’s ghost at the fallen Twin Towers.

It’s bad enough survivor Christopher Michaels scares her with claims that if one dies violently, his ghost will haunt the place that holds his name. And to top it all, one of those thousands of ghosts follows Miranda to her hotel. The only certainty is the ghost grabbing her under the covers is not Jake.

Their parents’ deaths separated Miranda from Jake when they were kids. Michaels insists Jake brought them together and it’s no coincidence that of thousands mourning at Ground Zero, it’s his best friend she bumps into. Some best friend. Michaels is more like a moocher. The cheapskate never has money, just a blood-stained wallet he broods over. Miranda has no choice but to hang out with the weird Michaels in order to unravel her brother’s past.

As Miranda spends time with Michaels, she begins to wonder who he really is. Against her better judgment, Miranda becomes emotionally entangled with Michaels, a bitter alcoholic with a secret linked to her brother and that blood-stained wallet.

I Will Always Love You is part mystery, suspense and romance, a novel that will keep the reader turning the pages!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Suspense, Mystery, Romance

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Belinda Vasquez Garcia on Facebook & Twitter



#Author Robert Breeze & how NOT to appeal to the #literary snob @robertbreeze

My writing style and how not to appeal to the literary snob

I’m anything but a literary aficionado. I wish writing came more naturally but it doesn’t and a lot of the time it’s hard, arduous graft. Looking back I guess I had a talent at piecing together essays, it’s the only way I achieved a good history degree given that my historical knowledge is sketchy at best.

When writing ‘2082’ I realised quickly that my natural style isn’t that of a natural novelist. What comes naturally to me as I write is analogies and I think that possibly comes from years of listening to hip hop music. Some of the analogies and alliteration used in hip hop lyrics is genius and such thoughts seem to instinctively pop into my mind when I write (to the point that I need to then edit most of them out).

I think I’ve learnt that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to writing. Everyone advocates that as a writer you should edit and cut relentlessly at the end of any book, but if that rule was applied across the board then my favourite movie line of all time probably wouldn’t have made the cut (“I dunno I didn’t go into Burger King”).

Words that you wouldn’t find in the dictionary (often two adjectives fused together) also come naturally into my head as I write and I fight to try and leave them in. If to me that word is the easiest way to describe something then why shouldn’t it stay in regardless of whether it’s in the dictionary or not. In a way I think it might help the narrative flow a bit more.

When my writing style is criticised it gets me on the attack. I’m aware that the books aren’t 10% as well written as shakespeare and probably not even as well written as your average novel. Critics whose opinion I respect have said that it flows well and is easy and entertaining to read and that’s good enough for me. I’m not a literary snob and what’s more a large part of me detests the literary snob. I don’t understand people who are obsessed with the semantics of how well written a book is. My books will never be perfectly worded literary masterpieces as I haven’t dedicated 10 years of my life learning how to do so. The flip side of that is that I think this way the book might actually appeal to more of the proletariat which is surely the intention of any writer.

The Chronicles Of Hope is a series of books about some interesting characters going on a thought provoking journey together. It’s told hopefully with a humorous commentary and any reader is intelligent enough to know that it’s a work of fiction. I think that then allows the writer some scope to make the story fun to read whilst telling it, and not feel they have to adhere to any stringent writing formula.


Frank Noon divides opinion. Whilst some say he’s a philosophical genius, some say he’s a fanciful dreamer who deliberately courts controversy with his anti-establishment views about the failings of modern society.

Seemingly nearing the end of his life in politics, he reluctantly fronts an experimental inter-galactic government project late in the 21st century aimed at making life on an overpopulated Earth more sustainable. As he battles to gain control of a relative asylum, consisting of a cross section of the populous as much at odds with themselves as the situation, he unwittingly embarks on a life-changing journey of self discovery.

As they learn more about the project and its intentions how far-reaching might the consequences be for the future of humanity?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Political Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Robert Breeze on Facebook & Twitter

5 Writing and Reading Myths Debunked. (Sort of) by Brad Cotton @BradCott0n

Myth 1.

Everyone has at least one good book in them.

The Truth:

Writing is bloody hard. And, while everyone may have at least one story that will break your heart, putting it down on paper is not something innate. I can visualize a really great painting, but hell if I can paint it. I can fathom the coolest dunk, but I couldn’t reach the rim with a pogo stick and jet pack. Writing a great story takes a lot of practice and a lot of hard work. Granted, it comes easier to some, like dunking a basketball would to a seven-footer, but constructing a good sentence and weaving a comprehensive yarn are not something with which you’re born. Try it, of course, but know when to move to music or barn raising instead.

Myth 2.

Every book has some redeeming qualities.

The Truth:

Some books are just plain bad. They say that simply completing a novel is an accomplishment, and that the feat alone should be lauded. Nonsense. I can take the time to construct a car from scratch, but if it doesn’t drive, what I have is a mess in my garage. Sure, I’ve spent countless hours welding and molding and twisting a wrench, but that means very little if I still have to walk to the store. I’ve started many more books then I’ve finished. I’ve turned movies off in the middle. A very long time ago music composition was left to the true geniuses like Mozart and Brahms. Now all it takes is high school poetry and a Macbook. Some books should never be published, and that’s okay. While not every book has redeeming qualities, every would-be author certainly does.

Myth 3.

Publishing is hard.

My first two responses may seem a bit cynical, so I might just surprise you with this one. Publishing is easy — if you’re willing to take the time to do it yourself. My first book was published by traditional means. I queried agents and publishers, I got a book contract, I handed over my manuscript, and 9 months later a book arrived and I cut the cord. I’ve since spoken to many self-published authors and realized that doing all the leg work ones self is not only rewarding, but not really all that difficult. There are countless how-to websites, books, and personal accounts available at a glance. The Internet offers so many channels to publish both print and ebooks that the problem you may indeed face is which service to use. And, it’s cheap! You could conceivably go from manuscript to finished novel for under $1000. Should everyone do it? God no. Could they? Yes.

Myth 4.

Most Authors are eccentric and weird.

Authors are not eccentric w… Never mind. Authors tend to be eccentric weirdos.

Myth 5.

Printed books are dying.

Like local newspapers, printed books seem to being going the way of the Quagga. Never heard of a Quagga? Ever wonder why? One of the major contributors to the dying-book hypothesis is that you don’t have to look very far to find a Starbucks where your local bookstore once was. Well, you heard it here first: Printed books are alive and well. I’ve read a few books on my digital device, and sure, it’s handy-dandy when traveling or when I’m in need of over 500 novels at one time. But there is — and will always be — something about holding a real book in your hands that your digital device cannot replace. The smell, the texture, the sound of turning pages. The stains, the dog-eared pages, the torn cover… Wait, what was I saying? Right, while ebooks have overtaken printed books in sales, the good old paperback is here to stay. Forever. There will come a time when digital devices will be old hat. My niece isn’t impressed by technology the way her grandmother is. And, when the day comes that the power goes out, or we are taken over by a rogue alien colony, we’ll all be reaching for our yellowed hard copy of 1984 after working in the mines.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Fiction/Literary Fiction

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Brad Cotton on Facebook & Twitter


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vadim Babenko – Stories behind my books: Farewell

Stories behind my books: Farewell

by Vadim Babenko

The Yeltsin-Gaidar economic reform, which impoverished the entire Russian nation and created a small group of super-rich oligarchs, began in January 1992. I was working then at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Right after New Year’s vacation we were told that financing for the Academy had been cut off. All academic institutes were advised to survive on their own. Thus began the collapse of the fundamental science system of the former USSR – created many decades prior and considered one of the strongest in the world.

Our institute was engaged in new approaches to microbiology problems. Serious scientists, who were regularly published worldwide, worked for us. As soon as it became clear our salaries would no longer be paid, a mass exodus of employees ensued – to the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, France… Within two months the Institute was emptied by two-thirds. The only ones who didn’t leave were those bound to Russia by personal reasons. I too remained.

No, I had neither sick relatives nor thorny domestic problems. I simply didn’t want to leave the Russian language environment. Knowing already that my future was in literature despite my scientific successes, I decided it was time for me to write prose, my first big novel. And I believed to write in Russian I had to be surrounded by it on a day-to-day basis.

However, I needed to live on something – at the Institute they didn’t pay at all. In the Russia of that time it was possible to earn money only by reselling something brought from abroad – discounting plainly criminal jobs. Trade in consumer products was not for me; I chose the most abstract of goods – money. I began to collaborate with a firm that was profiting from currency speculation.

What we were doing wasn’t illegal – in the law of the new Russia there was simply a gaping hole about the issue. I formed a small team of some of my former scientist colleagues – all of them had excellent educations, doctorate degrees, and families with nothing to eat. The first five months everything went OK, but then we caught the eye of professional swindlers. They took notice and – quite easily and gracefully – set us up by slipping us some funny C-notes instead of real money. As a result, I ended up owing my “employers” an amount unattainable for those times: nearly five thousand dollars.

There was nowhere at all for me to get this money. However, my employers treated me well. They didn’t send tough guys after me with baseball bats, but suggested I work off the debt – by collecting weekly payments from the kiosks that they “protected” on Arbat Street. This I could not do and, persuading them to wait one month, I began seeking the path to my salvation.

Strangely enough, a path was found: in the US I located a partner who was interested in the technology I had been developing over the last two years. We decided to open a joint venture and, with a Herculean effort, I convinced him to send me money as an advance on my future share. This sum made up nearly ten percent of our “capital” at that time, which my partner had acquired from his friends. Nevertheless, he took a risk; it turned out to be the best decision of his life.

And now, having repaid my debts and wrapped up my Russian affairs, I stood in line for customs inspection in the departure wing of Moscow Sheremetevo Airport. November 1992 was passing. I was completely disappointed, both in Russia and in my abandoned novel. Actually, it was still too early for me to write something serious. And the country was quickly becoming a violent, disgusting place. All the worst of humanity had bubbled to the surface and run amok. Those who found it unpleasant could only get the hell out of there.

The customs officer, young and impudent, carelessly set to rummaging in my bag. Suddenly he lighted upon something, and his eyes twinkled. In his hands was a pack of diskettes that contained everything: all my computer programs, calculations, presentations, and so on. “This is restricted!” he announced with a sneer. “It’s not allowed to leave the country! We’re confiscating this.”

I knew he was lying to extort a bribe, but I was helpless – his supervisors were far away, and the plane wasn’t going to wait. Besides, the customs administration would most likely take issue with something else to insure I wouldn’t press my rights. I had heard many stories about this practice, and I had no illusions.

The customs official and I stepped to the side. He forced me to empty my pockets, then reached into my wallet and took all my cash, leaving only some loose change for coffee.

On the escalator as I ascended toward my gate I resolved that never again – NEVER! – would I return to this country.

A Simple Soul

Buy Now @ Amazon & Amazon UK

Genre – Literary Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author


Emma Right – 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Keeper of Reign

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Keeper of Reign

By: Emma Right

1. That I started the story in 2008 and it had taken me six long years to get it onto Kindle and about 17 edits later, and two of these are with professional editors.

2. That my children inspired me to write the book. Also, one of the first things that got me going about the book was the song from Switchfoot,  titled, “Meant to Live” (for so much more). It got me thinking about how far short each of us fall from our true potential. I really believe each human being has been created to overcome troubles and problems, and live above all that life throws at us. Yet the trials and troubles of this world reduce us, and it feels that our troubled world is so big. This is just like how it was for the Elfies who lived in Reign. Also I’d read Destined to Reign, and it inspired me to think of possibilities.

3. I came up with over a dozen titles: Elfie Epic, Kingdom of Keepers, Kingdom of Reign, The Overcomers, …but finally, I decided that it really was about just one Keeper: Jules Blaze, a boy who minimized his heritage, and didn’t realize he could make an impact in his world, and that his family needed him.

4. That the names in Keeper of Reign has great significance.

5. That while I started writing Keeper of Reign Book 1 in the USA, some parts of it was written in Asia, while we were there for a bit, and also some parts, in New Zealand, and still, some of the edits were done while I was in Europe.

6.That Keeper of Reign had another cover, then I decided to hire a professional cover designer, Lisa Hainline. I told her some of the elements in the story, and that the dragonfly lantern was an important component, and that i wanted it to have a magical, fairy-tale like feel, for that’s what Keeper of Reign is–something of a fairy-tale. And, it’s Elfies, not elves. The Elfies are a cross between elves, (the more robust, physical beings) and fairies (think ethereal, flighty.)

7. That yes, Keeper of Reign has a Book 2, and the reason I stopped it where I did was because there was too much to tell in one book. Did you know for instance that JRR Tolkien had the three books in his Lord of the Rings series as one big book? But the publisher said it was too voluminous, and so he had to split it into three? Next time you pick it up, take a peek at the end of the first book and you will see that it ends with the readers not knowing what will happen to Frodo on his trip.

8. That the first Keeper of Reign was over 230,000 words long and I had to cut out the history, back-stories, their local customs, food habits, etc because these just bogged down on the plot. Also, i was advices that readers 11-16 are not going to be too interested in these things. So i have been toying with the idea of putting all that information either on my site, or write a short prequel and history of the Elfies type of book. For instance did you know that the Elfies only ate natural foods culled form the forest. If I had time i would compile a book of recipes from Reign. How about Food Reigns as a title!

Keeper of Reign

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Young Adult Adventure Fantasy  

Rating – G

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Emma Right on Facebook & Facebook (Keeper of Reign)


Alana Cash – Developing Your Writing Style

Developing Your Writing Style

by Alana Cash

The number one way to develop writing confidence and style is to accept that rewriting is part of the process of developing not only a story, but a writing style.  This is true because sometimes when you sit down to write and get those first few words on paper, you are just priming the pump – you keep going until things click and you feel you are in the story.  When you get the story down, you can go back and edit out whatever isn’t strong.

When I was teaching, I read my students’ stories aloud in front of the group and then offered some suggestions for rewrites (this was the advanced class).  As I read the stories, I got a feel for the student’s writing style through the cadence of the words.  I could also tell when they had added phrases or descriptions that didn’t fit with the story, but they might have unconsciously picked up something from a bestselling novel or a writer that they admired.  These phrases or descriptions might sound beautiful, but didn’t move their story along and detracted from it.

I always spoke about the strengths in any story before I made any sort of suggestions.  I remember one student saying, “This is the second writing class I’ve taken and you’re telling me I’m still making mistakes.”  First of all, editing a story doesn’t mean there are mistakes.  It means there are ways to strengthen the story – the characters, the plot, the sensibility that the writer wants to get across.  Second, mastering the art of writing is a not a two-class process.

When I originally wrote “Frying Your Burger” (the novella in HOW YOU LEAVE TEXAS) it was over 300 pages long.  Over time, I cut characters and some extraneous little scenes.  Those scenes might have been funny, but I wanted a distilled, lean story that carried Nicky [the protagonist] from denial of a family secret to divulging it.  As she did that, her choices in men changed substantially.  What sensibility I wanted to impart is that if we lie to ourselves, we’ll find ourselves involved with people who lie to us.

As the story became more refined, I became more satisfied with it and felt more confident to share it.

A exercise for developing a writing style is to share your work in a group. Writers generally work alone and it’s easy to deny lumpy places in a story where you’ve overwritten or places where you got off track.  But when you hear your story read out loud (whether by yourself or someone else), you can’t deny the places where the rhythm is off or where the language suddenly became overly descriptive or too barren or you just went off on a tangent.  A story needs balance and you’ll hear where your story tips.  You can ask for suggestions, but don’t try to please every critic.  Know the goal of your story – what you want your reader to know and feel from reading it – and pay attention to the suggestions that you believe will get you there.

All this sounds easy for me to say, but it takes time.  Writing is a mastery process.  I don’t know any “born writers.”  You can’t buy a writing style any more than you can buy the ability to run a marathon.  Writing talent develops over time.  And developing a real talent and confidence in that talent takes passion.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Women’s Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Alana Cash on her


Jessica Bell – Dealing With Categorization On Amazon

Why Literary Fiction isn’t Boring

by Jessica Bell

Have you ever wanted to savor a meal because you’ve never tasted anything so good? Well, if you’re new to literary fiction, or can never seem to “get into it,” this is how you should try approaching it.

Think of the book as a meal with intricate scents, flavours and textures that you can’t quite recognize unless you spend a little more time with it, and give it some undivided attention. Because, trust me, sitting down a little longer than usual, to enjoy your meal, can be liberating, especially if accompanied by a great glass of red.

Sensory information is, more often than not, a huge focus in literary works. Literary fiction, unfortunately, gets a bad wrap for all the description it uses. This makes me sad because I adore it. I never used to. Until I realized how much there is to appreciate.

I’m convinced that some people think literary fiction is boring because they have the wrong expectations. Most literary works are not heavy on plot. It exists, but it is not usually the main focus. Primarily, the focus is on character and theme. So you cannot expect to pick up a literary novel and become so caught up in the story that you can’t bear to put it down. But so what? Each reading experience should be different, and inspire you in different ways. They should trigger questions, stimulate learning curves and general intrigue for the new. So, before you dismiss the idea of picking up another literary novel, because you didn’t get the thrilling ride of the last suspense you read, try taking a different approach.

Try to focus on smaller elements rather than the book as a whole. Allow yourself to not finish the book “this week” because you’ve signed up to the Goodreads Book Challenge and need to reach your self-inflicted magic number. Give yourself that extra week to read a literary novel and you’ll discover the abundant beauty and importance of unique phrasing, character development, theme and symbolism, and how all these elements can effortlessly blend together to create a masterpiece; to create an atmosphere rarely found in the commercial works that can be gobbled up in one sitting. Focusing on these things is going to make your writing better. And you can learn to entwine, even if in the smallest of doses, a little more magic into your prose. And you never know, by not reading something for the storyline, you may actually start to enjoy a book that lacks the pace you’re used to. If you give your brain the opportunity to accept the difference, you give it room to enjoy the difference, too.

Take this amazing line from Marilynne Robinson’s, Housekeeping, which is well-known among my peers, as my most favorite book of all time:

It was the kind of loneliness that made clocks seem slow and loud and made voices sound like voices across water.

Isn’t this just so beautiful?

Read it again. Slowly. Out loud. Now, feel it. What senses does this conjure? Can you hear the loud and slow clock ticking? Its echo crossing a flat lake trying to reach the disappearing voices of loved ones you wished existed? The still and stifling warm air at dusk? Your heartbeat in your ears? The emptiness in your chest? The melancholia you can’t seem to place? An amazing comparison to loneliness, don’t you think? The clocks, the voices, the loudness of heartache. *sigh* …

You can do this in your work. By reading a bit more literary fiction, you can discover small beauties like this one. You can then practice taking someone’s breath away in your own writing. Give your manuscript that extra touch of character, of magic, of prose so well crafted that others will wish they could write like you. Now … wouldn’t that be an amazing accomplishment? To write a page turner that makes a reader’s mouth water as well?

Tell me, do you read literary fiction? Why/Why not? If you’ve given up on literary fiction in the past, do you think you might like to give it another shot?


The Australian-native contemporary fiction author and poet, Jessica Bell, also makes a living as an editor and writer for global ELT publishers (English Language Teaching), such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

She is the co-publishing editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to Jessica’s newsletter. Every subscriber will receive The Hum of Sin Against Skin for free, and be the first to know about new releases and special subscriber giveaways.

Connect with Jessica online:

website | retreat & workshop | blog | Vine Leaves Journal | Facebook | Twitter

muted: a short story in verse

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Ca

Note: This cyberpunk/dystopian short story is an experimental work of fiction written in verse. Page count: 30. Word count: 2000.

It’s illegal to wear clothes. In some streets, it’s also illegal to sing. Concetta, a famous Italian a capella singer from before “the change,” breaks these laws. As punishment, her vocal chords are brutally slashed, and her eardrums surgically perforated. Unable to cope living a life without song, she resolves to drown herself in the river, clothed in a dress stained with performance memories. But Concetta’s suicide attempt is deterred, when she is distracted by a busking harpist with gold eyes and teeth. Will he show her how to sing again, or will the LEO on the prowl for another offender to detain, arrest her before she has the chance?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Cyberpunk / Dystopian / Short Story in Verse

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Jessica Bell on FacebookTwitter


Jim Adam – Learning from Successful Writers

    Learning from Successful Writers

    by Jim Adam

    When a book or series becomes popular, it can have a negative influence on our writing.  We begin to emulate the author’s style, or worse, we find ourselves writing a story “just like” the bestseller.  While there’s nothing wrong with such a copycat approach, most of us are out to develop a distinct voice and style.  Still, we can learn a lot by studying the writing of our favorite authors.

    Studying, though, means more than just re-reading.  Rather, we need to consider the book or story not as a reader, but as a writer, dissecting and analyzing instead of just enjoying.

    One useful exercise that I’ve seen recommended elsewhere is to take five books that you admire and do a chapter-by-chapter outline of each one.  For genres like romance, thriller, and mystery, that sort of analysis seems almost required, if you want to understand how such stories are structured and how pacing is handled.  But such an exercise can be helpful for all of us, because it forces us to approach the books in a more formal, clinical way.

    Other key points to consider when studying another writer’s work:

    • Chapter beginnings and endings:  how does the author hook the reader at the start of each chapter; how often do chapters end happily; how many end with a cliffhanger.

    • Varying intensity:  do individual chapters tend to have an arc to them; how often does the conflict ratchet up vs. how often does the story introduce more sedate passages.

    • Good news management:  how does the story make a “happy coincidence” or a “convenient development” easier for readers to accept; is good news often slipped in by way of bad news.

    • Delayed resolution:  how does the story keep the protagonist from fixing a problem; without making the protagonist seem lazy or stupid.

    • Subplots:  how often is a subplot revisited; are subplots allowed to fill an entire chapter.

          When we read for pleasure, we often don’t take notice of the mechanics of the story, but there’s a lot to be learned from dissecting books that we love by writers that we admire.  The point isn’t (usually) to identify a formula or to mimic another writer’s style, but to see what general guidelines (“never give the protagonist an even break,” “ramp up the tension as you go”) look like in practice.


          In Romans 14:13, Paul tells us that we’re not supposed to put a stumbling block in front of another person. Neither should we just sit and watch people tripping over the same stumbling blook over and over. We should get up and move that stumbling block out of the way.

          In Romans 15:1, Paul goes on to say that those who are stronger in their faith must make allowances for those who are weaker. “Don’t just think about what makes you happy,” Paul says. For a long time, ever since Marcion raised some of the first objections to the Old Testament way back in the year 140 CE, Christians have been clinging to the OT because it makes them happy. Now, it’s time for Christians to take pity on those folks who have moral objections to what the OT says.

          Buy Now @ Amazon

          Genre – NonFiction

          Rating – PG13

          More details about the author

          Connect with Jim Adam on Twitter


      Mark Miller – How to Write by the Seat of Your Pants

      How to Write by the Seat of Your Pants: Outline or No?

      by Mark Miller

      Most authors that I speak with do outlines and story arcs ahead of time.  This is probably wise advice, but I completely ignore it.  My style is different, but works for me.  I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but I thought I would share as it may be amusing to other writers.  I create the motivators in my head for each character, for instance their background, personality and goals.

      After I have that, I ask myself how they would react in the situation they are in.  These actions bump into each other quite often and I can tell you that more than once I put my main character into situations that I had no idea how he was going to get out of it even as I was writing it.  I just allowed the character to react the way he would presented with the situation and a sharp mind.

      It turned out that this process creates loads of situations that create a great deal of anxiety in the reader as well and I have witnessed people reading my book become very emotional about what is happening.  This has been very rewarding for me and I think if I would have planned the entire story ahead of time I would not have achieved the randomness that multiple characters with various motivations would provide.  All this being said, I would have likely slept better if I already knew the answers to the dilemmas I was writing!

      Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

      Genre – Young Adult Fantasy

      Rating – PG

      More details about the author & the book

      Connect with Mark Miller on Facebook


      Francis L Guenette – What Does Writing Do for You?

      What Does Writing Do for You?
      by Francis Guenette
      I now walk into the wild . . . . (John Krakauer)
      Krakauer was a mountaineer and writer who explored the impulse that leads one to outdoor adventure. His words about the wild call out to me. Not because I want an outdoor adventure, though it might be good for me to shuck off the chains of the laptop and go outside. More like it perfectly expressed what I think about writing.
      The word wild digs down deep into my thoughts – wild child, wild one, wild and woolly, a wild, wild ride. An interesting word, it finds its way into a sentence in different ways.
      As an adjective – not domesticated or cultivated
      As an adverb – in an uncontrolled manner
      Noun – a natural area, an uncultivated or uninhabited region
      Synonyms, for an adjective – savage, mad, feral. For a noun – wilderness, waste
      The writing was savage.
      I wrote, madly out of control.
      My writing went off into the wilderness, a strange and feral land.
      I block out a scene, write a piece of dialogue, consider an action sequence, peek inside a character’s thoughts and motivations. I am on that path into the wild. I have no idea where it will take me.
      Writing takes me over. I breathe it, eat it, and sleep with it. There is no getting away. I go out for a walk, talk on the phone to family and friends, tune into a TV show or radio broadcast, spend countless hours maintaining my social media platform, talk with my husband. None of these essential life diversions can actually get me away from the story. The wild territory of the writing is still there, always playing out just below the surface of whatever I’m doing. I’m hooked, the story has a hold on me, and I can’t shake it. It’s an uncultivated region that only I can plough and plant and harvest. I must inhabit it, live and breathe life into the landscape.
      Writing is a savage endeavour. Writing exhausts me, it invigorates me, it drives me crazy, and it fulfills me – a dichotomous activity that personifies the word oxymoron. Writing gives my life meaning.
      What does writing do for you?

      Sixteen-year-old Lisa-Marie has been packed off to spend the summer with her aunt on the isolated shores of Crater Lake. She is drawn to Izzy Montgomery, a gifted trauma counsellor who is struggling through personal and professional challenges.
      Lisa-Marie also befriends Liam Collins, a man who goes quietly about his life trying to deal with his own secrets and guilt. The arrival of a summer renter for Izzy’s guest cabin is the catalyst for change amongst Crater Lake’s tight knit community. People are forced to grapple with the realities of grief and desire to discover that there are no easy choices – only shades of grey.
      Buy Now @ Amazon
      Genre – Contemporary Fiction / Literary Romance
      Rating – PG13
      More details about the author
      Connect with Francis L Guenette on Facebook & Twitter