Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How DYI Can Help You Get Back on Track

I've always loved the do it yourself concept. Yes, you can probably go out and buy that special piece you're looking for, but there is nothing like creating something with your own hands. For me, going to craft shows started years ago when I was still quite young and thought I could do anything. Fast forward a few years and I'm sad to say that awesome outlook on life has changed quite a bit. Stupid fear and doubt. LOL

One of my favorite shows lately is a show on HGTV called Fixer Upper. It's been on for a few seasons I think, but I only recently found it a few months ago. I absolutely love how this couple transforms a house. Wow! Makes me want to go out and buy an old fixer upper and try my hand at it. Thank goodness hubby has some self control!

As I sit here thinking about it, this idea kind of goes along with my writing as well. You know the saying,"You can't fix what you don't have." Well, this show is proof! A few of these houses I've seen on the show were lost causes in my opinion. That is, until the Gaines step in and completely blow my mind.

So awesome! And it got me to thinking about my current WIP. So many times I get stuck on a scene because I can't come up with something I feel is good enough. When the truth is, I should just write through the crap to discover the gems hiding in the middle of it all. I really like the idea. Sure beats staring at a blank page, right? :) A do it yourself quick fix of sorts until you're ready to start the edits and go back to really make that manuscript shine.

As I procrastinated today, I came across this video by Joanna Gaines. Thought I'd share because I found it so inspiring. Following our dreams is such an important part of life. It's what makes us grow, keeps us happy and helps us find our purpose. We must not let fear and doubt get in the way of what we are meant to do.
Enjoy!
Off to write through the crap! LOL

Monday, March 23, 2015

Characters

Today I thought I'd talk about characters. Mainly because the ones in my current work in progress are refusing to play nice. I know what they should be doing, but getting them to do it is an entirely different story.

Take Keith for example. Fine young man. Comes from a good family. A wealthy family with ties to a Senator. His problem? He's an only child. And growing up he was constantly bored with his life. Probably not much different than most teenagers now days. I have three teenagers, so I've got a pretty good inside look at what goes on in those over stimulated minds of theirs.

But Keith. Oh, Keith. He didn't have the supervision he needed growing up during those difficult years. And when he got into trouble there was always someone there to bail him out. He has a juvie record. But it's sealed up tight.

Now that's not too bad. People make mistakes. Especially young people. But Keith has a secret. One he's hidden pretty darn well. Even from me! LOL

See, he has a crush on my heroine. An innocent crush. Or so I thought.  She used to babysit him when he was in middle school. Over the years, they grew to be good friends since he's only about five years younger.

Imagine my surprise when my hero gets knocked over the head with a baseball bat and I discover the culprit is none other than my sweet, misunderstood and sometimes mischievous Keith. What? That's not how this story played out in my head. Not even close.

But as I write further and get to know Keith better, I can't believe I didn't see it all along. It's there in chapter one. I've been setting this little freak show up since the beginning and had no idea. Talk about crazy! LOL

Can't wait to see what Keith has in store for these poor characters. Blindsided is an understatement.



***Found a great blog about character building. Here's a link if you interested. :) Great read!
                    Kill Zone - Top 10 Things you need to know about characters.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Not Playing Fair - Survival of the Fittest

Rain smacked the window. The huge droplets sounded like bullets as they hit. Menacing, foreboding, the feeling of doom unshakable as wind howled within the branches of the trees.

A knock at the back door.

A bump in the night.

The darkness promised to swallow everything whole as an eerie noise scrapped against the window-seal, sending cold vibrations through the thick, humid air.


And then.....

Danged if I know what happens next. LOL

I've been at odds with the muse for several months now. I want to write one genre, the muse has other ideas. Ideas that in no way, shape, form or fashion will mesh. So what to do?

One might think pushing through and showing the muse who's boss is the answer. Well, I've tried that.

Me - 0  Muse 155 and counting.

Yep, I'm batting zero. Muse is like, so you won't write what I tell you to, then you won't write at all.  Moowhaaahaaa....

Complete and udder shut down. Ugh...... So not fair!

On a brighter note, I had lunch with a good friend today who told me to let the muse go. Let the words flow. Write it down. What will it hurt? No one has to see it but you.

How do some people become so wise? ;)

I know what I need to do. Heck. Honestly, I've known for some time. But hearing someone else say it? Someone I respect not only as a writer, but also as a person. Someone who has helped me grow in my writing more than they will ever know. Priceless! Thank you, my dear friend!

So I'm buckling down, bracing for the ride, or impact. I'm not sure what's in store, but I'm going to be brave. And maybe, just maybe I'll share snip-its here from time to time. I'm cringing at the mere thought, while the muse is grinning like the blasted Cheshire cat!

I'm both excited and leery. But also a bit eager about the possibilities of discovering an avenue of my writing I've not been open to in the past. Who knows, maybe this will pacify the muse so I can get back to writing those simple, feel good stories I keep trying to write.

This should be fun!
Writing should always be fun!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

4 Days Down and A lot of Words to Get There

Gia, My Great Motivator!
I have to admit, I haven't had the blazing start I was hoping for these past few days. But I have made progress. Not only am I trying to reach that NaNo goal of 50,000 words, but I'm also trying to finish up edits on my next book. Crazy I know!

Four more chapters to go on that!

Yes, I'm excited! LOL

My NaNoWriMo survival kit:

Trusty Laptop
Music
Earphones
Beverages (lots of beverages)
Snacks
Notebook/Pens and Pencils (for when I need a boost in the creativity department.)
Flash drive to save my work
Do Not Disturb or Else signs for family :)
Picture of Captain Jack Sparrow ( My secret muse...crap. Not a secret anymore.) LOL
Jacket for when I get cold

That's about all I can think of right now. Time to quit procrastinating and see if I can get a few more words in before bedtime. Who needs sleep anyway! Ha!

Here's to more progress!

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's That Time Again!


I’m gearing up for another NaNoWriMo round. J

Yes, it can be addictive! And if there was a support group in my area, hubby would make sure I was all signed up and first in line when the doors opened. LOL

The truth? My favorite part of writing is just to do it. No editing. No worries. Just let the words flow as the ideas filter through my scattered brain.

Maybe not the best strategy since there is so much editing to do when I finally do go back through the manuscript. But the adrenaline rush and new story produced at the end makes all the hard work worthwhile. You can’t fix what you don’t have, right?

Number one reason I participate:

NaNo gets my booty in the chair every day. Helps me remember why I love writing so much. And that in my book is Priceless!!

So who else is Nanoing?   :)

Need another friend to support you along the way?

You can find me under: mdohno


Best of Luck!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tasty Book Blast for GOD WHISPERER by Kimberley Troutte



Enter to Win
$20.00 Amazon Gift Card, or 
Digital Copy of GOD WHISPERER (3 Copies)



God Whisperer
Kimberely Troutte
Released July 15th, 2014
Astraea Press


A frightened mother on the run

LONNIE HOGAN has lived and breathed fear for the eight years she and her son have been on the run. She cut ties with the past and is hiding out in a small offbeat Danish community in California. Will the killers find them? She’s ready to run again, or fight for her son’s precious life, but she won’t let anyone take David.

A desperate man searching for his family…

Few people on St. John, Virgin Islands, know their favorite doctor, MARK NORTON, is a desperate man searching for the life that was stolen from him. After hours, he surfs the internet for leads and retraces paths gone stone-cold to find his missing family. He’ll do anything to find them and get his son back.

Will sacrifice everything to protect the boy who hears God…
DAVID HOGAN is a regular kid, if you don’t count the one-ear thing. He didn’t mind being deaf in one ear, but it hurt his mom, way down deep, as if she caused it. Why won’t she see bad things can happen for good reasons? Like the ear surgery that allowed him to hear God. Talking to God is one of the greatest things to ever happen to him, even if Mom doesn’t believe it. But the killers can find them now. Can one little kid save them all?





a Rafflecopter giveaway



New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kimberley Troutte, is a top 100 Amazon author for romantic suspense. GOD WHISPERER was inspired by her sweet son who was born with one incomplete ear. When surgeons created an eardrum and canal for him and he could hear with both ears for the first time, Kimberley wept with joy and gratitude.

10% of the author royalties will be donated to the American Society for Deaf Children.





WEBSITE   |   FACEBOOK   |   TWITTER   |   GOODREADS




Monday, April 14, 2014

NEW Release: Kick-Ass Heroines & Hot Heroes

ON SALE NOW FOR JUST .99 CENTS!
A collection of romances that will thrill and captivate readers with their strong heroines and oh-so-hot heroes. 
 
 
 
The Wedding Wager
Regina Duke
Megan leaves the hospital whole, but in despair. Can Kevin heal her heart and save his fortune? Sweet romance from USA Today Bestselling Author Regina Duke.
 
The Silver Cross
Debra L Martin
Detective Lacy Gardner is the best at what she does – hunting down vampires that prey on the good citizens of Boston. Her skills will be sorely tested when a powerful new adversary comes to town, but her greatest threat will be losing her heart to one she may have to kill.

Murder, Mi Amore
Cara Marsi
Jewel thieves, murder and terrorists intrude on American Lexie Cortese’s Roman holiday; can she trust the sexy, mysterious Dominic Brioni who comes to her aid?

Kiss Me, Tate
Karen Cantwell, USA Today Bestselling Author
Tate Kilbourn was Bunny Bergen’s secret high school crush, but that was 24 years ago, and a lot has happened since. When she lands a job at the nature center where Tate is the lead naturalist, will sparks fly, or will Bunny be disappointed all over again?

Eyes of Jade
Tess St. John
After multiple attempts on her life–that oddly mirror her action movies–America’s sweetheart, Eve Knight, must put her faith in the FBI agents assigned to her case. After Agent Jake Dane’s special care of her, not only is her life at risk, but so is her heart.

Target of Betrayal
Melissa Ohnoutka
Kathleen Landon thought her life would finally get back to normal after the bizarre death of her husband. But a “chance” meeting with an old boyfriend throws her and her family on a dangerous and emotional journey full of secrets and betrayal.

Love by Secrets
Debra Elizabeth
Emily Stanton is falling for the dashing and handsome Connor Preston, but when her father objects and forces her to accept the proposal from Lady Tisbury’s shy nephew instead, her heart is broken. How can she love her new husband when her heart belongs to the man who wrote her such beautiful love letters?

Forgotten Soul
Sandra Edwards
A con-artist, hired to locate a buried treasure, finds more than she bargains for in this enchanting tale from NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sandra Edwards.

Get Your Copy Today!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

KICK-ASS HEROINES & HOT HEROES

CALLING ALL ROMANCE FANS!
New boxed set coming soon. Release day SALE will be awesome! More details to come soon.


Seven Authors -

Sandra Edwards
Cara Marsi
Debra L. Martin/
Debra Elizabeth
Karen Cantwell
Tess St. John
Regina Duke
Melissa Ohnoutka

8 Great Books

Forgotten Soul -
From NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sandra Edwards
Soul Searchers Series

A con-artist, hired to locate a buried treasure, finds more than she bargains for in this enchanting tale.  

Murder, Mi Amore -
From Cara Marsi
Redemption, Book 1

Jewel thieves, murder and terrorists intrude on American Lexie Cortese's Roman holiday; can she trust the sexy, mysterious Dominic Brioni who comes to her aid?

The Silver Cross -
From Debra L. Martin
Vampire Nightlife, Book 1

Detective Lacy Gardner is the best at what she does – hunting down vampires that prey on the good citizens of Boston. Her skills will be sorely tested when a powerful new adversary comes to town, but her greatest threat will be losing her heart to one she may have to kill.

Love by Secrets -
From Debra Elizabeth
Age of Innocence, Book 1

Emily Stanton is falling for the dashing and handsome Connor Preston, but when her father objects and forces her to accept the proposal from Lady Tisbury's shy nephew instead, her heart is broken. How can she love her new husband when her heart belongs to the man who wrote her such beautiful love letters?

Kiss Me, Tate -
From USA Today Bestselling Author, Karen Cantwell
PG-13 Romantic Comedy, Sweet Love Story

Tate Kilbourn was Bunny Bergen's long-forgotten, secret high school crush. But that was 24 years ago, and a lot has happened since. Devastated by a nasty divorce, trying to juggle kids, bills and her new job - not to mention a boatload of insecurities - the last thing Bunny needs is to fall for Tate again. But then she finds herself working with him, and gee, he sure did grow sexier with age...


Eyes of Jade -
by Tess St. John
Undercover Intrigue Series

After multiple attempts on her life, America’s sweetheart Eve Knight must put her faith in the FBI agents assigned to her case. After one agent’s special care of her, not only is her life at risk--so is her heart.

The Wedding Wager
From USA Today Bestselling Author Regina Duke
Sweet Romance

Kevin Wake hates being rich. He despises everything his father stands for, but he can't abandon his kid sister and baby brother. Their future is tied to his own. When his father threatens to rob them all of their mother's legacy, Kevin takes bold action to protect what should be theirs.

Megan Mully is out of the hospital at last. But she's homeless, jobless, broke and alone. Love is the last thing on her mind. Kevin is just a means to an end. She never expected him to steal her heart!


Target of Betrayal -
From Melissa Ohnoutka
Mystery/Suspense

Kathleen Landon thought her life would finally get back to normal after the bizarre death of her husband. But a "chance" meeting with an old boyfriend throws her and her family on a dangerous and emotional journey full of secrets and betrayal.


MORE INFORMATION TO COME SOON!



 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Writing Truths

Did you know writers are readers too?

Yep, sometimes when I get stuck on a scene I'm working on, the best thing I can do is put it aside and dive into a great book by one of the author's I love. Never fails to open up those creative juices.

This is how I know Readers love to get lost in a book, be taken away to far away places they never might have the chance to experience otherwise, or just escape their chaotic lives for a awhile. But how many readers stop to think about what really goes into writing, promoting and selling those beloved books?

When I was younger, I thought authors sat in their quiet offices, relaxating in pj’s as they pounded away at those keys. Then when the book was finished, they'd sit back and watch the money roll in. Geesh…talk about not even close. I wish that’s how it worked. LOL

Blood, sweat and tears! That's more like it.

Writers work non-stop on their masterpieces even when not at the computer typing those brilliant words. The story and characters preoccupy pretty much every moment of every day. Late nights, early mornings, lunch breaks, carpool lines, doctors waiting rooms, you name it. There is no turning the switch off. The plotting and writing oozes out of every pore regardless of whether we want it to or not.

With the invention of e-books, the publishing side may have gotten a bit easier to wade through for authors like me, wanting more say over covers and pricing, but it also opened up a can of worms as well. Now authors can have that control by self-publishing their work, but they must learn to format, find and hire good cover artists as well as editors, and then promote, promote, promote!

Did I say how much I hate to promote? Ugh...

Even choosing to go the traditional route and have a publisher take care of the formatting, editing, covers, etc. still leaves the majority of promoting up to the authors.

All of this and they still must carve out those precious moments to write the next book. It’s a brutal balancing act. Exhausting doesn’t even come close to describing the end result. Finishing a manuscript after months and months of hard work is just the beginning. Worthy of major celebration. But then comes the real work. The polishing, the cutting (ouch), the adding, chapter by chapter and after reaching the end, it’s time to do it all over again. You see, in an author’s mind, the story is never really finished. There will always be something to change, tweak or rewrite completely.

I've talked to lots of others, so I know I'm not alone in this madness.

Turning your baby over to someone else to critique, or reject (gulp) is the toughest part of writing in my opinion. This is where an author’s skin must become tough as nails or their dreams will be torn to shreds. So many different views on how one should write, so many different options on how one should publish, an author must be strong and stay true to their own ideas, and yet be flexible enough to change in order to grow. Another critical balancing act.

I know what's going through your head right about now. Writers/Authors must be crazy to continue on with this obsession, right? LOL Well, in a sense, I guess that’s true. Crazy in love with a passion churning from deep within. The rewards hard to explain, but like no other.

Even after all this, trust me when I say, it’s the ultimate addiction ever.

And I absolutely LOVE IT!  :)