Monday, September 30, 2019

Charleston, SC - Setting for Sinners' Opera

Sinners’ Opera is set in Charleston, South Carolina, one of my favorite cities in the world (that I’ve visited).  It’s beautiful and on the ocean—two requirements of being a favorite. I’d simply love to live in one of the Antebellum mansions along the Battery. If you ever visit Charleston, take a buggy ride around the historic sights.

Charles Towne was founded in 1670, during the reign of Charles II of England.  This is important in the book because Morgan (the hero) became a vampire in 1659, and in 1670, the King sent him to the new colony to inspect its progress. Later, he returns to watch over a baby girl (the heroine) as she grows to womanhood.

Charleston boasts cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and pastel Antebellum houses, particularly in the elegant French Quarter and Battery districts. The Battery promenade and Waterfront Park both overlook Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War were fire, lies across the water.

Two beaches, Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, are near Charleston. Another requirement for a favorite of mine.

In nearby Mt. Pleasant, you can visit Boone Hall plantation. Some of the tours they offer are, "Exploring The Gullah Culture", House Tours, Plantation Coach Tour, Black History In America Exhibit, Slave Street and History Presentation, Garden Tour, and a Butterfly Pavilion.

My personal favorite is the Dock Street Theater, America’s first theater. On February 12, 1736, the Dock Street opened with The Recruiting Officer. Flora, the first opera performed in America took place at the Dock Street. Now, the Dock Street is owned and managed by the City of Charleston. I was enthralled by it when I went for a concert. The Dock Street looks like a 17th century playhouse with rows of wooden benches in the orchestra seating. The boxes overlooking the floor are draped in dark green, almost black velvet. The stage backdrop is an antique tapestry of Charleston Harbor. Photo Credit:  By Frances Benjamin Johnston.

The Battery is a street along the seawall on the Atlantic Ocean. The pastel and colorful Antebellum mansions cost in the millions. When I was writing Sinners’ Opera, I drove up and down the Battery until the residents must have thought I lived there…or was a stalker. I finally chose a house for my hero. It’s Roper House, a brick structure with green shutters and a Greek portico to the left. A beautiful house, but because the main attraction, the portico, is on the side, it looks like the house has its shoulder to the sea.  A house with secrets.

I’ve driven those cobblestone streets in my little red Miata, eaten at some good downtown restaurants (never made Magnolias for shrimp and grits), and have gone to the Dock Street for a piano concert.  Morgan is a concert pianist, an English lord, and a vampire.

If I haven’t yet inspired you to visit Charleston on your next vacation, what can I say?  Real movie stars are moving to Charleston, and it is one of the most concentrated centers of wealth in this country. It’s also famous for art (Spoleto), culture, and history—and entertainment galore.


Morgan D'Arcy is an English lord, a classical pianist, and a vampire. He has everything except what he desires most—Isabeau. As the Angel Gabriel he’s steered her life and career choice, preparing her to become Lady D'Arcy. Many forces oppose Morgan's daring plan—not the least of which is Vampyre law.

Isabeau Gervase is a brilliant geneticist Though she no longer believes in angels, she sees a ticket to a Nobel Prize in Gabriel's secrets—secrets that have led her to a startling conclusion. Gabriel isn't human, and she fully intends to identify the species she named the Angel Genome. Morgan is ready to come back into Isabeau's life, but this time as a man not an angel. Will he outsmart his enemies, protect his beloved and escape death himself? For the first time in eternity, the clock is ticking.


Kirsty fanned with the program.  “However, I’m delighted to inherit his seat.  Culture, especially in the form of a rich bachelor, is something sadly missing from my life.  How does Lady Kirsty D’Arcy sound?”
“Like a tongue-twister.”  She tapped her friend’s arm with the heel of her hand.
Isabeau wasn’t looking when Morgan D’Arcy mounted the stage.
She turned.  Her smile solidified.  Applause erupted as the pianist glided to the piano.  The way he moved, his feet scarcely seeming to touch the floor, was hauntingly familiar.  He ducked his audience an elegant bow, the spotlight haloing golden hair.  Isabeau’s heart kicked her ribs. A trembling hand shot out to grip Kirsty’s arm.
“What’s the matter?”  Her friend passed a hand before Isabeau’s eyes.  “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Staring at the man on stage, Isabeau nodded. I’ll be darned.  Here’s your ghost again.  And here I am one heartbeat away from another heartache.
“His hair is tied back with a black velvet ribbon,” Isabeau breathed, and a man hissed for her to be quiet, but she didn’t spare him a thought or a glance.
An invisible chord drew her forward in her seat, her hands clasped beneath her chin, her heart in the grip of impossible dreams.  A hush fell over the audience as Morgan D’Arcy drifted leaf-like, angel-like, to the bench and adjusted the height.  He closed his eyes, tilted his head back and flexed his long fingers.  The pianist extended exquisite hands over the keys.  Emeralds winked in his gold cufflinks.  Isabeau couldn’t peel her gaze off him.
Morgan D’Arcy was the spitting image of Gabriel.
He bent low over the keyboard, holding a thunderous chord.  A wisp of hair escaped his ponytail to brush the keys.  Eyes closed, he straightened, fingers blurring over black and white notes.  In the timeless vacuum of beauty, an hour sped by.  The last trill of Gaspard de la nuit died.  A collective sigh swept the dark theater.  Isabeau exhaled a pent-up breath.  A wave of applause washed the audience to their feet.
Morgan D’Arcy rested his hand on the piano’s glistening wing and gave his fans a dazzling smile.  To the standing ovation, he folded his hands in front of him.  His bow was as elegant as the man himself.  The wayward gold strand drifted over his eye.  Isabeau remembered a child’s hand…her little hand…brushing back hair like that, hair as silken as the shiver gliding over her.  He straightened, swept the audience with an enchanting gaze.  Radiant blue eyes captured hers.  The foundations of her carefully ordered life shook.

Sinners' Opera is now on preorder at these fine retailers:

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Throwback Thursday on a Sunday - Must Be Doing Something Right by Wendi Zwaduk

I thought this month, I'd feature a throwback, even though it is Sunday. Lol. This throwback is on account of my watching the Country Music documentary on PBS. First, I love PBS. Second, I love those long documentaries. Third, I love the music. I'm a sucker for music shows like that.

This story, Must Be Doing Something Right, initially was inspired by a country song. It was. I thought, gee, what is the story for the people in this song? Then the story worked it's way into the Crestline series I wrote for Totally Bound. I love it, still and it's an older story. Check it out. You might like it, too.

Must Be Doing Something Right by Wendi Zwaduk

M/F, Voyeurism, Mild BDSM, Bondage and Anal sex
Totally Bound
Short Story

Available at:

And now for an excerpt:
©Wendi Zwaduk, 2010, All Rights Reserved

I want a woman who will drive me crazy in every possible way.
If she loved him in return.
Nathan Waterford slammed the door to his navy blue Blazer and strode across the asphalt into Besta Pizza Around. He smoothed his hand over the lump of bills in his pocket and tucked the insulated pizza bag under his arm.
On a steamy Saturday night in July, he’d rather be in bed with the woman of his dreams, not working to earn a dime he didn’t need. His day job as an estate lawyer paid the bills, but being at the pizza shop got him closer to Courteney, the woman in his heart.
Hell, if he played his cards right, his desires might come to fruition. One day...
Crestline, Ohio wasn’t a teeming metropolis, but Nate and his business partner, Arran Mayes aimed to create the best little restaurant in the quiet farming community. The scent of tomatoes and yeast swirled around Nate, making his stomach rumble. When did I eat last?
Behind the bar, Arran stood drying a beer stein. “Well, you got your wish, my friend.”
As he slapped the silver bag onto the polished wooden bar, Nate glanced at the remaining patrons in the dining room. A couple giggled in the corner booth, while a trio of students wolfed down the last few slices of pizza at the round table under the window. Good times. He remembered being so carefree, before he had to become a man and work for a living.
“And you’re talking about what?” Nate shook his head and leaned on the bar rail. “Get me up to speed.”
Arran sighed and plunked the glass onto the towel. “You missed drama involving your girl.”
His wish? His girl?
Confused, Nate stared at his ruddy-haired friend. If his memory served him, Courteney Bennett belonged to no man. Nate had seriously considered making a play for the saucy little romance writer. From her chocolate-coloured tresses and her consuming mocha eyes, down her curvy body to the tips of her toes, he longed to make her his. He itched to grasp her hips while driving into her from behind. She turned him on like no other.
Thank God the bar covered the tent in his jeans.
“Don’t look at me like you’re surprised.” Rolling his eyes, Arran picked up a wide mouth wine goblet. “As you know, Courteney and Byron split two months ago. Well, he came back to—” he hooked his fingers in the air, “—make things right.” Arran snorted. “His version of making things right meant parading his new girlfriend, Amber something-or-another, right under Court’s nose. The jerk.”

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Origin of Magical Words

Need to cast a spell? There are several useful words to know that have long magical histories. The roots of the word “magic” itself can be found in Magi or mage, a hereditary class of Zoroastrian priests of the ancient Medes or Persians. Magi was later used to describe men with special abilities such as king, priest or astrologer who could read omens in the skies. The word “magic” goes back to the 1300s, and it originally referred to rituals, incantations, or actions thought to give the user control over the natural world, but the definition has changed through the centuries.  By the 1700s, it also referred to an actual supernatural power. In the 1800s, sleight of hand and card tricks became popular and stage performers used the word to imply they had special arcane abilities.

No one is sure of the origin of the strange word abracadabra, although believed to be Hebrew or Aramaic origin. It is possibly derived either from the Hebrew words ab (father), ben (son), and ruach hakodesh (holy spirit), or from the Aramaic avra kadavra, “it will be created in my words”. In the Harry Potter series, Rowling played with the Aramaic version to create a death spell, Avada Kedavra, which was supposed to mean “let this thing be destroyed.”

The earliest use of abracadabra is in a Latin poem in a medical book. The word was a written charm to protect against bad luck, illness, or evil. It was often worn as an amulet and resembled a “v” with the final letter dropped on each line until only “a” remained.

Hocus pocus
Hocus pocus first appeared in the early 1600s as Hocas Pocas, the common name for a magician or juggler. In 1634, a book appeared entitled Hocus Pocus Junior - The Anatomy of Legerdemain. The author was anonymous but was later dubbed Hocus Pocus after the book's title. It’s also possible hocus pocus evolved from nonsense words that sounded exotic and magical.

Another explanation for the origin of the term came from John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1694. In his Sermons he accuses it of being a parody of the consecration of the Catholic Mass and wrote, “In all probability those common juggling words of hocus pocus are nothing else but a corruption of hoc est corpus, by way of ridiculous imitation of the priests of the Church of Rome in their trick of Transubstantiation.” That Archbishop Tillotson was miffed at both stage performers and Catholics isn’t surprising, and there’s little evidence of his claims.

On a side note, hocus is also believed to be the source for the word hoax, but the word doesn't appear until 1796 and, like Archbishop Tillotson’s claim, there’s no direct evidence for a link.

Alakazam is an invocation of magical power to indicate an instantaneous transformation or appearance that occurs as if by magic. This word has the most mysterious origin. Because alakazam can be a proper name, some suggest it was used to invoke the powers of a particular person. Others trace the origin to a Hindu word meaning “flawless” or the Arabic al qasam, meaning oath. However, the first known appearance was in 1902 and appears likely that it was merely invented by stage magicians to evoke a sense of the mystical power of the Orient.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor, romance and a touch of sass. Her magic words of choice are sim salla bim.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

DIGITAL DISTRACTION . . . I’m sorry. Were you saying something? by Nancy Gideon

The compulsive need to check your device . . . and in the process harm productivity, the ability to focus, and have healthy relationships. Who said one can’t have too much information? But is that too much a good thing? Not according to studies . . . and to people who would rather look you in the eyes instead of at the top of your head while trying to have a conversation.

What’s with this ever-growing (and drowning) wave of electronic obsession? I’m mystified, coming from a generation where electronic meant stuffing double A batteries into a transistor radio in hopes of picking up AM signals from WLS out of Chicago to listen to new singles from the Rolling Stones and the Monkeys. Now everything electronic talks back to you, calls you, anticipating your wants and needs before you even express them. Studies have a name for it: Variable Intermittent Rewards. Say what? Your cell phone chimes. Who could it be? That special someone? That twentieth robocall of the morning? What happens if you ignore it and it was important? Electronic media is as addictive as gambling –praying upon that chance that you “might” win, but you don’t know when that fosters an expectation to keep coming back, over and over to check, just in case this might be your lucky day.

Beeps and buzzes of electronic messages trigger the brain - a type of arousal by reward and reinforcement (Hello, Pavlov! Ding, ding!).

Is this what we’ve become? Enjoy one of my favorite songs by inserting “Media” for “Radio” in the following clip . . .

So how do we resist that constant ping or ring when media lures our attention away from work, from play, from honest one-on-one conversation? Is there a downside to all the fun of Words with Friends, Facetime, scrolling, surfing, messaging, memes, and fact checking? What’s the harm, you might ask? Plenty. You might be surprised to find out how much you’re missing when piecemealing your attention instead of being actively in the moment.

Addicted to that chime? Frustrated, over-stressed, can’t concentrate? Have a free hour to get in some writing time but tend to spend it surfing YouTube or lose an hour chuckling over historical names for male anatomy? Here are some simple solutions to reclaiming your focus.

1. Avoiding temptation is easier than resisting – but even thinking about checking phone messages without caving in is a distraction. The result is almost the same. In an experiment, office workers had phones face down on desk, in their bag/desk, or in another room. Those who had their cell on desk fared the worst, tempted by the mere presence a distraction. So . . .
  • Put your phone out of sight – the further away the better
  • Install distraction-blockers during work or social hour. Check out: Cold Turkey (, Self Control ( or Freedom (
  • Turn off all unnecessary notifications or rethink what IS necessary

2. Take device-free breaks – downtime is important, so use break-time to get away from it ALL, i.e. get back outside into nature, walk or stretch, listening to music, get up and get coffee or water, eat lunch. Letting your mind wander promotes creative thought and leads to those “Ah Ha” moments that can’t find their way through pathological scrolling (mine are always when I’m driving!). 

3. Get a watch (one that’s not smarter than you!) or a clock to check the time so you don’t get seduced by message notifications. Design your environment to be less distracting. 

4. Quit trying to multitask. Media multitaskers are worse at focusing and filtering out irrelevant information, leading to lower accuracy and making tasks take longer to complete. Facebook multitasking has been linked to lower grades. Put your attention into one place/thing at a time and devote yourself to it. (Check out: /single-tasking-productivity/) 

5. Set limits – Draw the line. On call at work? – make it a policy of no work emails after 6:00 p.m.. Enforce a ‘no devices at the table’ at home, lunch, and when eating out where your focus should be on food and conversation. I put my phone on the charger upstairs when I get home from work, checking it occasionally, not obsessively unless I’m expecting an important call. Taking time out to socialize with fellow humans in the flesh can improve work performance. When my critique group meets, we don’t allow web surfing or phone scrolling so we can give all our creative energies and attention to one another. Do writing sprints where you ban distraction to concentrate on your WIP. 

6. Practice mindfulness – Don’t get time sucked in. Open YouTube or Facebook and . . . where did the time go? Train yourself to maintain focus and awareness via mindful breathing practice to keep your thoughts from wandering and to better regulate your attention span. (check out: / ?=mindfulness)

Give your friends, your task, your associates your full attention. Nothing is more distracting or insulting then constantly sneaking glances at your phone screen while having a conversation. Give it your all and give media a rest. You’re not going to miss anything. Those cat videos will still be there later. Can you say the same about that moment you’re ignoring?

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Writing a Series Backwards

I never would have thought so before trying this crazy experiment, but writing backwards has its advantages.
Let me back up and explain…
I have 2 dragon shift series which are set in the same world and crossover into each other. Where Fire’s Edge features the dragon shifter Enforcers in the American colonies, Inferno Rising is all about the kings and clans of the same world. This will include characters that hop series, plot lines that are mentioned in both, and some situations that will impact both series.
Here’s the tricky part though… I wrote the first book in Inferno Rising,The Rogue King, first out of everything, despite it being the 4th book released between the two series. I did this for a few reasons.
The idea for The Rogue King was originally supposed to be a novella in a different self-pub’d series (Legendary Consultants). Each book in that series features a different kind of paranormal creature—a demigod and nymph, werewolves, psychics, ghost and seer, and this was going to be my dragon shifter and phoenix. Just a quick little thing I’d knock out between books (30-40k words tops). But as soon as Brand and Kasia made it onto paper, and the world started building out from what I’d already established in that series, I knew it needed not only a full-length book (it ended up at 100+k words), but its own series.
So that’s what I started writing and what I pitched to my editor at Entangled.
I was already discussing a dragon series with Heather, and we loved the concepts behind both. So we decided on the crossover series concept, allowing us to place both series in the same world. However, during the proposal process, we decided that the first books to come out would be the Fire’s Edge books because they are ebook-only. This decision was for two reasons. As ebook-only these books take less time to release, so we could get the out sooner. Also, we wanted to build momentum and interest in the world before releasing The Rogue King
So that's what kicked off the writing backwards. After I finished The Rogue King, I wrote The Boss and the prequel novella to that The Mate. Which come sooner in the timeline and were released first.
We had to continue that pattern because of timing. The Inferno Rising books are in print (in book stores) while Fire’s Edge are ebook only. Print books take longer in publication--about a year--vs. ebooks which are closer to six months. This means Inferno Rising has to be written sooner to account for the longer production process/timing.
That is basically the long explanation of why I’m writing the two series in backward order. I write a print book (Inferno Rising) and then the ebook (Fire’s Edge) that will release before it. Meanwhile, imeline-wise in the world, the publication dates are the order the books move.
But guess what!?
This process has been hugely helpful from a continuity and series building perspective, particularly for the eBooks. As I write each ebook, I already know every detail of what happens in the book that will come out after it. While I have a (admittedly complicated and convoluted) both-series-wide-plan, this process has allowed me to incorporate details, lay a few Easter eggs, plant some hints, and set up the next books in the series better than I would just writing in straight order.
On the downside, it means I wait a while to see each book come out after I’ve written it, but it’s worth it for the results in the end. I might do this for all future series. Lol.
By the way, each book is a different couple with their own HEA and stands alone. But, that said, you might want to read in release order to get the full experience. Now that The Rogue King is out, you decide! Should you start with Fire’s Edge and the Enforcers? Or try Inferno Rising and the kings?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

How to Make Readers Feel Strong Emotions by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

What makes you love a book? Usually it’s connecting with the characters on an emotional level. Writers who make readers step into the character’s world and actually experience that world let them feel beyond their everyday emotions and live vicariously through the events and experiences of those characters.  They may be fictional, but the writer has made them become real to the readers, to make them into authentic people.

The stories might not be real, but the emotions the reader experiences must feel real. So how does a writer do this?  How do they make readers experience emotion?

1. Show Don’t Tell: how many times do new writers hear this? What does it mean? It means to show the character’s feelings through their actions and reactions to events rather than announcing to the reader what the character is feeling. There’s a time to write tight, and a time to invite the reader to live the story.

Here’s an example of telling: Jessie stood next to the car, but was too afraid to open the door. She knew what was inside and she didn’t want to see it.

Here’s showing emotion: Focus.  Steady. I can will my hand to stop shaking. I can walk over to the car door. Carl’s favorite CD. It's playing his favorite song.  His pride and joy’s motor is purring softly, so innocent and familiar as it fuels a steady stream of exhaust that's clouding around that slumped head, with those thick dark curls, soft, silky. No.  A hard swallow. So much shaking. It feels like earth tremors under my feet.  No! Please God, no!  The door handle feels cold. Or is it my hand?

The garage door jolted as the mechanism engaged and it began to rise. Screams. Make them stop. I need to focus, to get Carl. Wait. It's me, isn't it? 

2.  Realistic characters who elicit empathy.
Readers relate to shared human conditions, so characters who have realistic experiences (even if those experiences are fiction-based) that elicit realistic emotions. The reader first understands or identifies with a character before they can connect emotionally. The writer must build to the climax by developing a three-dimensional character the reader can identify with, can feel empathy for. By the time they reach the climax, the reader should be so engrossed with the character’s life they react to the character’s deep emotions with such realistic empathy they themselves experience emotional reactions to the character’s plight. Think about how different it is so hear about the death of a stranger, versus hearing about the death of someone you know well and care deeply for.  The character must become that someone the reader knows well and cares deeply for.   Characters, no matter how fictional their world or setting, must be believable and sympathetic. The reader must want to be that character, to live their life, fight their battles, experience their victories for the entire story.

3.  Villains are so much fun to hate!
A bad guy/gal solicits an emotional response very quickly. This character is so destructive, so vile and selfish or hateful that they torture the protagonist or someone close to him/her. When the beloved protagonist reacts to the villain, the reader will too.

4.  Writers don’t wimp out!  If they want to reach the reader’s emotions, writers  create emotion-evoking scenes. They may even kill off the main character’s child, pet, loved one, or destroy whatever means the most to them. Writer’s don’t have to be murderers. They can also have the beloved character experience betrayal or some other form of treachery.

5.  Anticipation causes tension. Great writers feed the reader hints of what’s to come. Foreshadowing versus announcing.  Foreshadowing is a thread of anticipation that keeps the reader in suspense while making them realize something is coming. Announcing, is telling the reader what’s going to happen and then it immediately happens, without any anticipation or tension, and absolutely no surprise. It doesn’t really even need to happen if you tell instead of showing.

6.  What’s in a word? Many words carry connotations. The use of them makes the reader expect something, assume something, or realize something. A character who never swears suddenly sounds like an angry dock worker. The reader immediately knows something is wrong. Some words create a mood, convey humor or passion or fear. Writers choose words carefully in order to elicit emotion in the reader.

7.  Situations or events that are vital or life-altering. Good plots create situations for the characters that threaten what they want, need or seek. The characters have to have high stakes motivation and drive. That helps keep the reader engrossed in the story and empathetic to the character’s plight, thus soliciting an emotional response.

8.  Time is of the essense.  Putting a time frame on the character’s goal achievement increases tension by causing the character to react with uncharacteristic decisions and/or adventurous even risky behavior. This sets the reader on edge, and solicits, you got it, an emotional response.

9.  Do you want the bad news or the worst news? If a character makes bad decisions the reader knows it. They realize the characters is creating more problems for themselves and there will be some dire consequences.

10.  Keep up! Writers have to move the pace. They can’t dwell so long on one scene or situation that the reader loses interest in it.

11.  Even fantasy must seem realistic. Characters, even supernatural, fictional characters must seem believable. Their problems must be realistic to their time, place and situation. Even if the world is made up, the events and rules for that world must be logical, in order for the reader to believe the characters problems and motivation are true and realistic.

12.  Plot twists add excitement and surprise. They keep the reader off balance, and guessing, adding tension and eliciting emotion.

13.  Conflict, both inner and outward add tension and emotion. Characters can have conflict with other characters or themselves (inner conflict), but they need to have conflict, something that gets in the way of their goal, in order to solicit emotional response from both characters and readers.

14.  Plot effects the rhythm, the movement of the story, and the reader’s emotional response. Tension is added to action scenes by using short sentences and paragraphs. It picks up the pace, making the reader’s eyes move more quickly down the page, increasing their pulse, their sense of importance or anxiety that the characters are experiencing. It creates suspense, even fear. Longer sentences and paragraphs slow the pace and let the reader take a breath and relax.

15.  Where it happens matters. If it’s a tense, spooky scene, it doesn’t add much suspense or anxiety to have it take place in a sunny garden. A rainy evening in a cemetery sets a dark setting and adding the sound of coyotes howling or owls screeching can make it even more atmospheric. Each scene should be in the setting that’s perfect of the reader, to help them get into the mood of the story line, and to feel they are actually experiencing the character’s lives.

18.  Make sense. Good writers know that no one lives in a vacuum. The characters are surrounded with sounds, smells and sights and they have reactions to these elements. Incorporating all the senses heightens the reader’s reaction and emotional engagement with the character’s world and the events taking place in it.

Play with all five senses to keep your readers involved, maybe off balance, but always interested in what’s coming next.

19.  Whose point of view is it? One of the most powerful tools a writer uses is deep point of view. It's not just about using 3rd person versus 1st person (used quite often in YA books). Deep point of view involves making the reader become so engrossed in the character's life, their hopes and dreams and goals and motivations that they feel as though they are actually experiencing it first-hand. The writer eliminates word such as wondered and thought and knew, tags like she said or he said. Instead, they anchor the point of view to one character at a time and stay as much as possible in the main character's point of view.  They show the reader what the main character sees, hears, smells and feels. Their narrative style develops the main character's voice so well they are not writing about the main characters but as them. The main character's beliefs and world views become an integral part of the story.

Using all of these methods (not just one or two) makes for a great adventure. The best writers know this, which is why their fans love their stories. Think about your favorite story and what made you love it so much!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Nothing from me...Check out Blog below!

I hesitated to push down Diane's fascinating post, so there's nothing from me this month except to refer you to the post immediately beneath!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Replicators ala Star Trek in Medicine by Diane Burton

In the science fiction arena, especially the Star Trek and Stargate series, whenever someone wanted something to eat, they used a machine called a replicator that created the dish/drink "out of thin air." How did they do that?

Would you believe we're doing that now? With a 3-D printer, manufacturing companies can make the parts they need quicker and cheaper than the old-fashioned way. 

The medical field is finding ways to use the 3-D printer. For instance, finger splints. My first thought was "big deal." That's pretty common. Well, it is to us. But in poor countries where splints have to be ordered from overseas and in bulk, a 3-D printer can custom make a splint in 10 minutes and is a whole lot cheaper.

The printer can make organs--hearts, lungs, kidneys. Waiting lists for patients needing replacement organs might be a thing of the past.

The ease and low cost of making prosthetics mean patients can have a limb that's customized just for them sooner and cheaper. The printer can also make joint replacements last longer. 

The next item made my eyes pop. Using bio-printing, researchers at Cornell can fabricate living heart valves with the same structure as the original valve. So, why was this of interest to me? My husband needs to have his aortic valve replaced. Soon. We were hit with this info a week ago. On Monday, he had a heart catharization where we found out for sure what the echocardiogram indicated. Severe aortic stenosis.

While the idea of a made-to-order heart valve using a 3-D bio-printer sounds fascinating, we'll find out more next week when we see the surgeon. Will they use metal or plastic or a valve from a cow or pig? Not sure when one made by a replicator will be available. 

Isn't it amazing what seems like science fiction is already a reality?

If you want more in-depth information on 3-D printing in medicine, here's a link:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Starting A New Chapter

 I’ve finished a few really good books this summer. 

Ones that I couldn’t stop turning the pages, pushing through the story as fast as I could to see what happened next, but at the same time I didn’t want it to end. 

But if I didn’t keep reading, I wouldn’t get to enjoy the next chapter, and see the characters evolve and grow.

It’s kind of like life. Although we often try to start a story in the middle of the action, or that moment when something significant changes, but in real life we might be more reluctant to turn the page.

Enjoy the moment, they said

The start of the story
Time goes quickly, they said. Sometimes it didn’t seem like that, but in reflection it always seems to be true. I’ve always found the passing of time to be bittersweet, and desired to bottle up certain moments and memories to freeze or relive again and again.

This year has felt as if the chapters were too short, and going by too quickly, and at times I wanted to go back and reread the story, even though it wasn’t done. One turn of events seeming to spur the next and gathering momentum as it went. 

My twin daughters sped through their senior year, getting their driver’s license and then starting a new chapter in their life this fall by moving into college, thus forcing my husband and I to start a new chapter of our own—whether we wanted to or not.

The Characters in Our Story

As each of us write our own, our stories impact the other characters in our life. Most times we can only go along with the story and then turn the page—and see what happens next.

Start a new story, and find out how Hope meshes with her new quirky family members in Destiny Calling.

Are you Ready for a New Chapter? Or Do You Prefer to ReRead the Story? 

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter