Showing posts from January, 2011

1,000 eBooks This Month for Kait Nolan! and Vote for Zan Marie!

he generally accepted benchmark of success for an indie author seems to be 1,000 books or more sold per month. And as of this morning, Kait Nolan was at 988 copies for January 2011 alone!

Eastern Standard Time gives you... checks computer clock... five and a half hours to click on over to or smashwords or wherever you prefer, and get yourself a copy of Forsaken by Shadow and/or Devil's Eye (purchasing options are on the linked pages).

Shamelessly honest plug - I'm always wary of self-published books. So many of them are so badly edited they pierce little arrows like misplaced apostrophes into my copy editor's heart. I love Kait's work not only because the romance and characters are so compelling, but because I can read her work for pleasure, without reaching for my favourite brown pen.

Also, Zan Marie Steadham, author of An Easter Walk and A Christmas Walk, has a contemporary story in the works called Friendly Fire. She's just been declared a finalist in…

Check In on A Round of Words in 80 Days

ow. My eyes are burning. I've finally caught up on Alex Cavanaugh's Top Ten Countdown Music Blogfest, commenting on all the participants. There's so much great music out there! I was impressed with how many people were actually able to narrow down their choices to the required ten songs.

And while I was commenting, I got no edits done whatsoever on Out of the Water. The last few days have really been slacking off days, unfortunately. The story's constantly in my mind, and I know where it's going, but... Well, I did spend a little time yesterday researching medieval Spanish nobility and deciding whether one character should be a Duchess or a Countess.

Today I'm empathising with Carolyn. After agonizing over perfecting my pitch for Kate's critique, I know how hard it is to get the words and the tone just right. Help Carolyn out on the Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. Her story idea is just fantastic!

The last installment of Kait Nolan's For…

New Book Releases and a Snip

ots of books are available this week, including Terry Lynn Johnson's middle grade novel, Dogsled Dreams - check out Susan Kaye Quinn's lovely review - and Kate Kaynak's Legacy - my review of Legacy is here.

Here's a little snip from Out of the Water (still in editing stage, of course), in which Rosa, on her way to Genoa with her aunts and uncles, and cousin Joseph, has just discovered that a number of officers of the Inquisition are coming to inspect their ship. The deadline for leaving Spain has passed, and if they are questioned and captured now, there's no telling what may happen. Yet, suddenly, she has something more to fear, of a slightly personal nature...

Joseph was pacing in the companionway below decks. "Rosa!" He cried, then rushed on in a whisper. "Where have you been? I heard you up there – what's going on?""Oh, Joseph, it's the worst that could have happened. I’m sorry, it's all my fault." She shook her head, gr…

Top Ten Countdown Music Blogfest

usic to inspire, music to get your feet moving, music to lull you to sleep... Alex Cavanaugh had a great idea for a blogfest - the Top Ten Countdown Music Blogfest, which took place on Monday.

Now, I know it's supposed to be top ten songs... But since I'm coming late to this anyhow, I'm going to fudge a little (sorry Alex!) and do bands. I promise I have playlists to back me up! Here goes, in no particular order...


The Divine Comedy! (I prefer their earlier albums, and have playlists for all of them, but let's go with album number three)

Crowded House! (No playlist for these guys, unfortunately (I really ought to make one for Neil Finn's Try Whistling This), but here's my favourite song.)

Gyllene Tider! (Here's what Per Gessle was doing before Roxette. Again, no playlist, I'm afraid, and I couldn't find a video with English subtitles. The title of this song translates as Love Is Not Blind, But Very Nearsighted.)

Super Furry Animals! (I also like

Robbie Burns 252 Years Young (and Roni's New Contest!)

urns Day, today!

Is there a Burns supper taking place at a pub or Scottish association club near you? If not, in the tradition of the Tolkien birthday toast, you can simply raise a dram of whisky (my current favourite is The Glenlivet) in toast to the bard.

Recitals optional, but you could always go for A Red, Red Rose (which I once memorised for a school assignment), Tam O'Shanter, My Wife's A Winsome Wee Thing, A Man's A Man For A' That, or one of my favourite songs (which I believe was written by him; it's listed among the complete songs on Robert Burns Country), Sir John Cope:

Of course, I always think of Jamie Fraser. Ye Jacobites By Name, indeed.

If you're like me and can't choose a favourite, here's a list of all of Burns' poetry.

In other news, Roni of the awesome Fiction Groupie blog is hosting a query contest!

RoW80 Check In and Much Ado About To Dos

ne thousand words typed up this morning, but since then...

I seem to be falling into the pattern of taking at least one day off per week, but outside of that have been editing, writing, or at least plotting, every day of the week. For the most part, then, I've been meeting my Round of Words in 80 Days goals. Yay!

Suddenly, this afternoon, I have other things to do, though, that are all fighting to take me away from the novel: a copy edit, another editing job for work, and homework for Spanish class. Technically, the latter might count as research, as the only reason I've taken up Spanish to begin with is so that I can get further inside Rosa's head. Well, there are also the editing exams to be taken at United Nations headquarters, eventually...

Our assignment is to summarise an article from the news, and I found the perfect article yesterday: The Westmount Children's Library is celebrating its 100th year! This was the first library that I ever went to outside of school…

The Stylish Blogger Award!

y thanks to Amanda for the Stylish Blogger Award!

Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
Share things about yourself
Award recently discovered great bloggers
Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award1. I'm wondering if I should participate in Alex Cavanaugh's upcoming blogfest Top Ten Countdown - Music. My ten favourite songs of all time? Could I really narrow it down to ten? Ten bands, maybe... Many of them I've made YouTube playlists for.

2. My current favourite tea is Lord John Grey tea, inspired by Diana Gabaldon's books and available at the Old Wilmington Tea Company.

3. I took a week off at the start of the month to buckle down on research, but got distracted by a trip to New Brunswick and Maine, where we drove and walked along roads like these:

4. Have I ever mentioned that I can't drive? I've driven a car exactly twice in my life and that was for maybe five minutes each time, driving up a straight road to our house. I'…

ROW80 and What I've Learned From Editing

ow, in terms of checking in on the Round of Words in 80 Days, I'm doing great! I do some work each day, chopping old words, adding new ones, moving scenes around for maximum effect, and so on. And I've gotten some great feedback on my pitch from Kate!

However, I've begun to learn a few things (there's always something to learn. I probably lived through all this editing the last novel, but ain't it the truth that pain lessens over time?):

1. I never write with a sense of the outside. A lot of my editing involves figuring out what's going on beyond the world of my characters' conversations and adding those details in.

2. Characters should never wonder about things. Never. Not once. If you write "She wondered..." once, you'll turn around and find you've written it ten times. Per page.

3. The attractiveness of collecting eggs from your Farmville hens is inversely proportional to the excitement level in the scene you're editing.

4. A boring…

Blog Tour de Force and My Story Pitch

anuary snow... and more snow... and yet more... It's pretty, but what to do if you're not a snow bunny and the -30 wind chill is slicing your cheeks and pinching your nostrils, and all you want is to stay indoors?

Why, take part in the Indie Book Collective's Blog Tour de Force, of course! Showcasing a new indie author for every day of the tour, and giving you a zillion chances to win a Kindle.

Meanwhile, Kate Kaynak is reviewing and critiquing pitches for all sorts of unpublished novels, from a wide variety of genres. Thank you, Kate! Mine'll likely be up tomorrow or the next day. Here's what I submitted:

Title: Out of the Water
Author: Deniz Bevan
Genre: Historical romance, set in 1492
Word Count: 100,000

Exiled from her Spanish homeland by the Inquisition and separated from her family as they flee their home, 18 year old Rosa must place her life in the hands of a stranger from the Ottoman Empire. Baha, estranged from his own father and returning to his homeland a…

ROW80 Check In and Six for Saturday Links

ust in time for check in, I'm coming to you from FarmV- er, I mean, from the land of I-have-only-my-manuscript-open-I-swear.

No, really, I have been good. Editing for a few days straight now, except for Thursday night, when I was writing, and last night when I was knitting and thinking about plot points.

Here's a wee snip, completely out of context. Let me know if it means anything to you.
"Brother Arcturus led them on into the darkest hour of the night, when a cold breeze started up among the black trunks of the trees and rustled the leaves all around them. Rosa kept her arms wrapped about herself, shivering. Tia Mira had left her side to walk beside her husband, who was now carrying the last torch, Baha behind them walking by himself.

At least she'd had that disgusting omelette and Baha's bread and cheese; when was the last time her family had eaten? They had barely left that room in over two months and yet they continued doggedly on the path that Arcturus set, n…

Columbus and A Round of Words in 80 Days Check In Day 10

en days in on the Round of Words in 80 Days and I've edited 15,000 words to date. So why do I feel as though I haven't accomplished anything? Because I'm only 1/10 of the way into the novel? Because there are so many square brackets swimming around my head that I can't even see my own words?

Not sure what the answer is. I hardly edited any words on Monday, I was that busy researching Spanish cooking in the 15th Century, names of towns, Hebrew terms of endearment, Ottoman miniatures, seasonal fruits for August 1492, and so on.

There's one question that I cannot seem to find the answer to. I'm hoping Washington Irving addresses it in his biography of Christopher Columbus (which I have to buy and read any day now).

What was Columbus' title when he sailed on his first voyage?Was he already an Admiral? A mere captain? What?

Does anyone know?

Deborah Kerbel's Lure and Other News

ave you ever been inside an older house and wondered about the stories of the people that have lived there over the years? Have you ever heard of a ghost sighting and wondered what the history was behind that particular ghost's appearance?

10 Colborne Street in Markham Ontario, the Thornhill Village Public Library, has a number of documented supernatural occurrences that have occurred within its walls. But there hasn't been a satisfactory explanation for them - until now.

Deborah Kerbel's third Middle Grade novel, Lure, weaves a fascinating tale of mystery and friendship. I can't help it; I love having answers to mysteries, and it's very satisfying to have a story behind ghostly phenomena. I've never visited the Thornhill Library, but if I do, I'll feel like I'm entering a familiar place with old friends, thanks to Max and John and Caroline.

Now for the news - Diana Gabaldon has a brand new updated website! Tahereh's calling for guest posts! Helen ma…

Round of Words in 80 Days Check In and Kate Kaynak's Legacy

unday check in on the Round of Words in 80 Days. What was my goal again?

Oh, yes, editing. Well, I've been plugging away solidly, except for a brief hiccough on Thursday when I did nothing (but I did read Kait Nolan's Devil's Eye!) and on Friday when I could have edited a lot more but, er, blogged instead.

Still, happy to report that Rosa and Baha have now met, 10,000 words into the novel (is that too late for Romance?) and now they're busy rescuing her family together. No major upheavals yet.

ate Kaynak has a new book in her Ganzfield series, Legacy, which I read over the course of two days last week.

"Maddie has more problems than the average seventeen-year-old:

A psychotic killer with superpowers wants her dead.
A serious medical issue makes a "normal life" impossible.
And she's about to be introduced to Trevor's family.

Guess which one freaks her out the most?"
Normally, I'm not the kind that likes to jump into the middle of a series,…

Contest Winner and Kait Nolan's Devil's Eye

riday! And I've got 100 followers - thank you all!

I've been away for a few days - at one point I was writing in Bangor, Maine, which was a very daunting experience. At least Stephen King doesn't write Romance (as a genre, anyway).

For that reason, I couldn't get Frodo to help me with the draw and have used a randomiser instead.

Drumroll... And the winner is... Rat a tat tat...

Joanna St. James

Congratulations Joanna! Let me know which prize you'd like: 10$ at or or 10$ for your PayPal account or the Mystery Book Bag with three books!

f you're looking for a short piece to read this weekend, you can't do better than Kait Nolan's latest paranormal novella, Devil's Eye, the second story in the Mirus series. Devil's Eye features wolf-shifter Mick and demi-goddess Sophie, set against the backdrop of New Orleans - with a hurricane coming in.

"Trouble. That’s what wolf-shifter Mick thinks when a beautiful woman appears in his New…

Tolkien and the Circular Final Draft Revision Rewrite Stage

ee! I forgot to toast J. R. R. Tolkien's birthday yesterday! 118 years ago, Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. On that day each year, fans are invited to stand, raise a glass of their favourite drink (single malt whisky for me), and toast his birthday at 9 pm their local time. The toast is, "The Professor".

I do have a valid excuse, though - I'm on an editing vacation from work. I'm also on the internet less (and far behind on many forum discussions). As of this evening, though... 7,000 words in final draft form and only two major questions left to resolve from the first five chapters:

Is Arcturus really a Cistercian?
What's the oldest Catholic church in Palos de la Frontera, Spain?
In keeping with this theme, Claire wonders how to revise final/late stage drafts. (Look for Zan Marie's Serenity Prayer for Authors coming soon on All The World's Our Page.) I'm not sure if we're at exactly the same level of revision yet. So far my …

A Round of Words in 80 Days Goals

et's see... NaNoWriMo is over. 2010 has been and gone. Sven is AWOL. How will you keep your butt in the chair in 2011?

Why not join the A Round of Words in 80 Days challenge, hosted by Kait Nolan?

Kait's challenge is perfect for me - I can work on whatever I want for the 80 days starting 3 January, as long as I follow the three rules:

Your goal, whatever it is, should be MEASURABLE.
Your goal should be broken down into chunks.
You should make a post on your blog clearly stating your goals and linking to it in the Round of Words Linky Tool list.
My measurable goals is to get closer and closer to a final draft. I can edit about 800 words in one day (based on how I did last week), so in 80 days, I should be able to do half my novel!

Chunks: Okay, for the next two weeks, my specific goals are to edit three snips so well that I can post them in the Toolbox and Exercises on the forum, and have a snip left over for broadcasting on my blog and on Facebook.

I'm excited!