Waking Up to Love by Katie O’Boyle (Book Review)

4 Stars from J. Lynn Rowan for Kyle and Lyssa’s love story! And don’t miss the giveaway, a copy of Waking Up To Love. https://jlynnrowanliterature.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/waking-up-to-love-by-katie-oboyle-book-review/

J. Lynn Rowan

Happy Halloween, all!

I have a completely non-spooky post in store for you today. It starts with a review of a new book release and ends with a giveaway!

Intrigued? Read on.

Waking Up to Love

by Katie O’Boyle

WakingUpToLove200

About the book

Kyle Pennington broke Lyssa’s heart when he let her go, rather than interfere with her budding career. An ocean away now, Lyssa has fallen under the spell of golden-tongued Rand Cunningham who’s in a hurry to marry her. But Kyle is miserable without her and is willing to risk everything to get her back. Will Lyssa wake up in time to ask who she really loves?

Waking Up to Love is on sale now at Amazon.

My Review

Waking Up to Love, the fourth book in the Lakeside Porches series begins as Lyssa, the heroine, is faced with a tough decision. She’s been offered the chance to interview for…

View original post 694 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Editng, Edioting, Editing, by Char Chaffin

Sound advice from an editor at Soul Mate Publishing!

Hi Everyone! I’m on the road with Mr. Don (the most romantic man in the world), traveling to our winter home in South Texas. And as usual I’m not only dealing with spotty internet but also the Mother of all editing deadlines, so I thought I’d post part of a presentation I created for RWA-Australia. A subject near and dear to my heart:

How to Edit for Querying Success! Or, How to edit your work so it sparkles… (before you submit to a publishing house)

As an Acquisitions Editor, I look for quality, passion, a story that will absolutely sweep me away. I want that alpha hero who isn’t perfect, the strong yet flawed woman who will complete him, and I want them to be brave enough and smart enough—and in love enough—to save each other. Along the way I expect a riveting tale I can’t set down, not even…

View original post 2,713 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Author Brittany Touris

Allow me to introduce Brittany Touris, author of the debut novel, “Stars Melt to Milk,” available in hard copy and electronic at http://www.amazon.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com and the Kindle version at IBookstore.

britt n miles 1

stars melt to milk

JB: Good Morning, Brittany. Another busy day scheduled today?

BT: Of course. I worked my part time job this morning and am taking care of some other work right now. There’s always more to do!

JB: I’ve read some really great reviews of your book on Amazon. How do they make you feel?

BT: It’s always great to get good reviews. I especially appreciate honest reviews. Ones that can point out the books strengths and weaknesses. Getting feedback is the best way to improve and reach my readers. But of course seeing that people enjoyed the book is always nice.

JB: How has this book changed your life? Or has it not changed it at all?

BT: In a practical way, not much has changed. I still have a lot of work to do before I see my writing changing my life in concrete ways. But I have felt a shift in my mindset. Now that I have a novel published, I’ve felt more of a pull towards being a fiction writer. Before I was mostly known as a “social justice blogger” to people—it’s how I thought of myself too! Now I feel more like a novelist who also blogs about social justice issues.

JB: I really admire how you dedicate your full day, every day, to your writing. Almost every writer I know has a problem with setting aside time just for writing. How do you manage that and still maintain creativity?

BT: A lot of writers set a certain word count goal for the day, others get on a routine schedule, others set a certain amount of time. They’re strict with themselves. I don’t do any of that—although I’ve tried all of it. I write when I’m inspired and give myself general tasks to complete. There really aren’t any tricks to dedicating yourself to something, you just have to tell yourself to do it.

JB: You’re scheduled to present at Rochester’s Fringe Festival later this month. Tell us about that.

BT: I’m going to be giving a talk at the Rochester Fringe Festival on September 23rd at 7pm at MuCCC.  (Multi-use Community Cultural Center, 142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester, 14607) It’s free and will last about a half hour. I’ll also be selling and signing my book. Here’s a brief description of the program:

Young Rochester-born author Brittany Touris chronicles the struggle and allure of being a local artist. Through her own tales, as well as those of other artists in the community, she shares some insights and oddities about “making it” with an unconventional career in this city.

JB:       What is the Fringe Festival, anyway?

BT:      The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival is one of the many Fringe Festivals worldwide. Since its start in 2012, it’s attracted more than 30,000 attendees. Its focus is on the arts—all kinds of arts. You’ll see a lot of eccentric and creative pieces. It’s truly inspiring and I’m incredibly excited to have a part in it this year.

JB:      In your novel, Stars Melt to Milk, you have two, three really, characters who are struggling with the reality of Life and all its demands, rewards and punishments, the third character in a peripheral sense. Do you have a favorite among them? If so, why?

BT:      It depends on what you mean by favorite. Janis is definitely the character to admire. She’s strong and passionate and never gives up. I relate to her artistic inclinations and the way she views life. So I definitely love Janis.

Ray was always a really interesting character to me. He was the one man in the book who was as kind-hearted and passionate as Janis, but he was just a kid. I like to think sometimes about what he’d be like in five or ten years. Maybe we’ll see him in a possible sequel? I just feel like there’s so much to explore with his character that I haven’t yet.

Charlie, however, was my favorite to write. Despite most people liking Janis better, I genuinely think I did a better job writing Charlie. He stirs more of an emotional response in readers from what I’ve noticed—even if it is negative. A lot of times while writing I found myself bursting out in laughter at something Charlie did or said. It’s all just so … Charlie. I think I’ll look back in years to come and really appreciate what I did with Charlie’s character.

JB:       I’ve heard you say that you’re beginning to work on another novel. Is it a sequel to Stars Melt to Milk? Or…?

BT:      I haven’t started work on a sequel for Stars Melt to Milk, although I’d love to some day.

I’ve actually begun work on a series, titled The Gold Dust Odyssey. I suppose I’d have to place it in the adventure category, but that’s debatable. It’s about a young woman, exploring a series of fictional realms, taking a philosophical lesson from each place.

JB:       There’s no doubt in my mind that the writing/reading world will hear more about Brittany Touris. How and where can we keep in touch with you and your progress?

BT:      You can get updates via email by subscribing to my blog on oshitbritt.com. Also like me on Facebook (Brittany Touris), follow me on Twitter (@oshitbritt), and follow me on Tumblr (oshitbritt.tumblr.com). Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel too! I’m trying to hit that 1,000 subscriber mark by the end of the year.

JB:       Thanks so much, Brittany, for your thoughts on the creative process that so many of us call writing and for letting us peek into your writing persona.

BT:      It was my pleasure!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Madelyn’s in the House! Please Welcome Madelyn Hill to the Blogathon!

An Author from our area!

Madelyn HillToday I have Madelyn Hill at the Blogathon! And she’s got a fun giveaway, so stay tuned for that.

Madelyn, welcome! Tell us all about you! What would you most like your readers to know?

I’m currently a teacher in New York State, prior to teaching I was a stay at home mom and before that a Mechanical Engineer. I’m married with 3 children – 2 in college (EEEK!) and my youngest in high school. We love sports (I’m a soccer mom!), cooking, hanging out, and going to the movies. If you want to know about a movie, ask me!

Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and ideas flitting through your mind, or did your interest develop later?

I like to think I was born with a book in my hand, but my mother told a slightly different story. I wrote since…

View original post 1,236 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to Hook

Yup. You read that title right. I am going to teach you how to successfully hook.

First of all, you don’t just want your story to be pretty, you want it to be hot. The kind of hot that makes your reader sweat with anticipation. Don’t lose him to another book by filling your first page with wimpy words and a long-winded backstory. Dress it up with active words, give it some fantastic legs to stand on. You want to set this sucker up right. Make your reader take notice and not want to put your book down. He’s paying good money here, don’t make him feel as if he’s wasted it.

Your first sentence must make him want more. Just give him a small taste of what’s to come…don’t give it all away at once. Why buy the book if he can get the plot for free? But give him a little something of what you know he wants. A small tease. A smoldering sentence. Then lay it on thick for your first few pages. Let him know what he’s getting into. Who he’s going to be with for the next few hours, and promise him a good time using a few well-placed words.

Do this, and I guarantee he’ll want to pick up your book and take it home. And when he’s done, hopefully you’ve made it so good he’ll want to come back for more.

And that, my friends, is how to hook.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reiki

Last Saturday, I went to Camp Good Days and Happy Times on Keuka Lake to give Reiki (pronounced RAY-kee) to women cancer patients and survivors. Every year, I look forward to this experience because I come away so enriched, so energized, and so grateful.

Yes, I worry about how I’ll manage with the standing so long. My back can handle walking much better than standing, or even strolling. So standing for several hours was a concern for me. Certainly, it wasn’t such a concern that I avoided going. I’d done it before and I knew I could do it again. Which I did—no problem.

How true! Reikiing is completely absorbing, both by the practitioner and the receiver. For those who aren’t familiar with Reiki, it is a spiritually guided life energy. The name is Japanese and translates to Rei, God, and ki, life energy. It is the disruption in the flow of Ki that is the main cause of illness. So Reiki restores balance in our bodies.

William Lee Rand, in his book, “Reiki, The Healing Touch,” states “Reiki… is a Japanese form of stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.” This isn’t a fly-by-night system that is here and soon will be gone. The practice has been going on for over a hundred years, successfully, I might add.

For me, Reiki is a steadying activity. If Life throws me a curve ball, I do self-Reiki and throw that ball back into the stands. It still amazes me—after practicing it for about a year—that as soon as I start a Reiki session, the palms of my hands tingle. Then the heat flows from them. It calms me; it energizes me; it fills me with love and gratitude.

Above, I mentioned giving Reiki at Camp Good Days. How blessed I am to be able to participate in that very caring and worthwhile program. The women I attended are so brave, so appreciative, so cheerful in the face of often a dark prognosis. I swear the Reiki I gave them bounced right back on me. But then, giving Reiki is also receiving it, so it doesn’t really “bounce back,” it includes the therapist. It radiates the treatment in a restorative circle of healing energy.

So last Saturday, once again, showed me the strength and faith of people who are truly suffering and made me aware of my many blessings. It also left me feeling full—of gratitude, of well-being, and of positive energy.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Signings

Posted this morning on my website, fun with fellow authors at a book signing in Clifton Springs. Thanks Bev Lewis, Ellen Hegarty and John Avanzato for your fellowship and, especially Bev for organizing us!
http://www.katieoboyle.com/?p=282

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Creating a Wise Reader

(This is from an old blog of mine.  I think it needs a repost.)

I have just finished reading The Writer’s Digest Guide To Science Fiction And Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

This book is, by far, the best book I have read about writing speculative fiction. (As an added bonus, there is a large section titled “The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference”. OUTSTANDING.)

One of the sections is titled, Creating a Wise Reader.

A Wise Reader is not someone to tell you what you have just done. What you want is someone who will report to you, in detail and accurately, on the experience of reading your story. (Think of a play: after it is over, everyone will tell how brilliant you were. But, during the performance no one lies. If people are checking their watch or looking through the Play Bill, something is very wrong.)

You want to train your reader to notice and take notes on symptoms – what the story does to him. For this job, it is better if your Wise Reader is not trained in literature. You don’t want him to tell you how to fix your story, you want to know how it feels to read it.

Ask your reader:

  • Were you bored? Did you find your minder wandering? Can you tell me where in the story this was happening? (Let him take his time, look back through the story, find a place where he remembers loosing interest.)
  • What did you think about the character named _____? Did you like him? Hate him? Keep forgetting who he was? (If he hates your character for the right reason, that’s good news. If he can’t remember who he is from one chapter to the next, that is a problem.)
  • Was there anything you didn’t understand or were confused? Any sections you had to reread?
  • Was there anything you didn’t believe? Any place where you said, “Oh come on!” (This will help you catch clichés or places where you need to go into more detail in your world creation.)
  • What do you think will happen next? What are you still wondering about?

Treat the reader with respect. Your reader will need affirmation of her effort by you addressing what she felt in your manuscript. Unlike someone who tells you what is wrong with your story and how to fix it, The Reader cannot be wrong. How can she be wrong about her own experience. It is what it is.

Even if your reader is bothered by something that is very personal to them, and the general reader would have no issues with it, it is better to address it.

If your reader is your companion, you will develop a type of partnership that can enrich your relationship. If nothing else, s/he will understand better what you are going through.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

On a Mission (in a very cluttered house)

This posted today to my Soul Mate Publishing Authors blog! -kate

HappyWriter-ShareAlike-FlickrAs I worked on the final chapters of my first (romantic) cozy mystery, two opportunities popped up. One, a contract job that would start in June, and two, a trip that starts in two weeks and ends just before the contract job.

OMG!

I couldn’t delay finishing the mystery for a whole month or more, right? I was too close, and the plot and characters were too fresh and compelling for me to do anything other than finish the draft.

I know you know that dilemma…

So, starting ten days ago, I was on a mission to complete the draft and get it out to beta readers before my trip. They were excited to hear the book was nearly finished, and their enthusiasm kept me moving forward.

Well, I did it. The drafts are now on their way to two trusted readers, with two more readers standing by once those copies come back.

I returned from…

View original post 93 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Two Spaces After a Period: Why You Should Never, Ever Do It–From “Slate Technology”

This article, by Farhad Manjoo, is so good, I just had to share it.

Space Invaders

Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.

By Farhad Manjoo

Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.

And yet people who use two spaces are everywhere, their ugly error crossing every social boundary of class, education, and taste.*  You’d expect, for instance, that anyone savvy enough to read Slate would know the proper rules of typing, but you’d be wrong; every third email I get from readers includes the two-space error. (In editing letters for “Dear Farhad,” my occasional tech-advice column, I’ve removed enough extra spaces to fill my forthcoming volume of melancholy epic poetry, The Emptiness Within.) The public relations profession is similarly ignorant; I’ve received press releases and correspondence from the biggest companies in the world that are riddled with extra spaces. Some of my best friends are irredeemable two-spacers, too, and even my wife has been known to use an unnecessary extra space every now and then (though she points out that she does so only when writing to other two-spacers, just to make them happy).

What galls me about two-spacers isn’t just their numbers. It’s their certainty that they’re right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the “correct” number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two. Others explained they mostly used a single space but felt guilty for violating the two-space “rule.” Still others said they used two spaces all the time, and they were thrilled to be so proper. When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. “Who says two spaces is wrong?” they wanted to know.

Typographers, that’s who. The people who study and design the typewritten word decided long ago that we should use one space, not two, between sentences. That convention was not arrived at casually. James Felici, author of the The Complete Manual of Typography, points out that the early history of type is one of inconsistent spacing. Hundreds of years ago, some typesetters would end sentences with a double space, others would use a single space, and a few renegades would use three or four spaces. Inconsistency reigned in all facets of written communication; there were few conventions regarding spelling, punctuation, character design, and ways to add emphasis to type. But as typesetting became more widespread, its practitioners began to adopt best practices. Felici writes that typesetters in Europe began to settle on a single space around the early 20th century. America followed soon after.

Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule. It’s one of the canonical rules of the profession, in the same way that waiters know that the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork and fashion designers know to put men’s shirt buttons on the right and women’s on the left. Every major style guide—including the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style—prescribes a single space after a period. (The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, used widely in the social sciences, allows for two spaces in draft manuscripts but recommends one space in published work.) Most ordinary people would know the one-space rule, too, if it weren’t for a quirk of history. In the middle of the last century, a now-outmoded technology—the manual typewriter—invaded the American workplace. To accommodate that machine’s shortcomings, everyone began to type wrong. And even though we no longer use typewriters, we all still type like we do. (Also see the persistence of the dreaded Caps Lock key.)

The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type—that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space. This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M). Monospaced type gives you text that looks “loose” and uneven; there’s a lot of white space between characters and words, so it’s more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately. Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. Here’s the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s. First electric typewriters and then computers began to offer people ways to create text using proportional fonts. Today nearly every font on your PC is proportional. (Courier is the one major exception.) Because we’ve all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it.

Type professionals can get amusingly—if justifiably—overworked about spaces. “Forget about tolerating differences of opinion: typographically speaking, typing two spaces before the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong,” Ilene Strizver, who runs a typographic consulting firm The Type Studio, once wrote. “When I see two spaces I shake my head and I go, Aye yay yay,” she told me. “I talk about ‘type crimes’ often, and in terms of what you can do wrong, this one deserves life imprisonment. It’s a pure sign of amateur typography.” “A space signals a pause,” says David Jury, the author of About Face: Reviving The Rules of Typography. “If you get a really big pause—a big hole—in the middle of a line, the reader pauses. And you don’t want people to pause all the time. You want the text to flow.”

This readability argument is debatable. Typographers can point to no studies or any other evidence proving that single spaces improve readability. When you press them on it, they tend to cite their aesthetic sensibilities. As Jury says, “It’s so bloody ugly.”

But I actually think aesthetics are the best argument in favor of one space over two. One space is simpler, cleaner, and more visually pleasing. (It also requires less work, which isn’t nothing.) A page of text with two spaces between every sentence looks riddled with holes; a page of text with an ordinary space looks just as it should.

Is this arbitrary? Sure it is. But so are a lot of our conventions for writing. It’s arbitrary that we write shop instead of shoppe, or phone instead of fone, or that we use ! to emphasize a sentence rather than %. We adopted these standards because practitioners of publishing—writers, editors, typographers, and others—settled on them after decades of experience. Among their rules was that we should use one space after a period instead of two—so that’s how we should do it.

Besides, the argument in favor of two spaces isn’t any less arbitrary. Samantha Jacobs, a reading and journalism teacher at Norwood High School in Norwood, Colo., told me that she requires her students to use two spaces after a period instead of one, even though she acknowledges that style manuals no longer favor that approach. Why? Because that’s what she’s used to. “Primarily, I base the spacing on the way I learned,” she wrote me in an email glutted with extra spaces.

Several other teachers gave me the same explanation for pushing two spaces on their students. But if you think about it, that’s a pretty backward approach: The only reason today’s teachers learned to use two spaces is because their teachers were in the grip of old-school technology. We would never accept teachers pushing other outmoded ideas on kids because that’s what was popular back when they were in school. The same should go for typing. So, kids, if your teachers force you to use two spaces, send them a link to this article. Use this as your subject line: “If you type two spaces after a period, you’re doing it wrong.”

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized