Category Archives: Writer’s Life

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Copy of Fearless!

Fearless CoverDiscover a new world of adventure and romance in the Survival Race series.

To enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of FEARLESS, click the link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fearless Excerpt:

Angry red streaks snaked through his aura. “What manner of trickery is this?”

“Get off of me, barbarian.”

Name-calling? Really? Had her father taught her nothing?

“Barbarian? That’s funny coming from a savage.”

She gasped. “Savage? You’re the one on top of me.”

“As I recall, I wouldn’t be on top of you if I hadn’t needed to protect myself from your tricks.”

“I am a spiritual healer. I only wanted to repair your soul. You must release my people.”

“They’re free to go at any time. They choose to stay.”

His weight was crushing her, making breathing difficult, but she refused to let him see her discomfort. If she could calm herself enough, her spirit could reenter his, and she could try healing him again. This might be the only chance she got before he…What would he do to her?

She didn’t sense anything evil, vile, or malicious. Murder wasn’t present in his aura. The only thing she perceived was arousal. Typical male. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage.

There were three occasions when a person’s spirit was the most vulnerable: during sleep, during illness, and during sex—so she’d been told.

“You’ve invaded our peaceful village and took our people against their will. Forgive me for not believing you.” Her words were angrier than she wanted them to be. What happened to her shamanic training?

“Seems we have a lot in common, you and I.”

“We have nothing in common, barbarian.”

“Did you not invade my body against my will?”

“To heal your spirit.”

“So you say, savage.”

Would he stop calling her that? She was not a fierce, violent person. She was tranquil and at peace with the universe, dammit.

Well, at least she strove for peace.

“However,” he continued, “you needn’t concern yourself. My spirit requires no healing.”

“So say you. But our spirits have met, and yours told me it hid a deep wound. Let me back in. Let me into your body to heal you.”

His smirk surprised her. What could he possibly find so humorous?

“If anyone enters another’s body, it will be me.” His warm lips pressed against hers. As if to prove his point, his tongue coaxed hers to open for him.

She’d been kissed before, but not from a man so dangerous and commanding, or so good at it.

Well, she wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to do what she came here for, especially since nothing in his aura indicated malicious intent. His spirit simply sought to demonstrate his male dominance in a kiss. Nothing more. Ha. He’d learn who the dominant one was when she connected with his spirit again.

She opened her mouth and kissed him back. His pause indicated surprise. He’d obviously expected her to resist. When she didn’t let up, his jaw relaxed and his kiss deepened. She couldn’t deny the freedom her soul felt.

But she’d come to heal his heart, and as much as she would like to give in to the pleasure she was receiving, she needed to heal him first.

Again retreating to that tranquil place in her mind, her spirit gathered energy and flowed from her body into his. Her spirit didn’t get further than the impenetrable stone wall before it was thrown from his body again.

His lips were off hers, the weight of his body disappeared. The influx of warm night air came as a relief.

“Savage,” he boomed. “Stay out of my body.”

“If you enter my body, barbarian, rest assured I will enter yours.”

Click to read Chapter One from FEARLESS!

Click to read Chapter One from CAPTIVE!

~K.M. Fawcett

Cover Reveal for FEARLESS

When I’d received the cover for my debut novel, CAPTIVE, we had a little fun on Attacking The Page trying to guess the genre of the book based on cover alone. The poll resulted in most people guessing a genre different than what the book actually is. Click here to see that post.

Now that I have the final cover for FEARLESS, I thought we’d try again. Of course anyone who has read the first book will already know the genre, but I still want you to vote. And here is the reason why…I must be honest and tell you that although it’s a great cover, I personally think it misses the mark on the genre. Am I wrong? That’s what I hope to find out.

Based on this cover alone, what kind of Romance would you expect to read?

Fearless Cover

The poll closes at 9:00 pm EST on Wednesday 12/18/13. Don’t forget to visit again on Thursday to see if you guessed correctly. :)  In the mean time, does your answer match up with the book’s blurb?

TWO SOULS
Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader’s heart and stop a brewing war. Myia’s mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.

ONE DESIRE
Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman’s touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can’t seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage-and his heart-for Myia’s love.

FEARLESS is available now for pre-order at: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books A Million | IndieBound

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

~K.M Fawcett

Sometimes Things don’t go as Planned

Angry, Frustrated WomanI’m at the end of a book. I  think. I  hope.

This story has been a pain in my butt since day one. I’ve already rewritten the entire first 40,o00 words. Today, 76,000 words into the manuscript, I have an epiphany about my hero’s character arc.

Seriously?

I’m almost done.  Now my muse is telling me I have it all wrong?

I hate my muse. She’s a moody bitch.

OK, so she’s also right (which makes me hate her even more).

I plotted this book before I started writing it, just like I do every time. But as the writing progressed, something wasn’t right. The story didn’t flow. Half-way through, I decided to let my muse have her way. I replotted the ENTIRE book and rewrote nearly 175 pages.

Sometimes things just don’t go the way they’re planned. Sometimes characters have other ideas, or the story takes on its own life and MUST have its way.

Anyway, you won’t be hearing from me again until this WIP is done.  I’m not going to make my muse’s demanding changes yet. I’ll push through and finish the draft, but my list of project notes is PAGES and PAGES long. The editing stage will be lengthy and painful with  this book.

Going back into the cave. Wish me luck,

Melinda

No More Bookstores?

The mere title of today’s blog sends me into cold sweats because I am a lover of books. I shudder to think what a life without bookstores would be like. A few words that instantly come to mind are: cold, sad and depressing.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was young, so I didn’t venture into a bookstore until I got my first job in Manhattan. Entering that store was an out of body experience for me. I spent more lunch hours than I care to admit, surrounded by books, than living breathing colleagues.

As a writer, it’s important to keep up with your genre, and the quantity of new releases can add up quickly, and I was running out of shelf space. So, my husband gave me a kindle last year. I find it extremely helpful especially when traveling, instead of packing five or six books, which take up a lot of room, I can pack more clothes.

Now, a few year’s later after the battle of the big bookstore’s, I find it ironic that after putting all the small bookstore’s out of business, these large conglomerates have also put each other out of business, leaving us with one bookstore chain. One.  And I can’t help wonder how did this happen?

I talk to a lot of people who don’t buy ebooks. They want a print version. Not everyone has a computer, not everyone is going to buy a computer, and not everyone orders books on-line. So I think its always going to be important to supply readers with what they want. To do this, Amazon just isn’t going to be enough.

And one bookstore chain? Nope. I don’t think so.

Last week, a very good source told me that B&N closes twenty bookstores a year in the U.S. Call me an optimist, but I think it’s time for the re-emersion of the small bookstore. It’s time to get back in the game, boys. Whether they offer a little bit of everything, or specialize in certain genres: Children’s books, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers, Suspense, etc. I think people would welcome them back with open arms.

What do you think? Do you miss your local hometown bookstore? I know I do.

Best,

Cathy Tully

Write What You Know

At an RWA national conference a few years ago, I sat in on a workshop that helped me understand what ‘write what you know’ means. In this workshop, we were all asked to write down every job we’ve ever had and the roles we’ve played in life throughout the years. I listed: Administrative Assistant to NY Fortune 500 Executive, Secretary in a pool of thirty, College student/graduate, receptionist at a veterinarian hospital, retail associate at a design store, owner of my own Interior Design business, Substitute teacher grades K-12, Girl Scout Leader, bridesmaid, maid of honor, mother, sister, wife, daughter, godmother, friend and aunt.

The speaker asked us to think about how we could use the professions we’ve spent time in as part of our books. Can our hero/heroine work in a field we’ve worked in? Can he/she be a parent? A scout leader? A teacher? An Admin? Instead of all those billionaires/tycoons in a lot of romances out there could we make him/her someone our reader could relate to so they could come to life on the page? The speaker then went on to explain that if you took what you know and incorporated it into your books, your writing voice be more genuine.

She encouraged our group to think about how our hero/heroine might become more relatable–more three-dimensional–and how it would be easier for your reader to sympathize with because they’re so real? Long after this workshop I thought about what the speaker had said and something clicked. It was my light bulb moment. So, I took her advice and incorporated a part of who I am into my next book, and like they say, the rest is history : )

My first book, All You Need Is Love features, Little Man, my family dog, who we lost to illness. It is the biggest tribute I can pay him and his cuteness jumps off every page. I love dogs, always have, and through no planning of my own, a dog pops up in every book I write. Dogs are better than secondary characters because they make people vulnerable without saying a word. We’re allowed to be our true selves around them without any judgment and their unconditional love brightens the darkest day.

Marrying Mr. Right’s heroine, Missy Modesto, is similar to a good friend I’ve known my whole life. Missy is a strong, tough, yet loving woman with a heart of gold and although years may pass between visits, when we do meet, it feels like yesterday : ) Training Travis is about a divorced dad who gains custody of his fifteen year old daughter after his ex-wife’s untimely death. And even though I can’t personally relate to being divorced, I am the mother of two girls, so I can relate to Travis’ fifteen year old daughter and the mood swings of a teenage girl. My first women’s fiction, Pieces Of Candy, is about a menopausal, mother of two. Candy is a substitute teacher and decides she’s wants a real career of her own. So begins her journey into interior design : )

The speaker at that conference knew what she was talking about–and I wish I’d heard her speak many years ago.  Still, it’s never too late and once I took her advice my writing voice has been with me ever since.  I think it’s really about being true to yourself and who you are as a writer….and this probably isn’t something that can be used for every genre to the extent that I’ve gone. Yet, I can’t help but think it would be hysterical to read a book about an interior designer who dies, comes back as a ghost and keeps rearranging the furniture, sending the people she left behind literally flying!

Best,

Cathy Tully

Writer’s Block, an Adventure in Randomness

MP910216414I’m about 1/4 of the way through writing my seventh book.  (I know! The total is freaking me out too) .  Anyway, today was an excellent writing day. I spent the morning at a local coffee shop.  The past few weeks have been brutal, words limping out onto the page, scenes forming with in pathetic randomness. So, instead of sitting in my office, I opted for a change of scenery and a very large cup of coffee.

I’ve determined that I should write 10,000 words per week to get this book finished. Unfortunately, the only way to make writing easier is to write. It sucks but it’s true. If I write 2,000 words every weekday, I can use the weekend for editing, administrative tasks, or heaven forbid, cleaning.  Three nights this week I sat up until midnight to get the words in. One day I still fell short. Today started out much the same. Four hours at Panera netted me my daily minimum.  I set out to run errands. In the car, scenes and dialogue started flashing into my head. I had to turn off the radio. The music was competing with my characters.

I hurried home, panicked that I’d forget half of what was in my head.  I grabbed my laptop and vomited out another 2K in under 2 hours. I didn’t think I could type that fast. I happily wrote myself into a nasty headache.

Why does this happen? Why does the story hate me one day and love me the next?   Why does it seem so random?  I’ll never figure it out, but I’m surely going to enjoy the days when the job really seems as easy as friends and family think it is.

Now back to writing. Maybe I can make it 5,000. Wishing you all a writing day as successful as mine.

- Melinda

Author Fun – Book Signings

I’d like to share with you just a few pictures from my book signings for CAPTIVE (the Survival Race #1). I had a blast signing books, answering questions about CAPTIVE and about how I got published, and seeing good friends. I’m so lucky to have the support of these wonderful people – both pictured and not.

book signing 2

Lisa & Jurgen came dressed in CAPTIVE colors!

book signing 3

Melanie brought her copy on Kindle. (which reminds me to sign up for Authorgraph)

book signing 4

Signing a copy for Katie.

book signing 5

Thanks to ALL the Hellers for your support!

1010814_10201142529272897_1855511495_nI donated a copy of CAPTIVE to my local library. Librarian Karen graciously accepted the book and sent this picture to the local paper, the Readington News.

The following picture is the only one I have from last night’s book signing at my parents’ house. I’m sure my mom will email me some soon. Below is me with my aunt, Sharon Moran, who also wrote a book Daughters Of Destiny: Dramatic monologues of four Amazing American Women. I’m so blessed to have the wonderful support of my family. Aunts and cousins bought multiple copies for other family members who couldn’t make it, and I ran out of books!

booksigning1

Aunt Sharon and me with our books.

I have a few more book signings on the schedule. I’ll be at RWA’s national conference in Atlanta signing at the Readers for Life Literacy signing on Wednesday, July 17th, as well as Grand Central Publishing’s signing on July 20th (my birthday!). Click on the link to see the 400+ authors who will be signing at Readers for Life.

August 4th I’ll be at A Paperback Exchange in Belmar, NJ. I hope to see you at one or more of these places!

~KM Fawcett

Details…Details…

Details, Details…

Writing is hard work, a never ending process of learning and applying. I’ve been writing for fourteen years and am still learning how to improve my skills. Today I’d like to talk a little about details in a story.

A detail is a word/phrase/image that enables a reader to “see.” Instead of telling your readers that Sam “looked sad,” describe the shape of his mouth or the lifeless slats of his hair. Avoid details that call to mind anybody and use the specific ones that call to mind your character because these are details that stay with your readers through the book.

Sometimes it only takes one or two details to bring your character to life for a reader. These are the telling details that stretch beyond observation to give readers a larger, richer sense of character or place.

When I was asked to do revisions for my first book, All You Need Is Love, my original opening line was: “Stepping inside the local veterinarian’s office, Ginger bellowed.”

A specific directive from my editor was: “Don’t just tell me I’m in a veterinarian’s office, show me, make me hear it, see it, feel it.”

Here’s what I added:

Stepping inside the local veterinarian’s office in Promise, Massachusetts was like stepping into a half-price sale at Macy’s the day before a holiday. A Doberman barked repeatedly while a Pomeranian, eyes wide, ran in circles piddling on herself and the floor, frantic to escape the din and chaos.

Ginger bellowed, along with a German shepherd across the room that had jumped into a chair with the woman trying desperately to clean the Pomeranian’s urine from her heels. The shepherd, easily one hundred pounds, bounded back onto the floor, sniffed once at the yipping Pomeranian, then raised his leg and doused the little dog.

My editor was delighted with the details and replied that she felt as though she was in the veterinarian’s office, heard the chaos and, being a pet owner, could smell the urine. No, not the best memory, but vivid just the same : )

The right details at the right times allow your readers admission into your character’s inner peculiarities, fears, and compulsions. It’s one thing to explain the veterinarian’s office was utter chaos, but when I added the details that helped the reader experience the scene, I enriched my story.

Best,

Cathy Tully

This Author Thanks You

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am blessed to have a wonderfully supportive network of family and friends. If you follow the blog then you’re probably aware that Tuesday was release day for my first novel, CAPTIVE, and that I’ve been doing a blog tour this week.

All Tuesday long I’d received congratulatory messages on my personal and author Facebook pages. It was humbling to see everyone’s excitement for me. Friends checked out my bog tour and made comments on my Facebook page, they shared my Amazon buy link on their walls, and many of their friends liked and commented as well. How cool was that?

Some even kept an eye on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank all day. So did I, which I know I probably shouldn’t do, but couldn’t resist. I couldn’t believe it when CAPTIVE made into the top 100 in the kindle store for Sci-Fi Romance. It started out at 95 in the morning and at one point, around midnight I think, it went as low as #32! The rank for the whole Kindle store was #10,283 (it was ranked like #500,000 a couple days before :) ). Thank you to everyone who bought a copy!

Friends also called when they found reviews for CAPTIVE. I wonder if reading reviews can count as exercise, because it’s a heart-pounding activity. So far they have been great, and I am very excited about the positive feedback. Especially from two of the reviewers who said they don’t normally read sci-fi romance, but loved my book. What a great feeling! Now I’m sure I’ll receive some negative reviews. Not everyone likes everything. Even my favorite authors received hateful 1 star reviews for books I loved. So when that happens, I’ll just have to re-read the good ones, and pretend the bad ones don’t matter. And call my support network to cry on their shoulders. ;)

945422_10200441983384821_429943506_nTuesday night, my wonderfully supportive husband (who hand sold a copy of my book to everyone at his work) took the kids and me out to dinner to celebrate.

As we were leaving, he texted some local friends and asked if they would come over for a toast. They did! They dropped what they were doing at 8:30pm (which was probably helping kids with homework since school doesn’t let out for two more weeks) and came over for champagne. Who doesn’t love an impromptu party?

No words can fully express my gratitude to all those who have supported me in my writing. I realize not every author is as fortunate, which is why I want to let everyone know how much I appreciate and love you! Thank you so very much!

~KM Fawcett

Write What You Know

About seven years ago at an RWA conference, I sat in on a workshop. In this workshop, attendees were asked to list every job we’ve ever had and the roles we’ve played in life throughout the years. I listed: Administrative Assistant to NY Fortune 500 Executive, Secretary in a pool of thirty, College student/graduate, receptionist at a veterinarian hospital, retail associate at a design store, owner of my own Interior Design business, Substitute teacher grades K-12, Girl Scout Leader, mother, sister, wife, daughter, godmother and aunt.

The speaker asked us to think about how we could use the professions we’ve spent time in as part of our books. Can our hero/heroine work in a field we’ve worked in? Can he/she be a parent? A scout leader? A teacher? An Admin? The speaker then went on to explain that if we took what we know and incorporated it into our books, not only would our writing voice be more genuine, but our hero/heroine would be more relatable.

Long after this workshop was over, I thought about what the speaker had said and something clicked. Yup. It was my light bulb moment. So, I took the speaker’s advice and incorporated a part of who I am into my next book, and like they say, the rest is history : )

My first book, All You Need Is Love features, Little Man, my family dog, who we lost to illness. By filling the pages of this book with his cuteness and adorable ways, he literally jumps off every page. I love dogs, always have, and through no planning of my own, a dog pops up in every book I write. It’s funny how the subconscious works, isn’t it? My critique partner says having a dog in all my books is part of my ‘brand’ and I suppose she’s right. All I know is that dog’s allow us to be vulnerable. We’re allowed to be our true selves around them without judgment and their unconditional love brightens the darkest day.

Marrying Mr. Right’s heroine, Missy Modesto, is similar to a good friend I’ve known my whole life. Missy is a strong woman with a heart of gold and although years may pass between visits, when my old friend and I that based Missy on, do meet, it feels like days not years have passed: )

Training Travis is about a divorced dad who gains custody of his fifteen year old daughter after his ex-wife’s untimely death. And even though I can’t relate to divorce, I am the mother of two girls, so I can relate to Travis’ daughter and the mood swings of a teenage girl : )

My first woman’s fiction, Pieces Of Candy, is about a menopausal, mother of two. Candy is a substitute teacher and decides she’s fed up and wants a career of her own. So begins her journey into interior design.

All of these characters/stories parallel my life in one way or another, and it isn’t by coincidence. I took the speaker’s advice at that conference long ago, and I didn’t just find my writing voice, I found out who I am as a writer because I write what I know.

Do you write what you know? And if so, how do you think your writing process has changed since you’ve started to write what you know?

Best,

Cathy Tully