Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Book Blast


WELCOME TO THE HALLOWEEN BOOK BLAST!


Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!


Before you leave, don't forget to enter the Giveaway!!!


Friday, October 26, 2018

What Do To When Your Character...

has a mind of his own and doesn't behave like you would?

I've been working on a story for at least the last year... It's been slow going for a lot of reasons, but I am so determined to finish it in 2018. That said, I have a good 50% written—albeit not in the "correct order" yet, but I'll figure out how—and where—to connect the pieces. I hope. I keep inserting yellow highlighted sections 'need transition here' and hoping for the best. I know it'll come together. Otherwise, I've written a lot of awesome short stories...

I'm concentrating on my hero Kurtis Warde right now. He's a wizard apprentice—although his heart isn't really into becoming a full-fledged wizard. He's torn between family obligations and romantic inclinations so he's an angry guy. This guy keeps his shit in—and when he lets go—he expresses his anger with colorful language. A lot.

I'm a bit of a strange cat. I don't really swear. And I don't really care to use coarse language. As a writer, this proves to be quite problematic as my characters don't always fall in line. They have minds of their own and arguing with them—literally writing against them—slows my writing to a dismal stop.

For the most part, I listen to what they're saying and what they want to do. After all, it's their story. We find compromises here and there. For example, when I want to shut the bedroom door completely, they like to nudge it open just a bit. And we resolve the 'what do I call this body part' issues with the halfway point between medical textbook and urban dictionary.

Up to now, I haven't written a lot of curse words into my books. I convey what my characters want to convey—maybe with a lone 'damn' or 'shit'—but Kurtis wants to swear. He wants me to let him 'be real' in a visceral way I never thought possible. So, I'm letting him. This guy is raw. He's unpredictable and completely goes his own way. I'm sure you'll love him.

Back to it then. I can't wait to find out what Kurtis says or does next.

***

I first introduced Kurtis as part of The Circle, the group of wizards, that my hero Corgan Halton seeks out for help in my book A Vampire's Tale. Kurtis is the grandson of Waldor, one of the wizards.


A Vampire’s Tale is available on AmazonSmashwordsAppleKobo, and Barnes & Noble.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Fairy Tales, Banned Books, and Censorship

This week, Twitter was on fire with a story covered by news outlets such as USA Today, Parents Magazine, Pop Sugar Family, E! News, and Sky News. Actresses Kristen Bell and Keira Knightley came out, in separate, unrelated interviews, with some anti-classic Disney princess arguments. Bell raised issues about Snow White and consent because Prince Charming kisses her when she's sleeping. Knightley was concerned that Cinderella teaches little girls to wait for the rich guy to save them. Many opinions—both in agreement and opposing—have flooded the Internet.

In response, I tweeted, "Remember it’s fiction. Fairy godmothers aren’t real either. Just educate your children so they can make intelligent choices vs outright banning the movies." In the case of Snow White...the prince kissed her when she was (for all intents and purposes) dead and lying in a glass coffin. The kiss that brought her back to life could arguably be a life-saving procedure in which Good Samaritan laws apply. As for Cinderella...she wasn't waiting around for a prince to rescue her. Even though she had been reduced to a life of servitude in her own home, she was content. She only wanted to go to the ball. And she did. In killer glass slippers.

Banning a movie or a book because you don't agree with its content? That seems remarkably like censorship.


***

Books are often banned because they introduce threatening ideas. Some that have made the cut over the years may surprise you... Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. William Golding's The Lord of the Flies. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey.

How many of these books have you read?


***

I grew up in a very sheltered home. My mom pre-screened movies before she let me and my sister watch them. I missed quite a few movies that way. And, needless to say, I was a little unprepared for real life when I went away to university.

When it comes to our boys (currently aged 10 and 8), my husband and I mildly disagree over what they can and can't watch on TV. Where I cautiously check commonsensemedia.org before family movie nights; my husband let our oldest watch Family Guy. 😲 First of all, I am not a fan of Family Guy. Back in the day, I wasn't allowed to watch The Simpsons. Something about Bart's disrespectful attitude? (One of the shows I definitely watched in university!) Well, The Simpsons don't have anything on Family Guy. My husband said it was better that our oldest get exposed to "grown-up" topics at home where we could explain them versus the playground where anything goes. I agree. To a point. Family Guy isn't exactly the most accurate of sex education sources. Come on, the family dog talks! And is probably the smartest member of the family. So, son #1 repeated some questionable dialogue from Family Guy at an inappropriate time and that ended his Family Guy watching days. For now.

I'm not naive. I know my kids know bad words. I've heard them say bad words. My husband and I have talked to them plainly about understanding what those words mean and when is the right and wrong time to say them. i.e. wrong time = anytime in front of Mom At the end of the day, it's a lesson we, as their parents, are tasked with giving. We can't hope to raise them in a protected bubble of rainbows and sunshine. That doesn't do them any favours.

***

My takeaway on the objections raised by Kristen Bell and Keira Knightley? Be respectful of others. Arm yourself with education to make intelligent decisions. It's okay to believe in fairy tales. 👸

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fight for the Right

When I was a kid, my friends and I would play a game called 'what sense could you live without'. We'd list the pros and cons of losing 'taste' or 'sight', for instance. I'd usually pick 'taste' as I couldn't imagine living without 'sight' and the other senses, like 'touch' and 'hearing', seemed important for safety. We also played 'what limb could you live without', but losing a limb is a serious fear of mine, and I didn't participate. What we never imagined was forfeiting any of our rights.

I'm 38 years old and, until 3 years ago, I would have finished the sentence 'You gotta fight for your right' with the Beastie Boys' lyrics "to party" - I'm only half-joking. What changed for me 3 years ago? I was placed in a position that threatened my human rights, and I decided to fight. Since then I have faced opposition, complacency, and even distain.

Situations similar to mine, unfortunately, occur frequently. What are we doing about it? If we begin to sacrifice even the most (seemingly) insignificant rights, when will it stop? Part of the beauty of democracy is freedom of speech. If we cannot speak, we are truly imprisoned.

Yes, there are worse places to live in the world. That doesn't mean we must accept less here (in the western world). In fact, we must protect our hard-earned rights - to vote, to marry the person of our choice, to express our opinion - and continue to pursue what is right, for us and for our neighbours.

What right or freedom are you willing to live without?



If your answer is "none", then what are you willing to do if your rights or freedoms are threatened?


Friday, October 5, 2018

Are you playing the Chapters - Interactive Stories app yet?

I am seriously excited about the release of my TapTales story Heart's Storm on the app Chapters - Interactive Stories.


Aspiring screenwriter Lissa Edward dreams of making it big in Hollywood. Her heart has other ideas. Does the past hold the key to her future?


Chapters - Interactive Stories is available through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store. Read stories where you play as the main character and make decisions that impact the story. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure story for adults! You can read stories in the romance (steamy), romance (sweet), paranormal romance, young adult, mystery/thriller, and fantasy/sci-fi categories. Plus stories, like Heart's Storm, are also available as TapTales, the simple chat story format, in all genres. If you love reading and playing mobile games...you'll love Chapters - Interactive Stories!

https://www.facebook.com/ChaptersInteractiveStories/


Check out the app...and stay tuned for more stories from me!