Wednesday, May 28, 2014

kboards: "The Deepest Dark," by Joan Hall Hovey

kboards: "The Deepest Dark," by Joan Hall Hovey: Fans of novelist Joan Hall Hovey -- known as "Canada's Mistress of Suspense" and "a female Stephen King" -- will be ...

Have You Entered BWL's Father's Day Contest?


Running now through June 14
One winner will receive this Chocolate Tower


 

Another will receive his or her choice of Five Books We Love eBooks





Enter once a week through June 14
Winners announced in June 15 newsletter



Make sure you are a subscriber to our newsletter- only subscribers can win. The newsletter comes out once a month, no spam, just new releases and contest news. Find the form here.
"So Glad He's Your Dad" 
Father's Day Contest from Books We Love 



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Last Few Days to Enter Shirley Martin's May Contest



Please enter my contest for a chance to win a lovely adjustable aquamarine ring. 

Second prize is a one-year subscription to Romantic Times. 

Contest ends May 31st. 

Send answers to Mshirley1496@aol.com
 



Go to my page at http://bookswelove.net/martin.php and name the hero of each of these romance novels, Wolf Magic and Allegra's Dream.




Good luck!


Shirley Martin

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Two Sentence Horror Stories

These are great. I wish I could take credit for any of them but I can't. Enjoy! ~ Jamie Hill

If you're looking for a horrifying story that will keep you up tonight, don't waste all that time watching a horror movie. Reddit has provided us with pages of terrifying horror stories wrapped up in two sentences or less. Here are some favorite stories guaranteed to make you keep your lights on tonight.





1. Therealhatman
I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.

2. Jmperson
The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams. I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.

3. Miami_Metro
Growing up with cats and dogs, I got used to the sounds of scratching at my door while I slept. Now that I live alone, it is much more unsettling.

4. EvilSteveDave
In all of the time that I've lived alone in this house, I swear to God I've closed more doors than I've opened.

5. Drrd777
A girl heard her mom yell her name from downstairs, so she got up and started to head down. As she got to the stairs, her mom pulled her into her room and said "I heard that, too."

6. Calamitosity
She asked why I was breathing so heavily. I wasn't.

7. The_D_String
My wife woke me up last night to tell me there was an intruder in our house. She was murdered by an intruder 2 years ago.

8. Doctordevice
I awoke to the sound of the baby monitor crackling with a voice comforting my firstborn child. As I adjusted to a new position, my arm brushed against my wife, sleeping next to me.

9. Hangukbrian
I always thought my cat had a staring problem - she always seemed fixated on my face. Until one day, when I realized that she was always looking just behind me.

10. Wartortlesthebestest
There's nothing like the laughter of a baby. Unless it's 1 a.m. and you're home alone.

11. Vigridarena
I was having a pleasant dream when what sounded like hammering woke me. After that, I could barely hear the muffled sound of dirt covering the coffin over my own screams.

12. Vaultkid321
"I can't sleep," she whispered, crawling into bed with me. I woke up cold, clutching the dress she was buried in.

13. JustAnotherMuffledVo
I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, "Daddy, check for monsters under my bed." I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, "Daddy, there's somebody on my bed."

14. madamimadamimadam
You get home, tired after a long day's work and ready for a relaxing night alone. You reach for the light switch, but another hand is already there.

15. Graboid27
I can't move, breathe, speak or hear and it's so dark all the time. If I knew it would be this lonely, I would have been cremated instead.

16. Aerron
She went upstairs to check on her sleeping toddler. The window was open and the bed was empty.

17. Genetically_witless
I never go to sleep. But I keep waking up.

18. Skuppy
My daughter won't stop crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I visit her grave and ask her to stop, but it doesn't help.

19. Cobaltcollapse
After working a hard day, I came home to see my girlfriend cradling our child. I didn't know which was more frightening, seeing my dead girlfriend and stillborn child, or knowing that someone broke into my apartment to place them there.

20. Guztaluz
There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Still time to enter Shirley Martin's May Contest



Please enter my contest for a chance to win a lovely adjustable aquamarine ring. 

Second prize is a one-year subscription to Romantic Times. 

Contest ends May 31st. 

Send answers to Mshirley1496@aol.com
 



Go to my page at http://bookswelove.net/martin.php and name the hero of each of these romance novels, Wolf Magic and Allegra's Dream.




Good luck!


Shirley Martin

Friday, May 16, 2014

"So Glad He's Your Dad" Father's Day Contest from Books We Love


Running now through June 14
One winner will receive this Chocolate Tower


 

Another will receive his or her choice of Five Books We Love eBooks





Enter once a week through June 14
Winners announced in June 15 newsletter


Make sure you are a subscriber to our newsletter- only subscribers can win. The newsletter comes out once a month, no spam, just new releases and contest news. Find the form here.
"So Glad He's Your Dad" 
Father's Day Contest from Books We Love 


Monday, May 12, 2014

Enter Shirley Martin's May contest!



Please enter my contest for a chance to win a lovely adjustable aquamarine ring. 

Second prize is a one-year subscription to Romantic Times. 

Contest ends May 31st. 

Send answers to Mshirley1496@aol.com
 



Go to my page at http://bookswelove.net/martin.php and name the hero of each of these romance novels.
 
1. Wolf Magic

2. Allegra's Dream

3. Enchanted Cottage

4. Night Shadows

5. Night Secrets

6. Destined to Love

7. The Princess and the Curse

8. Midnight for Morgana

9. Dream Weaver

10. One More Tomorrow

11. The Sacrifice

12. Forbidden Love


Good luck!


Shirley Martin

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Seventeen Writing Secrets - Shared by Ginger Simpson





I blog-jacked the following from a 2008 Writer's Digest.  There are some great points shared, and I especially liked number seven.

1. Never save your best for last. Start with your best. Expend yourself immediately, then see what happens. The better you do at the beginning, the better you continue to do.
2. The opening paragraph, sentence, line, phrase, word, title—the beginning is the most important part of the work. It sets the tone and lets the readers know you’re a commanding writer.
3. The first duty of a writer is to entertain. Readers lose interest with exposition and abstract philosophy. They want to be entertained. But they feel cheated if, in the course of entertaining, you haven’t taught them something.
4. Show, don’t tell or editorialize. "Not ideas about the thing, but the thing itself."—Wallace Stevens
5. Voice is more important than image. "Poetry is not a thing, but a way of saying it."—A.E. Housman
6. Story is more important than anything. Readers (and publishers) care a lot less about craft than content. The question they ask isn’t, "How accomplished is the writer?" but, "How good is the story?"
7. These rules, pressed far enough, contradict each other. Such is the nature of rules for art.
8. All writing records conflict. Give the opposition quality attention and good lines. The power of the the antagonists should equal that of the protagonists.
9. Shift focus often. Vary sentence structure and type; jump back and forth in time and place; make a good mix of narration, description, exposition and dialogue.
10. Be careful of your diction. A single word, like a drop of iodine in a gallon of water, can change the color of your entire manuscript.
11. Provide readers with closure. The last sentences of the novel echo something that happened earlier. Life comes full circle. "If I have a pistol in my first chapter, a pistol ends the book."—Ann Rule
12. By the end of the work, the conflict should reach some satisfactory resolution. Not always a "happily ever after" ending, but something should be finalized.
13. Revise, revise. You never get it on the first try. Art shows up in rewriting.
14. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and adverbs; trust the precision of your nouns and verbs. Verb form: the shorter the better. Avoid helping verbs and progressives. Avoid passive voice. Avoid cliche and stock phrases.
15. Be interesting with every sentence. Be brief. Hemingway’s first editor at the Kansas City Star gave him this style sheet: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." Hemingway later referred to that list as "the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing."
16. If you can be misread, you will be.
17. There are no rules for good writing. Those who break the "rules" successfully are the true artists. But: learn, practice and master the rules first. "You cannot transcend what you do not know."—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fonts, fonts, and more fonts

By Michelle Lee
BWL Art Director

Hi, it's me again - the resident cover art geek.  I'm back with my latest in cover art related posts (after a fairly long hiatus due to graduate school).  I bet you can't guess what this post is about.  Come on ... give it a try ...

I'll give you a hint.  It's not images and it's not color schemes.  So what's left?  FONTS of course!

I touched on this a little bit in a past post, but it is well worth revisiting (at least in my mind).

Now I know what you are thinking, why would this be something worth talking about - twice now?  Well ... because the font typefaces used can be just as iconic as the images.

Let's look at a few examples shall we?



With the sharply pointed edges of this typeface, the artist brings to mind fangs.  Which is appropriate - anyone who doesn't know what Blade is about, it involves vampires.


 Another font that springs to mind right off is the one used for the Highlander TV series with Adrian Paul. Since she show is about sword-welding immortals, the font fits - because it has an almost blade edge like to it.

Ready for one that everyone should know?


Look at the elongated S's.  They almost see to be moving further away from the nearby letters. 

Another blast from the past - TRON.  Although the font was updated slightly for the new movie, it still have the same basic shape and feel.  The N especially is iconic.


Want a more modern example?  Then look no further than the Hogwarts school of magic.  It has a very wand like feel to it, and of course there is the lightening bolt end to the letter P.



 Now every author's dream is probably to be a household name.  Obviously the biggest part is creating a product you can be proud of.  However there are other things that go into the magic formula of success.  Part of that is branding, part of it is the wrapping, and of course a good deal of it is plain old fashion luck.  Since you can't control luck, an author needs to focus on what they can control - the product, branding themselves, and the wrapping of their product (namely the cover and blurb).

While the images are going to be what catches a reader first, they will notice the font.  And if it doesn't fit the overall feel of the product, then it can turn them off of the book.

Imagine a romance with a very stark, bleeding font.  Unless you are looking at a post-apocalyptic or paranormal genre, it probably wouldn't fit.

How about a fancy, script font on a horror.  Or a blocky, unattractive, bland font on a very visually stunning and provocative image.

The font selected for a cover can really say a lot about the contents.  So I strongly suggest authors take a little bit of time and scan through some of the options.  Including a few suggestions with the cover art form can help a cover artist to create the wrapping that will help to see your book.  At the very least, it will let you be able to explain to the artist what style you are looking for.

If you are not sure on what kind of font you are wanting, ie don't know the terminology, check out this quick resource - Basic Typography Terminology

If you are looking for something a bit more in depth - check out this article.

Some of the websites I personally use are:

DaFont     *     1001 Free Fonts     *     Urban Fonts

What I like about DaFont over some of the others out there is the option to see what specialized words - like a book's title - would look like, and the way they have the categories organized.  It makes it super easy to find something to fit.

To stress how important a choice picking the right font can be I leave you with one last iconic font.


Can you guess what uses this particular font?

...

...

...

...

...

If you guessed
 then give yourself a hand.

Now being realistic, your font typeface choice isn't likely to make you a household name.  BUT it is something important to consider when looking at a cover's creation.

Friday, May 2, 2014

99 Cent Sale--HAND-ME-DOWN BRIDE

 

If you are a fan of traditional love-stories with a genuine, old-time, rural setting, check out Hand-me-Down Bride. Meet the Wildbach's, both the schemers and the dreamers, and take a cool evening walk alongside the mill pond...


 
Judge Markham sat at his desk.  George Wildbach faced him across the mahogany surface.  A bottle stood between them.  It was the finest Kentucky bourbon, meant for sipping.

The Judge poured.  Then, ceremoniously, the two men raised their glasses.

"A good day's work, son." It was not just a figure of speech.  George's wife had been born Sally Markham.  The union had made kin of the two sharpest dealers in the county.

"I don't know how I can thank you, sir." 

"Just doing the right thing, m'boy."  The Judge's spectacles were misty with emotion.  "You've been a fine husband to my little Sally, and now there's Teddy and the girls.  They come first."

"To think! Just because Papa died so suddenly, Ilga Bullmaster and her niece would have waltzed off with $2,000 next week, skimmed right off the top."

"Well, with both wills in my file and the witnesses in my pocket, it was easy enough."

"A damned handsome girl," George took a meditative sip.  Oddly, he felt a little sorry for Sophie.  She seemed quite innocent, although Heaven knew that conniving Ilga was not.

"Forgive me for being candid, George, but nothing less than handsome would have suited your father.  He was a man of the most informed taste.  Ilga had the good sense to offer him a rose as perfect as any in his garden."

The Judge paused to splash more whiskey into George's glass.  "It's just good business," he declared, "not to let money get away from the family. Real family, that is."

George drank the second shot neat and then shook his head in an attempt to clear it.  He wasn't accustomed to drinking so early in the day, nor was he accustomed to downright larceny. Theft which could be performed under cover of law, like foreclosing on that shiftless Washington McNally a few years back, well, that was one thing!  To "lose" a signed and witnessed codicil was something else...

 
  
http://amzn.com/B00G80YHFG
 
http://www.bookswelove.net/julietwaldron.php


Christmases Past...by Sheila Claydon

My latest book, Empty Hearts, is a vintage romance. It isn't about Christmas, but the cover, designed by the wonderful Michelle Lee a...