Justice (Deck of Lies, #1)

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The Tower (Deck of Lies, #2)

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Death (Deck of Lies, #3)

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Judgment (Deck of Lies, #4)

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Hope's Rebellion

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: POV

In life, point of view can change everything. It's the same way for books. The point of view you choose for your story will pretty much determine everything about how that story is told. That's pretty serious stuff. So before you commit to a POV, explore all your options with this vintage Writing 101 post that lays it all out pretty clearly. 

When you're done with this post about POV, feel free to read it from the bottom up. After all, changing your point of view can make all the difference.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Writing 101: 5 Movies All Writers Should Watch

Yes, I am aware that the title sounds weird. Writing and movies, as any novel reader will tell you, rarely go well together. Adaptations have a way of disappointing all readers. But these 5 films aren't necessarily adaptations. They're movies about writers and writing, and they actually get it pretty right. Watch these films, and learn several valuable lessons about being a writer.

Jade's Top 5

Writers write a lot about writing. Heck, even I do it. I have actually advised against using this as a story element. In almost all cases, stories about writers are boring. You and I both know there is nothing exciting about writing. You're just sitting there typing. Sometimes, I might get up to pace around a very small area like a mad tiger, but this is really more maddening than fascinating. But in these 5 films, writing is something that's worth watching.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Writing 101: Depression

Doctors sometimes lose patients in the operating room, and it's hard on them. Counselors absorb other people’s problems, and listen to terrible tales of trauma. Actors tap into their deepest emotions and recall their most painful memories, all for the sake of the performance. Writing is one of those jobs that can get you down sometimes, like these others. It's important to keep the business of writing in perspective. This is how you will avoid depression. 

No, I Reject You

If I saved every single rejection letter I've ever received, I would probably have to move from my home to save space for the storage. I've been fired from more writing jobs than most people have ever had. And I've received some comments from real readers that made me want to set something on fire. Like maybe my laptop.

Writing can be a bit depressing like this. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Am I Turning into Emily Dickinson?

In my neverending game of which writer am I comparing myself to now, I’ve realized that I may be turning into Emily Dickinson -- without the poetry and the super creepy death imagery, I hope. Not to say that any writer wouldn’t want to be like Emily Dickinson. But for the record, she did die unpublished and lived most of her life in her room. And maybe I’m becoming like her. 

There are worse fates.

They Called Me to the Window, For

Emily Dickinson sat in her room, looked out her window, and wrote poems about the house across the street. She penned poetry on a few other topics, as well, and never shied away from frankly looking at death. I think that on the surface, anyone would be a little bit leery of the young woman who never comes out of her bedroom and writes poetry about death. Because it’s weird, or at least it’s not quite the average. Emily Dickinson was what’s known as a recluse. She shut herself away and isolated herself from the rest of the world. The only reason that it’s not considered to be totally insane is because Emily Dickinson was a brilliant poet. We’ve been trained to accept that genius and insanity belong together.

But I’m learning that being insane does not also make you a genius. In most all cases, it just makes you insane. And sometimes, I question my own sanity. After all...I am a writer.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Writing 101: The In-Book Preview Page

I remember the first time I cracked open "Flowers in the Attic" by V.C. Andrews. I'm one of those readers who always starts right at the beginning and looks at every page. I begin with the dedication, I read every author's note, and I'll even skim over the Table of Contents before I get started. But when I found a page before the story that was an exactly copy of a page inside the story, I didn't know what to make of it. It was the first time I ever saw an in-book preview page, and it totally blew my mind. So now I'm wondering: do you put these pages in your books?

The Preview

Does anyone remember the preview page of "Flowers in the Attic," by the way? It's this amazing intense scene with the evil Grandmother, and everyone's calling each other by their names and they're all in this small room together and it's totally confusing but it's also terribly exciting. That page accomplishes exactly what a book excerpt is supposed to accomplish. And maybe you should be adding it to your book, after all.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

There Are No Rules Underwater

"We begin the most amazing ride with Brenna." 

"I have read several mermaid books. This one is nothing like any of them. The rules have changed." 

"Song of the Sea" has been reviewed at Happy Tails and Tales. Read the review to find out which rating the reviewer gave me!

Get a peek at "Song of the Sea," and find out where you can get a copy.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Under the Waves

"Varden balances the teenage voice without having it shallow or stereotypical, but she also manages to capture the tone and experiences of being fifteen and discovering love, losing a parent, and trying to work out a place in the world."

"There is suspense and surprises, and tiny moments of joy that make this a fantastic fantasy adventure and one that will manage to warm and break your heart at the same time."

The newest review for "Song of the Sea" is up at Lost in a Good Book! Read the whole review to find out what's happening under the waves. 

Visit the Free Book Stuff area to get downloads and samples for "Song of the Sea." Don't forget to get your copy of "Song of the Sea" at Amazon!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: Colons and Semicolons

When you're writing a book, the simple period and comma aren't always enough. Sometimes, you have to start using somewhat fancier punctuation -- like colons, semicolons and ellipsis. Today's TBT Writing 101 will help you remember how to use them perfectly. 

Perfect punctuation is important in every book, because (trust me) some reviewer is going to notice the first colon you put in the wrong place. Learn how to use colons and semicolons the right way, and you can do a lot more with your sentences. Read all about it in this throwback Writing 101.