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, June 25, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: Anyways...

When should you be using anyways in your storytelling...if ever? Look back at this week's Throwback Thursday Writing 101 to find out. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Writing 101: Unnecessary Storytelling

So I’m not going to point fingers at any authors, but I will say that lately I was exposed to some unnecessary storytelling...and I’m kind of mad about it. Misdirecting your readers is one thing, but wasting their time falls into a whole new category. So let’s find out if you’re guilty of unnecessary storytelling, because maybe you are.

Writing and Writing

For every author, there is that moment when thought no longer even seems to apply. Suddenly the words are just pouring out, so hot and thick your fingers can’t even keep up with them. And you’re in such a zone, Mount Vesuvius couldn’t possibly shake up your concentration. You are writing, and it’s going well. Iit’s when you’re in this zone that unnecessary storytelling might start to sneak in. It happens more often than you think.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Writing 101: Being a Sadist

Have you ever tortured a man until he broke down and cried? Killed a person and watched them die? You have if you’re like a lot of authors, because sometimes being a writer means being a sadist. If you write books, you’re going to end up doing a lot of terrible things -- all on the page, of course.


Characters in books start to feel a little like friends, don’t they? I know Anne Shirley well. I would feel totally at home sitting with her in a turn-of-the-century Canadian kitchen, drinking raspberry cordial. For authors who create those characters, the connection is even stronger. And it’s really hard to make terrible things happen to those characters, to allow those characters to feel the pain of it all. But you have to. When you’re writing, you need to get sadistic.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Other 57 Books That Charles Dickens Wrote

Great Expectations. Oliver Twist. A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens was clearly an incredible author, and everyone can name one or two of his books because people are still reading them. But here’s a little secret about old Chucky the Brit: he wrote 20 novels. With the possible exception of Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings, I’m pretty sure no one can name them all -- and even more certain that only a handful of people have actually read them all. Charles Dickens wrote lots of other books besides David Copperfield.


In the days of Charles Dickens, there was no automatic spell checker. The typewriter wasn’t invented until the very end of his life, which means he was writing out his novels by hand. That makes his 20 novels highly impressive indeed, though not all of them have been big hits. Charles Dickens tried a technique that’s used in advertising all the time: saturation.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: Toward vs. Towards

Should you be moving toward your dreams, or towards them? Today's Throwback Thursday Writing 101 will answer that question conclusively.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Writing 101: Confessions of an Absentee Author

In a perfect world, I would write every word of my books from the proper typing position, in a comfortable room all alone. I would have an endless supply of coffee and Mountain Dew. And I would type on my laptop, watching the story unfold before my very eyes. This is not how I write my books. I’m about to tell you the truth of how I manage to write books while working an 80-workweek. The truth is, I almost never type books on my laptop. These are the confessions of an absentee author.

To Tell the Truth

Last Thursday, I worked for 16 hours straight. I do mean straight. I don’t take breaks to eat, because clearly I haven’t got the time for that nonsense. I eat one-handed and drive the mouse with the other so I can still get some work done. The Wednesday before last Thursday, I worked for almost 14 hours. Every day, I work all day. When I get finished, I want to sleep. It would be ideal if I could just go ahead and crash then and there with the laptop still on top of me. That way, when I wake up I can just get right back to it. But that’s not very practical, because I still have to brush my teeth. So I don’t go immediately to sleep when I finish working. I may have to fold laundry or clean something up. I’ve got to wash my face and floss. And here is where I find the time to write my books. If you can call it that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Writing 101: Focus

When you want to write a book, it really helps if you’ve got a good vocabulary. You’re going to need something to write on, and I recommend a lightweight laptop with a full-sized keyboard. It’s always useful to have a good imagination, to have the ability to visualize and picture things. But it is absolutely essential that you have one ingredient, or you will never, ever, ever finish that book: focus.

What’s That Over There?

Seriously, the other stuff can be dealt with. You can buy a thesaurus, right? You can learn typing techniques. Heck, there are classes online for free that teach technique. It’s even possible to improve your imagination. The more you use it, the more it works. Focus...that’s something that you either have, or don’t. And lately, I don’t have it. Do you?

Monday, June 15, 2015

It’s Really Easy to Hate Nicholas Sparks

Sure, I enjoyed "A Walk to Remember," like everyone else. But by the time "The Best of Me" came to theaters, I was thoroughly disgusted. It's really easy to hate Nicholas Sparks...and I do.

Author, Author

Please, don’t bombard me with emails. I know all of you love “The Notebook,” and yes I have seen the film also. But sometimes, I feel a little bit like Nicholas Sparks is writing the same book over and over. In fact, I’ve noticed that lots of authors are writing the same books over and over.