Tag Archives: Amazon

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Critiquing the Evil Stepmother

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

 

booksh

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

Actually, I wouldn’t dare to critique the actual Evil Stepmother, she scares me. But, my friend and critique partner, Kathy L Wheeler (w/a Kae Elle Wheeler) just released a new novella that tells the story that has never been told before…why Cinderella’s Stepmother was SO evil.

I helped critique The Price of Scorn, and I thought I’d share just a few of those notes here. Kathy writes very well, and I didn’t have a lot to say, but of course, I HAD to say something. Don’t feel sorry for her, though, she critiques the HECK out of my stuff. ;)

You can find Kathy’s fabulous book by clicking on the below links – and it’s ONLY 99¢ for a limited time…

The+Price+of+Scorn+-+book+iv

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0103IA1IE
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-price-of-scorn-book-iv-cinderella-s-evil-stepmother
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-price-of-scorn-book-iv-kae-elle-wheeler/1122462712?ean=2940152209273
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1033703193
https://www.createspace.com/5602034

Now, for my suggestions: (Click on the images to enlarge them if you have problems reading the text)

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Unnecessary words can be eliminated to tighten and make the writing more active. And, something I didn’t comment on that I just now noticed, on this part: Quickly brushing the straw from her skirt, Hilda straightened the bodice of her sturdy brown frock…’ Those actions aren’t likely being done at the same time. SO, perhaps it would be better worded like this: ‘Hilda quickly brushed the straw from her skirt and straightened the bodice of her sturdy brown frock’

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‘In a fit of temper’ is telling and not needed. Her actions and dialogue make it obvious she’s in a fit of temper. 

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This was a recurring suggestion throughout the story. ‘The’ isn’t needed. Again, tightening. And, ‘made his way’ is something I see often. And, I have used it often. I’m trying to eliminate the usage. It’s too generic and dull. Better to replace it with more specific, active verbs, although I could probably do better than ‘approached’ :)

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I believe my inserted comment speaks for itself. :)

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I highlighted repeated words, which isn’t a big deal. My main suggestion is about the cliche and telling. To me, it sounds a little like author intrusion. This could be more ‘showing’ and vivid by doing something like:

Dirk strolled into the room. His lips quirked in a confident smirk. (Or something like that :))

So, those are a few examples. I’d like to thank Kathy for allowing me to use her story to show a few tips on tightening and showing. All comments and questions are welcome.

Until next time…happy writing!

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

3 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Let Me Be There

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

(NOTE: I am currently running a Freelance Editing Special offering 20% off my fee of 1¢ per word for a full, two round edit and 3/4¢ per word for a one round edit. Sale good through August 31st. If your book is not finished, but you would like to receive the discount rate, you can contact me and make a $100 deposit through Paypal by the end of the day 8/31/15)

booksh

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Okay, so I took the blog post title from an Elvis song, which was actually a cover of an Olivia Newton-John song, but it fits, really it does. You’ll see what I mean…

I once heard James Patterson offer a bit of writing advice that was brilliant, in only two words: BE THERE.

This is something that I have to remind myself to do, although I don’t always succeed. However, it’s critical to drawing your readers into a scene and really ‘showing’ them what the character is experiencing. I usually notice it when I’m editing someone else’s work, and will make a comment such as, ‘I can’t really picture this. What is she seeing? What does he look like, etc.’

Here is an example from my current (and seemingly FOREVER) Work in Progress  ~ Book 3 in the Isle of Fangs series.

This is the version before I filled it out a little with what the character was seeing, hearing, etc….(And, before I tweaked and polished it in a few other areas)

Her breath heaved in and out of her chest as she ran faster. Guilt tried to surface. Her grandparents had been awesome to her. They loved her and took care of her. Treated her great. So why was she being such a bitch?

Because…they just wouldn’t listen

She was running toward the beach when a figure stepped in front of her. She skidded to a halt, heart thudding in fear. He looked familiar, but she couldn’t place him. Two more joined him. “Ah, just what we were looking for.”

“Looking for?” Her voice came out in a squeak. “Me?” She glanced behind her. Nothing but pure darkness. Would her grandparents come after her? She swallowed nervously.

He walked slowly toward her. His buddies followed a few steps behind.

Hannah backed away. “If you touch me, I’ll scream. My grandparents will hear, and they’ll come out here.”

He smiled. “Oh yeah, they definitely will. We’re counting on it.” He moved so quickly, she didn’t see him grab her, but the next thing she knew, he was holding her against him, his hand around the back of her neck.

She let out a yelp, pushing against him with all her might. He didn’t budge an inch.

“Where’s that scream you promised?” He opened his mouth and showed his teeth…not normal teeth…fangs… A…vampire?

Her legs shook, and terror froze her limbs. “Please…oh please…” she whimpered, her heart vibrating so hard she thought it would explode. He bent his head toward her neck. Even before the fangs pierced her flesh, she let out a blood curdling scream.

Here is that scene with a few sensory details, although it still needs more polishing…(The last few paragraphs are pretty much the same as the ‘before’ version, FYI):

Her breath heaved in and out of her chest as she ran faster. Guilt tried to surface. Her grandparents had been awesome to her. They loved her and took care of her. Treated her great. So why was she being such a bitch?

Because…they just wouldn’t listen. She was only trying to help them. Couldn’t they see that?

Tears blinded her as she ran down the beach, her flip flops slapping the sand. The water was maybe ten feet away. Maybe she should just dive in and not come back up. She’d rather be dead than end up back with her mother—

A figure appeared from nowhere and stood directly in front of her. She skidded to a halt, barely in time to keep from slamming into him. What the F? Her heart thudded in fear and she panted, trying to catch her breath. He was tall—extremely tall—with shaggy dark hair that fell over his forehead and pale skin.

“Uh, excuse me.” She started to move around him, but he stepped in front of her. She peered up at him, her heart pounding even harder. “I’m sorry. If you could just let me by…” She tried to make her voice strong, but between the tears, the running, and being scared as crap, she didn’t succeed.

Something moved in her peripheral vision, and suddenly, there were two more guys with him. One was short and thin, with a goatee and spiked brown hair. The other was almost as tall as the first. He arms were covered in tattoos. They were equally pale-skinned.

“Ah,” The first one gave a creepy smile, “just what we were looking for.”

“Looking for?” Her voice came out in a squeak. “Me?” She glanced behind her. Nothing but pure darkness. Would her grandparents come after her? She swallowed nervously and backed up. “I’m sorry, I need to…”

With each step she took, he took one as well. He walked slowly toward her. His buddies followed a few steps behind.

Hannah backed away more quickly, preparing to turn and flee, but she was afraid to take her eyes off them. “If you touch me, I’ll scream. My grandparents will hear, and they’ll come out here.”

The first guy chuckled. “Oh yeah, they’ll definitely come out here. We’re counting on it.” He moved so quickly, she didn’t see him grab her, but the next thing she knew, he was holding her against his chest, her feet off the ground, his hand around the back of her neck.

She let out a yelp, pushing against him with all her might. He didn’t budge an inch. He lifted an eyebrow, and a slow, chilling grin spread across his face. “So, where’s that scream you promised?” He opened his mouth and showed his teeth…not normal teeth…fangs… A…vampire?

Her legs shook, and terror froze her limbs. “Please…oh please…” she whimpered, her heart vibrating so hard she thought it would explode. He bent his head toward her neck. Even before the fangs pierced her flesh, she let out a blood curdling scream.

Can you see that it gives you just a little better image of what’s going on, her surroundings, thoughts, senses, etc? We don’t need a lengthy, in-depth description of the vampires, they aren’t going to appear again, and just a few brief flashes of description is enough. Readers will mentally fill in the rest.

Sometimes, before I write a scene, I will just jot a few sentences about what the characters are wearing, what senses might be evoked, where they are, who all is in the scene, what everyone is doing, how they feel at the beginning of the scene, a few random descriptive words, etc. Even if I don’t use them all,  it fills the scene out for me as I’m writing. Of course, I do not leave them clumped together in a string of sentences, but I have them there and I can just grab the applicable imagery as I need it.

What about you? Is this one of your strengths or weaknesses? Any tips you can offer for ‘letting readers be there’?

Until next time…happy writing!

(NOTE: If you have sent pages to me and I have not responded, don’t worry. I’m a bit behind, but will catch up soon. If you haven’t heard from me a few weeks after you send me the pages, it would be a good idea to shoot me a follow-up email) *** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

14 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 58 – The Movies 17-19 (1965) – Girl Happy, Harum Scarum, Tickle Me

Girl Happy:

Love this movie! I adore Shelley Fabares, who played in a total of three Elvis movies. She was so gorgeous, but I was not fond of her hairdo. :) This one had good music and I love the story line.

gh

About: Elvis, Rusty Wells, has a band and they want to head to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break, but the guy they are working for in Chicago, Frank, has booked them for more shows there. Elvis learns that Frank has a daughter who is going to Fort Lauderdale, and he’s worried about her. So, Elvis tricks him into hiring his band to keep an eye on her. Of course, Elvis falls for her, then she learns that he was hired to be with her. I know it might be cheesy, but I love the trope where the girl finds out guy was with her because of a bet, or like this one, because he was paid to be. Then, he has to prove he really loves her, in spite of the reason he was with her in the first place.

Side notes:

The song “The Meanest Girl in Town” was one of the only songs not composed for this movie. It had been written for Bill Haley and the Comets and recorded by then in 1964 under the title “Yeah She’s Evil”

When Rusty is backing the boat trailer up to deliver Valerie (and Romano) to the motel, the frames are segmented resulting in a jumpy image. This is because Rusty is actually driving forward and the film has been reversed.

Favorite song: Puppet on a String or Cross My Heart, Hope to Die

Favorite scene: I loved many of the scenes. There were some very cute lines, such as, when Elvis is trying to seduce Mary Ann Mobley, and he takes his phone off the hook. His dorky neighbor brings his phone to the door and says, “You’ve got a call. Your line isn’t working.”
Elvis says, “It hasn’t had a chance.”

I love that moment when Elvis’ feelings for Shelley Fabares changed. He’d been pursuing another girl, but when he finally notices her, you can it on his face, hear it in his tone. This video is just after that ‘moment’ but still, it’s cute…

Ha, and Elvis wore a dress to escape from jail. Somehow, he still looked masculine and sexy.

Elvis-in-Drag-Girl-Happy

Harum Scarum

I think I spoke too soon here while back when I said Kissin Cousins might be my least favorite Elvis movies. This one is neck and neck. It was not great, although, as usual, I’ll suffer through about anything to look at Elvis.  And, it holds a special place in my heart because it is the movie that my sister, Ruth, remembers me showing her when we were probably 5 and 7, or maybe 4 and 6, and saying, “Look at that guy, isn’t he cute?” or something like that, and we became obsessive Elvis fans from then on. I also love that Mary Ann Mobley (she passed away last December from breast cancer) was in it. She was also in Girl Happy, although she wasn’t his leading lady. She adored Elvis and had nothing but good things to say about him, about how kind and gracious he was. One of her quotes:
‘I’ll forever be indebted to Elvis’, Mobley said.We’d sit around and talk, and we really did have a unique friendship. He said, ‘Ma’am, some day I’m gonna have a party that I can invite you to’. Whenever he had to change his phone number, somebody would call and say, ‘Ma’am, we got a new number at the house, and Elvis wanted you to have it in case you ever need him’.

Harum-Scarumthis one-1

Harum-Scarum-elvis-presley-20210741-960-540
About: Elvis plays Johnny Tyrone, an American actor who is promoting his latest film in the Middle East. He is abducted by a group who wants him to assassinate a King. Elvis meets a girl he thinks is a slave girl, but it turns out, she’s the daughter of the King he’s expected to murder.

Side Notes: Colonel Parker disliked the script and suggested they add a talking camel so people would think it was a comedy.
Elvis liked the costumes so much, he wore them at home as well.
The director, Gene Nelson, also directed Kissin Cousins…hmmm…two of my least favorite Elvis movies.

Favorite Song: So Close, Yet So Far, From Paradise

Favorite Scene: I don’t know if I had a favorite scene, but I always love seeing Elvis interact with kids, and there’s a cute little girl he does a dance with. He had quite a few fight scenes, which I always enjoy. I also liked a few of his lines, such as this one:

Johnny Tyronne (Elvis): [Referring to the children that Sinan threatens to kill if Johnny does not assassinate the King] How can I be sure they won’t be harmed?
Aishah: Assassinate King Toranshah and you have Sinan’s promise that no harm will come to them. In a thousand years no leader of the assassins has ever violated a promise.
Johnny Tyronne: Well, it’s nice to know you’re doing business with such a reputable firm.

Tickle Me:

Definitely one of my favorites. I LOVED every song from the movie, and I love that there is a segment in a ‘haunted house.’ My son, Presley, was crazy this movie when he was little, especially the ‘scary’ parts. And, Elvis’ co-star, Jocelyn Lane, was gorgeous.

tickle me

About: Elvis plays Lonnie Beale, a rodeo rider who ends up working on a dude ranch while waiting for rodeo season to start. He falls for one of the staff members, Pam, who is looking for her grandfather’s treasure. Some bad guys are trying to kidnap Pam in order to get to the treasure, but Elvis keeps showing up to save the day (although, Pam tries to help him by attacking the guys he’s fighting, but keeps hitting Elvis instead). Pam is falling for him too, but when she catches him kissing the (female) boss, she is furious. Elvis goes on the rodeo circuit but can’t get his mind off Pam. He goes back to ‘tell her off’ and ends up following her to a ghost town where they run into some ‘spooky’ characters and end up finding the gold, and declaring their love. :)

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Side Notes: My first ever romance (I wrote at age 11) was a story called ‘Just Pretend,’ (from an Elvis song) and my hero looked just like Elvis, and his name was Lonnie Beale, from this movie, of course. :)

In the first Elvis fight scene, the guy he’s fighting is Red West, Elvis’ friend he met in school and bodyguard.

This is the only movie where no original songs were written, but they all came from 1960-1963 recordings.

Favorite Song: Soooo many. But, maybe my favorite is probably Feels So Right. I also loved Dirty Feeling, Such an Easy Question, Put the Blame on Me, Slowly, but Surely, I’m Yours
(see, I told you I loved a lot of them…)

Favorite Scenes: Again, quite a few…

When Elvis was on the rodeo circuit and he couldn’t get his mind off Pam, so he kept getting thrown. He looked so sexy thrown in the dirt, wearing cowboy clothes and leather gloves, looking angry. :)

The scene where Elvis is kissing his boss and he says, “I’ve just never kissed my boss before,” then he looks at the camera and gives a little shrug, and kisses her again.

Many favorite scenes at the haunted house: When he’s caught in a downpour, and he just looks great wet…

Elvis-Giving-Quick-Spank-to-Jocelyn-Tickle-Me

When he and Pam are arguing and he’s trying to get her to come in out of the rain and she won’t, and he gives this sexy smirk and calls her dumb dumb.

There’s this thing Elvis does, sort of like a clearing his throat, sucking in a breath thing, when he’s taken aback, that I can’t really describe, but it’s adorable, and he’s done it in several movies. He does it after finding an old man rocking in a closet in this movie, so that’s one of my fave moments.

Have you seen these movies? What did you think?

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

2 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – A Subtle POV/Deep POV Violation

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

 

booksh

 

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

Do your POV characters ever do or say things ‘as if…’ or ‘as though…’, even though, if you are in that character’s head, you should know if that was his or her intent and/or feelings? I’m sure that I am guilty of this myself, and while it might not seem like a big deal, it’s best to avoid it since using these kinds of phrases can make your writing a little distant and telling.   

Unclear? I thought so. Here are some examples:

Jason’s POV: Jason turned away as if he couldn’t stand to look at her any longer.

Jason would know if he couldn’t stand to look at her any longer, right?

Better:

Jason turned away, unable to look at her any longer.

(You can make it deeper and more ‘showing’ by going further with something like: Jason turned away. Looking into her beautiful, lying face hurt too much.)

Candy’s POV: Candy fiddled with her earrings, then twisted her fingers together, as if she didn’t know what to do with her hands.

Better:

Candy fiddled with her earrings, then twisted her fingers together, unsure what to do with her hands.

Mary’s POV: Mary fell abruptly silent, as though afraid to speak what was on her mind.

Better:

Mary fell abruptly silent, afraid to speak what was on her mind.

Trent’s POV: Trent lunged forward like he wanted to strangle her.

Better:

Trent lunged forward, tempted to wrap his hands around her neck and strangle her.

See? Very minor, but an easy fix to bring readers just a little closer to your characters and their emotions.

Until next time…happy writing!

(NOTE: If you have sent pages to me and I have not responded, don’t worry. I’m a bit behind, but will catch up soon. If you haven’t heard from me a few weeks after you send me the pages, it would be a good idea to shoot me a follow-up email) *** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

 

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 FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 57 – The Day that Shook the World

I  don’t like to talk, or blog, about Elvis’ death, but of course, with the anniversary approaching, I felt I must. Sunday will mark 38 years since he passed, and it goes without saying that his legacy remains in full force.

Even though I’m a huge Elvis fan, it has always amazed me at how people, even those who aren’t big fans, remember the exact moment they heard of his death. I would venture to guess, even though it’s much more recent, only die hard Michael Jackson fans recall the moment they heard about his death, same for John Lennon, or any other number of entertainment icons.  Elvis, like him or not, is in a class all by himself.

Side note: Today is the anniversary of Elvis’ mother’s death, August 14, 1958. I’m sure everyone knows how close Elvis was to his mother. He grieved for her the rest of his life. After he passed, there were stories circlulating about how Elvis died at the exact same age as his mother, but she was actually 46, and he was 42.

ep mom-0

Before we get into the sadness of recalling the day we heard the news, I’d like to share a song that is one of my favorites, but you don’t really hear much about it. His voice in this song is bluesy and beautiful and emotional. I swear, you can feel what he’s singing all the way to your soul. And, as a bonus, the pictures are gorgeous. :)

I posted on Facebook and asked people to tell about learning of Elvis’ death.  I’ve shared some below, but first, even though I’ve told it before, I’ll share mine…

I was 16 and working at A&W drive-in. The boys I worked with always gave me a hard time about Elvis. Rob, one of the car hops was off that day, but he came into the store and he saw me and, quite cheerfully, said, “Hey, Elvis died.” Thinking he was joking, I said, “Haha, shut up, Rob.” He said, “No, really he died. I’m not kidding.” About that time, my manager, Harold, came out of the office with this baffled look on his face. (I later learned that Mom told him that I would need to leave once I heard, and he said he didn’t think that would be necessary, and she said, “Oh, trust me, it will definitely be necessary.” Once he saw my reaction, he knew she was right.) He said, “Your mom called and said you need to go home.” My insides froze. I looked back at Rob and I must have had a horrified expression on my face, because his expression suddenly turned serious, and more quietly and with less enthusiasm, he said, “He really did die.” I looked out the window and my sister, Janis, had pulled into the parking lot. She was crying. And then, I knew. The bottom dropped out of my world. My sisters and I grieved for weeks. Looking back, my parents were very understanding. They let us hang posters on the outside of our house and yellow ribbons around the porch columns. Although, after a month or so of us carrying on, my dad said we needed to snap out of it, or something along those lines. :) However, even though he used to tease us unmercifully about Elvis, he was sad, too, and he promised he would never make fun of him again. As far as I can recall, he never did.

Now, for some other accounts of that day… 

Elizabeth Jeeves I was in hospital for a small op and I saw it on the front of someone’s newspaper the king is dead and when I read it I saw that it was elvis the king

Judy Allen Jankowski OMG, I remember it so well ~ I was at work and the announcement came on the radio; I just busted out crying. Could not believe that it had happened…that is all that was on the radio and TV stations when he passed. No one gets that much press time unless it is the President. I was glued to all the news media all the way through his funeral. What a sad day for all of us who loved this man for who he was and what he gave to his fans

Alison Henderson I was in Disneyland on a delayed honeymoon. I remember being shocked by the news. Very sobering.

Wendy Kendrick I was bartending and when I heard it on the t.v. I had to leave work I got so upset

Janice Anderson Sitting in a bay house in Sargent Texas

(My sister) Ruth Robertson-Zimmerman You KNOW I remember! Momma had just fixed HB Patties w/Mushroom & Cheddar soup. Sheri came out of her bedroom saying :Elvis died between her sobs. Momma thought she said Alice died but I knew what she had said! Then…Janis wanted to come & get you from work before you found out. So…I said I had to go with her! Most bosses would have thought that was crazy! But 3 of us Robertson giels were working for the same guy @ A&W…& he KNEW it was smart to get you away from there! One of the saddest moments of my life!

Lisa Dolan I was only 6 but brought up with everything Elvis I adore him. Elvis is a unique individual xxx

Kristi Brandon Ribble Watchin’ Flipper and they broke in. I cried all night long.

Janet Carter Beam I was standing in the front yard in Graford, TX and a girl about 13 yrs old came running down the street screaming “Elvis is dead”! She was just hysterical…..I think I was in shock…

Kelly Fennell-Cox I was at my mom’s house & saw her neighbor ran into the house screaming & crying, “He’s dead! He’s dead!” My mom & I thought she was talking about her husband. Finally, She said, “No! Elvis is Dead!” I was in shock!!! I think I cried for several days!!! I still can’t believe he’s gone!!! So thankful for his movies & music.

So…what about you? If you were old enough, do you remember the moment you heard of Elvis’ death?

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

10 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – A Sample Edit – Fate Captured by MM Jaye

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

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Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

As you may know, I am offering authors an opportunity to send in sections of their writing, and I will perform a few random edits and use them as examples on blog posts from time to time. This week, I’m pleased to share a little bit from MM Jaye’s, Fate Captured. I loved what I’ve read of her story so far. If you want to check out her work, here is her website: http://mmjayewrites.com/

I did not find all that much that needed editing in the section I read, but here are a few samples of what I did find…

  1. “Yup. I can see it in front of me in, well, metallic and slate gray. It’s…” Trish paused. A black sedan with smoked windows had just pulled up at the main entrance. A tall man stepped out, leaving the motor running. He paused at the curb to slip his arms through his suit jacket as a valet rushed forward to take his place behind the steering wheel.

The added words make it less active and a little clunky.

2. The bright red sneakers were a vivid contrast to the slate-gray backdrop. Trish felt her hands tremble, and she              gripped the sides of her tablet to steady her shot.

We don’t need the filter word, ‘felt,’ the sentence is deeper POV, more active without it. Revised:

 The bright red sneakers were a vivid contrast to the slate-gray backdrop. Trish’s hands trembled, and she gripped            the sides of her tablet to steady her shot.

 I thought this would work better if I showed the track changes I made:

3.

2min2itled

Revised to:

And she had the entire scene on her tablet’s hard disk. She knew exactly what she had to do, but first she had to make sure the injured man was taken care of. She plucked out her phone and tapped nine-one-one, then hit the “End” button. She rolled her eyes. She had no idea what the emergency number was in Greece. She stepped out of the shrub hedge. Two men approached the victim. One squatted beside him and appeared to check his vitals, and the other made a call.

See, just a few minor things to tighten and make the writing more active. Thank you, MM Jaye, for sharing your work.

Until next time…happy writing!

(NOTE: If you have sent pages to me and I have not responded, don’t worry. I’m a bit behind, but will catch up soon. If you haven’t heard from me a few weeks after you send me the pages, it would be a good idea to shoot me a follow-up email) *** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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 FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

5 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 56 – Elvis Himself Talks about Priscilla and Lisa

Please, do yourself a favor and listen to the below audio. (My sweet, beautiful cousin, Barbara Bratton, shared it with me, and I’d never heard it). It was recorded at a concert, and Priscilla and Lisa are there, along with Elvis’ girlfriend at the time, Playboy cover girl, Sheila Ryan. It gives us a rare glimpse of Elvis sharing his true feelings about his ex-wife and the divorce. I’ve always thought Priscilla was INSANE for letting him go, and at one time I disliked her immensely (admittedly, part of it was jealousy :)), but the truth is, Elvis cared about her deeply, always, and she was the mother of his only child, the only woman he married. And, she’s done an incredible job with Graceland. 

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December 1969, Beverly Hills, California, USA --- American rock legend Elvis Presley with his wife Priscilla. --- Image by © Frank Carroll/Sygma/Corbis

 

Elvis starts out by saying: “Let me make something clear, I’ve been singing that song for a long time, and a lot of people have kind of got it associated with me because they think it’s personal to me, but it’s not, it’s a beautiful song written by Marty Robbins…”

He is referring to “You Gave Me a Mountain.” He says he thinks he heard Frankie Laine doing it. I listened to Frankie’s version, and I am afraid I was unimpressed. Marty does a beautiful job, and of course, Elvis knocks it out of the park. Which reminds me, recently, I was talking with a few of my author friends about the Aloha From Hawaii special, which recently aired and one of them (who shall not remain nameless: Kathy L Wheeler, and the other friend was Krysta Scott, FYI) had watched the special. Kathy said he didn’t sound quite up to par (or something along those lines), and they both agreed that, with age, singers often begin to lose it a little. However, Elvis still had his beautiful, powerful voice right up to the very end. Granted, there might be performances where he wasn’t feeling well, and his voice might have shown that, but overall, his voice was always spectacular. Here is Elvis performing “You Gave Me a Mountain” in the Aloha special, and I cannot find a single thing wrong with it…

Among other remarks in the below recording, Elvis says, when he introduces Priscilla: “Boy, she’s a beautiful chick. I’ll tell you for sure, boy. I know it when I pick ’em.”

About the divorce, Elvis says, “We’re the very best of friends and we always have been. Our divorce came about not because of another man or another woman, but because of the circumstances involving my career. I was traveling too much; I was gone too much. It was just an agreement.”

This shows how close Elvis and Priscilla were, even after the divorce. Lisa was 6, so it would have been in 1974. It’s adorable when he introduces Lisa, especially when he tells her to pull her dress down. :)

There are just snippets, Elvis says more, so listen to the entire recording:

How awesome is that? He was, indeed, an incredible person with a lot of love for family, friends and fans. 

 

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

1 Comment

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment