Tag Archives: Amazon

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Handy Reference Tools for Varying Your Prose

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Helpful lists for finding just the right word(s)

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…

TWoMinuteTip

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.

If you’re like me, you find that, oftentimes, your writing all sounds the same. You use the same old words to describe emotion, body language, action verbs, etc. Sometimes it’s difficult to think of fresh ways to express yourself. As I’ve often preached, it’s best to avoid using the word ‘very’ but it can be challenging to find an impactful word to replace the ‘very’ combo (very tired, very angry, etc). Over time, I have come across some ‘cheat sheets’ that help me a great deal. I thought I would share them in hopes they help you too:

1,000 Verbs to Write By (different ways to say ‘run, walked, etc’):

Click here for 1000VerbstoWriteBy

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Gestures and Body Movements (if, like me, you have your characters nodding and shrugging all the time) 

Click here for Gestures and movements

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Reference Charts:

1AvoidVery Updated2 1NegativeTraits Lateest

1Emotion Part 1

1EmotionPart 2

I suggest that you not use these charts in your first draft. That is the time to get the story down, quickly and in whatever wording flows best at the time. (Yes, I know some of you take your time with your first draft and you barely need any revisions, but for those of us who need to just write the story, asap, I recommend waiting until the next pass to refer to these tools).

So, what do you think? Will these be beneficial? Do you have any ‘cheat sheets’ of your own you’d like to share? 

Until next time…happy writing!

*** ENDS FEBRUARY 29th!!! Temporary Discount on Freelance Editing – 20% off any editing package. If you wish to take advantage of the special and your MS is not quite ready, you can secure the sale price by paying a $100 deposit through paypal. Details of my editing services can be found by clicking HERE

 

*** 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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*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 99 cents each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

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

13 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 71 – The Movies 17-19 (1966) –Frankie and Johnny, Paradise Hawaiian Style, Spinout

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

Frankie and Johnny:

This wasn’t one of my top Elvis movies, but I enjoyed it. As a kid, I wasn’t aware it was set in the 1800’s. I just thought everyone was dressing in costumes. Although, as an adult, I must admit it’s not entirely clear. I believe some mixed signals were sent. The costumes and some of the references, such as a reference to confederate money, indicate the 1800’s, but some of the dialogue sounds a little more modern, such as Elvis using the word ‘chicks’ to refer to girls.  :) 

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About: Elvis plays Johnny, a performer on a Mississippi riverboat with a gambling addiction. He and the other performs put on a short production that plays out the lyrics of the song, ‘Frankie and Johnny.’ When a gypsy tells him a redhead will change his luck, and he promptly meets a gorgeous redhead, he begins winning with her at his side, but he loses his girlfriend, Frankie, played by Donna Douglas. Of course, he gets the girl in the end, even though there is a close call. A well-meaning but misguided dufus switches out a blank for a real bullet and when Johnny and Frankie perform their routine and Frankie shoots Johnny for two-timing her, the bullet hits his lucky charm Frankie had given him, rather than his heart. As a child, I was terrified until I learned Elvis was okay, which was only a few brief moments. :)

Side notes: Elvis and Donna Douglas spent a lot of time discussing religion on the set. They didn’t have a romantic relationship as he did with many of his leading ladies. I didn’t see a lot of chemistry between them on screen either. As you all probably know, she played Elly May Clampett on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ I couldn’t help notice in this movie, she had that same ‘Elly May’ posture where her shoulders tilted forward a lot. :) I’m not sure if it shows all that well in this video, but it does a little. There are other parts of the movie where it’s more obvious. However, this is also my favorite song from the movie, and perhaps my favorite scene, so it’s worth watching.

The movie people thought Elvis was ‘fat’ and supposedly used an image from ‘Girl Happy’ for the body on this album cover:

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I think he looked pretty damn good…

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Favorite Song: ‘Please Don’t Stop Loving Me’ (Although I like the title song a lot too)

Favorite Scene: Either his fight scene. As you can see in the above pic, he looks pretty sexy fighting. Or, it would be the scene in the video above where he’s trying to win Frankie back by singing to her. He does that sexy, hurt thing pretty darn well. :) – Hmmm…I seem to be using the word ‘sexy’ a lot. Go figure! :)

Paradise Hawaiian Style

Definitely not a top pick. There honestly wasn’t much of a story and the songs weren’t great. Still, any time I can watch Elvis, I am not upset. :) Something I noticed in this one, unless I missed it, he never kissed Suzanna Leigh, the leading lady. He kissed several other girls, but not his love interest. As a matter of fact, this movie seemed pretty weak in the romance department. Elvis’ friend and business partner told Elvis the girl was married, and Elvis barely paid attention to her during the entire movie. Then, suddenly, they’re in love, I suppose. Although, nothing really indicates that they are. They just sort of get together. At the end, Elvis is about to kiss her and he’s pulled away by some local islanders to perform and the movie ends after his performance. He didn’t even tug the girl onto the ‘stage’ with him for a movie-ending kiss. Not sure what that was all about.

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About: Elvis plays Rick Richards, a pilot who is suspended for hanky panky with a stewardess. He goes to Hawaii where his friend joins him in a helicopter business. His friend hires ‘Friday,’ a good-looking blonde, to run the office, but they tell Elvis she’s married so he’ll keep his playboy paws off of her. Toward the end of the movie, they confess she’s not married, and Elvis says he knew all along, he can spot ’em a mile away. (or something to that effect). Then, after that, they are ‘a couple’ even though, as mentioned above, there really wasn’t any romance that lead up to it. It would have been better, if perhaps a little cliche, if Elvis had resisted his feelings and felt bad about yearning for a married woman, then he was hurt when he realized she’d lied to him.  

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Side Notes: 

Elvis loved Hawaii and was always happy to be there. This movie was supposed to be an attempt to duplicate the success of ‘Blue Hawaii,’ but it failed to reach that goal.

One thing I always love is when kids are in Elvis’ movies. The kid star in this one was ten-year-old Donna Butterworth, who was a singer/performer in Hawaii. This was her third and final movie. She did an interview years later where she was asked what it was like to work with Elvis. She said he was professional, but a kind and wonderful human being. She was confused because Priscilla was on the set, yet she saw Elvis kissing all these other girls. Elvis invited her to lunch. He and his bodyguards picked her up on a golf cart and took her to his dressing room. From Donna’s interview: “He had cheese burgers and I had tacos from Del Taco because that was my favorite. He set there for an hour explaining to me the difference between love and being in love. He explained it in a very loving way. God wants us to love all his brothers and sisters. We are making a movie that’s apart of the story line, but of course you can only be in love with only one person and that is Priscilla. So here is the king of rock and roll sitting down with cheeseburgers and tacos. Taking time out in his enormous life to explain it to ten year old me.”

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Favorite Song: The songs were not his best. (I hate to sound critical. I adore anything Elvis did. I’m just comparing this to his other movies and songs). Probably the one I liked best was Datin’  where he did a duet with the little girl. 

Favorite Scene: Not any particular awesome scenes in this one. I always love it when he fights and sings. He had some cute moments with the child.

Spinout:

Now we’re talking. Loved this movie. It had great songs, a cute story line, amusing dialogue, and all kinds of fun, fun Elvis stuff. I vividly remember watching this one as a child. I was a bit confused, though, at the end. Elvis doesn’t end up with a girl, although three were chasing him all through the movie. When the three suitors of those women demanded that Elvis choose, he said he was going to marry all of them. Then, it went to a scene where he took turns kissing each of the women, who were wearing wedding dresses, and after Elvis kissed them, he said things like: ‘I married Cynthia, to Philip’, and he passed the girl along to her ‘guy.’ My sister and I determined that Elvis must have been a preacher, although it was a well-kept secret during the movie. :) 

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About: Elvis plays  Mike McCoy, a singer and race car driver. A rich girl sets her sights on him. She wants to marry him and her father wants him to drive his car in an upcoming race. Elvis’ drummer, a girl named Les, and another woman, an author, Diana St. Clair, are all vying for Elvis’ hand in marriage, but he is a confirmed bachelor. The rich father and his daughter scheme and manipulate Elvis, but in the end, he’s his own man. He wins the race without the rich man’s fancy car, and he avoids the clutches of matrimony. 

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Elvis with the ‘rich girl’ played by Shelley Fabares

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Elvis with his drummer, played by Deborah Walley.

blogspecial-guests

Elvis with the author, played by Diane McBain

Side Notes: President Lyndon Johnson visited Elvis on the set of the movie. 

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This was one of three Elvis movies Shelley Fabares co-starred in, although in the other two, ‘Clambake’ and ‘Girl Happy,’ she was his love interest and she got him in the end.

The two male members of Elvis’ band, Larry and Curly, were each in one of Elvis’ other movies.

Shelley and the actor who played her father, Carl Betz, were also father and daughter in ‘The Donna Reed Show.’ Jimmy Hawkins, who played Larry in the movie, also appeared in ‘The Donna Reed Show.’

Some of the filming took place at Dodger Stadium and at Ascot Motor Car Racing Ground.

Oddly enough, this is one of the few movies in which Elvis did not have a fight scene.

Favorite Song: This is kind of tough. He sang two beautiful ballads, ‘Am I Ready’ and ‘All That I Am’ and I love them both, but my favorite is probably ‘I’ll Be Back,’ which was also a favorite of my middle child, Lacey, when she was about two years old. I had it on a CD and each time we got into the car, she demanded I play “BeBack.” :) One thing I love so much about the song is the way he performed it, including the cute drum playing toward the end. (He ends up with a gorgeous brunette drummer, so a future romance is definitely foreshadowed) Check it out:

Favorite Scenes: I had a few favorites… One was when his drummer, Les, a girl who was looked at as ‘one of the guys,’ dressed up and came into the room where Elvis was singing at a party. He stumbled over his words and the look he gave her was sooooo sexy and sweet. I also loved the scene at the beginning when Shelley Fabares runs him off the road into the water. He’s furious, while she’s up on the road above, acting as though nothing happened and gushing about how much she likes him. She says, “I really go for you.” and he angrily says, “Honey, I’m just about to go for you.” And he threatens to ‘paddle her bottom.’ 

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Another of my favorite scenes was a brief moment where the author is spying on Elvis through binoculars and he approaches and stares back at her through the other end of the binoculars and we get a close up of his gorgeous eyes:

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All in all a ‘feel good’ movie that put me in a great mood, as do all of his movies. :)

 

Thank you for joining me. 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

5 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Whose Head is it?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Establishing your POV character immediately

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…

TWoMinuteTip

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.

In each scene, it’s important for readers to immediately know whose POV (Point of View) we are in. Oftentimes, authors don’t think about that and, because they know whose head we’re in, they assume readers will as well.

Example:

Bartholomew trudged across the snow-packed parking lot, head ducked inside his coat. The wind howled around him, and he hurried his steps. His first class wasn’t for another two hours, but Bart always arrived early. He liked to relax and drink his morning tea, go over his notes before dealing with the students.

Dexter stayed six feet behind him, quietly tracking his prey.  He grinned and slipped his hand around the handle of the knife resting, waiting and anxious to play, inside his coat pocket.  Ol’ Bart wouldn’t have to worry about the cold much longer. 

At first, you thought we were in Bartholomew’s POV, right? Didn’t you feel a little jarred when you realized it was Dexter’s?

It’s okay to start your scene referring to another character, but be careful about waiting too long to let readers know whose head we are in. Dexter knew all of that info about Bartholomew, so it was not a POV violation to reveal it (I remained in Dexter’s POV, even though it wasn’t initially clear that I was), but it made readers falsely believe we were in Bart’s head. If you wanted to start the scene referring to Bart, but make it clear we are in Dexter’s POV, you could do something like this: 

Bartholomew trudged across the snow-packed parking lot, head ducked inside his coat. Dexter stayed six feet behind him, quietly tracking his prey.  The wind howled and Bart hurried his steps. Dexter had no trouble keeping up. The man was oblivious to his surroundings, anxious to get inside where it was warm. His first class wasn’t for another two hours, but Bart always arrived early. He liked to relax and drink his morning tea, go over his notes before dealing with the students.

Dexter grinned and slipped his hand around the handle of the knife resting, waiting and anxious to play, inside his coat pocket.  Ol’ Bart wouldn’t have to worry about the cold much longer. 

In this version, we are aware right away that we are in Dexter’s POV. And, notice I didn’t use ‘watched’? I try to avoid filter words such as ‘watched,’ and that is why I didn’t do this:

Dexter watched as Bartholomew trudged across the snow-packed parking lot.

Didn’t that feel a little distant/telling?

Remember, you want to pull your readers into the scene and establish your POV character right away to avoid confusion and frustration.

Until next time…happy writing!

*** Temporary Discount on Freelance Editing – 20% off any editing package. If you wish to take advantage of the special and your MS is not quite ready, you can secure the sale price by paying a $100 deposit through paypal. Details of my editing services can be found by clicking HERE

 

*** 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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*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 99 cents each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

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

17 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Fill the Stadium – New Release from K.M. Daughters – PLUS a Giveaway!

Please help me welcome today’s guests, K.M. Daughters. I have the pleasure of being their current editor for their Wild Rose Press books, and not only are these ladies a pure joy, their books are fantastic. Especially their latest release, Fill the Stadium. It’s a heartfelt, emotional, fabulous read. Grab a box of tissues and settle in…

 

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Nikki Lambert’s husband purposely stalls his truck in the path of the midnight freight on the same day her eldest son, Jack, is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.

Injured NFL quarterback, Ramsey Delaney is benched from his starting position leaving him ample time for more hands-on involvement in The Good Sports Club, a community center he established where Nikki’s sons, Jack and Rocky are enrolled.

Jack’s deteriorating motor skills concern Ram’s employees who bar Jack from attending the club without Ram’s knowledge. Nikki wants nothing but normalcy for Jack and she heatedly confronts Ram for depriving her son of a beloved activity. Ram immediately reinstates Jack forging the fateful bond between Nikki and her boys’ number-one sports hero. Ram is instantly attracted to Nikki. He wants to win her heart more than he’s ever wanted to win a game. But after her husband’s terrible abandonment will Nikki trust Ram’s motives and open her heart to love again?

Amazon Buy Link Click HERE

And now, let’s get to know the authors…

Where did you get the idea for FILL STADIUM?

Fill The Stadium is based on a charity football game held in Soldier’s Field at Harvard University – a K.M. Daughters’ idea after learning about ALD through Kathie’s son. He is an alumnus and former captain of the Harvard football team. His dear friend’s grandson died of ALD which prompted his passion for fundraising benefiting research. We wrote the novel inspired by the charity event concept that we created.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

We chose to write this story as mainstream fiction because it explores universal themes that we believe have mass appeal.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

ALD is a devastating disease that afflicts children. Despite that, we wanted to portray Jack’s battle as everyday heroism, memorable and valuable for any age. We also wanted to convey emotionally charged plot elements with simplicity and no melodrama.

What book have you read that you wish you would have written?

Just recently THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO by Mitch Albom. Could not put it down. You have to read this book. It is magical.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Day jobs. :)

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

Oh this is such fun! Natalie Portman as Nikki Lambert, Chris Hemsworth as Ram Delaney, Jacob Tremblay as Jack, Emma Thompson as Kay Lambert, and Ed Harris as Mickey Lambert.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

No review –  hands down. We were biting our fingernails anticipating a Kirkus Review for Fill The Stadium and are thrilled that it was great.

Thank you so much for joining me today, ladies! And now, a few questions from K.M. Daughters…and a giveaway!

A question for your guests who are avid readers… What might prompt you to write a review for a book online, for example on Amazon or Goodreads?

We are excited to send a digital copy of Fill The Stadium to the first guest who answers this question correctly (hint – check K.M. Daughters’ website) :)

What is the date we celebrate as K.M. Daughters’ “birthday” – the day we received THE CALL from The Wild Rose Press for two novels?

http://www.kmdaughters.com

 

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BIO

K.M. Daughters is the penname for team writers and sisters, Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare nee Lynch. The author name is dedicated to the memory of their parents, Katherine and Michael, the “K” and “M” in K.M. Daughters. Inspired by their father who wrote children’s books for them when they were small and their mother’s love of romance novels, K.M. Daughters was “born” in 2005 at a Romance Writers of America national conference when the sisters plotted their first manuscript.
K.M. Daughters has published twelve award-winning novels garnering rave reviews. RT Book Reviews magazine awarded a 4-star, “Compelling, Page Turner…” rating to BEYOND THE CODE OF CONDUCT, CAPTURING KARMA and ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND LAW. RT Book Reviews awarded ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC 4 1/2 stars! “Fantastic…”, and the final installment in the Sullivan Boys Romantic Suspense Series: IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, rated 4 1/2 stars by RT Book Reviews – “FANTASTIC, A KEEPER”.
THE SNOWS, an Amazon Kindle Select book is the author’s first women’s fiction novel with inspirational elements.
FILL THE STADIUM, mainstream women’s fiction, is K.M. Daughters’ newest release.
Three children’s books penned by their father, Michael Lynch are now available for Kindle: THE SLIPPERS WITH THE TURNED UP TOES, THE TWILIGHT TWINS AND SASPERILDA.

K.M. Daughters resides in Illinois and New Jersey with husbands Nick and Tom, a total of five children and eight grandchildren between them.

 

7 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release, Uncategorized

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Sample Edits from Linda Nightingale’s WIP, Royal Secrets

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ An edit of a few pages of Royal Secrets

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…

TWoMinuteTip

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.

 

Today, Linda Nightingale has agreed to expose herself for the benefit of others. :) She volunteered to allow me to edit a portion of her latest Work in Process on  my blog. I will have to say, I didn’t find much I felt needed revisions. Linda’s writing is pretty solid. But, I do have a few suggestions she might incorporate. 

Find all of Linda’s books on Amazon HERE

ROYAL SECRETS

Chapter 1

Prince Abelard Alexander Leandres swung his beautiful Ingrid into a waltz to the immortal The Blue Danube. Around the opulent ballroom of whites and golds, they spun on the gleaming oak floor.  Gazing into each other’s eyes, they smiled as if the world were theirs to command…and it was, to their way of thinking. Newspapers and television across the globe speculated that the pale blonde Scandinavian miss would soon be a princess of Desjardins. Their relationship had long been viral on the social media. [I would do away with this intro. It doesn’t really add anything and it might be better just to dive into his POV]

****

My dark blue eyes still fixed on her [Ingrid’s] ice-blue ones, I lost focus for a moment. Something inside me, some restlessness or deeper need, ate at me late at night, and sometimes, like now, in the midst of my duties, reared its anonymous face to torment me. Ingrid’s expensive perfume, the gift I’d bought her in Paris on impulse, seemed to wrap around me and suffocate me. I resisted the urge to gasp for breath.

The golden music from the band in Leandres livery switched to another classic. Ingrid’s hand slid to my elbow, and she offered me a flirty wink as I escorted her from the dance floor. She wasn’t a woman to be ignored. Her beauty alone turned heads, even without the fact that her exquisite countenance was on every tabloid with a prince. [This sentence is maybe a little unclear and slightly awkward. Also, there is a misplaced modifier. ‘With a prince’ modifies tabloid, when it should modify her (or, her countenance). So maybe something like: Her beauty alone would turn heads, even had she not accompanied a prince in all the tabloid articles’ – It’s still not perfect, but it’s a little more accurate, as far as the order of words. :)] 

“This is our second anniversary, Zander.”  She squeezed my arm. “I bet you’d forgotten.”

I winced, stiffening slightly at the reference.  I had forgotten the occasion.  It was hard to believe that Ingrid and I had been lovers for two years.  The media already had us engaged, but I wasn’t of that inclination yet. She was intelligent, beautiful, and good in bed, but there was just that something missing.  Surely, a man my age shouldn’t believe in romance.  My father constantly reminded me that at twenty-eight, he’d had a wife and an heir. Me. Therefore, I should have a wife and children by now.  He tossed nubile young maidens in my path, but I had Ingrid, and no one else appealed to me the way she did.

At each island of people, we stopped for a brief conversation, constantly moving in the direction of a quiet alcove I’d seen across the room. I was far from reclusive or introverted, but tonight I simply wished I could ditch my duties and seek solitude.  I’d much have preferred to be finalizing the American ambassadorship. This evening breathed a premonition down my neck, and a chill slithered over me. In my custom-tailored formalwear, I suffered a shiver that went unnoticed. [He can’t really say that it went unnoticed. He wouldn’t know that for sure]

Ingrid tugged me to a halt.  “Are you ill?  You’re very quiet.”

I gave her a quick one-armed hug. “Nothing is amiss, dear Ingrid. Perhaps, I’m merely in a pensive mood.”

My elderly but sarcastic aunt lifted her silvery head and beckoned with a slight nod. Inwardly, I flinched. Aunt Heloise had a penchant for asking embarrassing questions and making innuendos about matrimony.  Like a good swordsman, I fended the questions, but the hints were encouragement for Ingrid, and, in the midst of a crowded ballroom, I’d realized I wasn’t in love with the blonde beauty who counted on becoming queen.

“Good evening, madam.” Ingrid dropped a little curtsey. “You look lovely this evening. I hope your trip to America went well.”

Aunt Heloise glanced from Ingrid to me with a look of mild surprise—that I hadn’t spoken first as was customary?  Annoyed at Ingrid, I offered my kinswoman a brief greeting and a forced smile. I didn’t dislike my aunt, far from it.  I merely knew that she’d silently chide me for Ingrid’s impertinence.

She returned her attention to Ingrid. “Very well, thank you. In fact, it appears Desjardins will soon acquire an ambassador from the United States. That wasn’t the purpose of my visit, mind you. Negotiations with my brother have been proceeding for some time.”

A wide, enchanting smile lit Ingrid’s face and fired her eyes to a sapphire sparkle. “Why that’s absolutely marvelous.”

“What do you think, Alexander?” My aunt pinned me in her notorious, direct, and demanding gaze, not using my family nickname. “Surely, you have an opinion.”

That accusation took me aback. Blast and damn it, I’d be quite as formal as she. “My father and I have discussed this possibility, my dear Duchess.  Point of fact, I worked with him in these negotiations.”

“I thought that might be the case.” Aunt Heloise smiled. “Are you playing tomorrow?”

“Zander has a new polo pony from Argentina to debut.” Ingrid beamed a white-toothed smile.  “They’re going to be splendid on the field.”

I wanted to shake her. She acted as if I were a mute, constantly jumping into the conversation on my behalf—without invitation.

Unaware of the tense situation, my father joined the group. “Good evening, Heloise, Ingrid, son. The ball is proceeding nicely.  Alexander, we must meet early tomorrow. We have matters to discuss regarding the US ambassador. Your mother is already planning another ball in his honor.”

“Heloise just told us. What an achievement for you, Your Majesty.” Ingrid curtseyed again, but why she insisted on calling my father Your Majesty puzzled and irritated me. The King didn’t hold to protocol when with his family and their friends.

“Can you join me on a conference call early tomorrow morning?” My father clapped me on the shoulder.

“I’m sure Zander was instrumental in charming the Americans,” Ingrid said before I could respond.

My father [For deeper POV, I would just use ‘Father’] whispered a laugh.  “Zander is always quite charming as far as the press is concerned.”

Anger twisted my stomach. How dare the woman answer for me—repeatedly!  When did she assume the role of spokesman for a royal prince?  Warmth colored [I wouldn’t use ‘colored’ since he can’t see his cheeks. He can say how it felt. Warmth suffused my cheeks. And, speaking of cheeks, this doesn’t sound very manly. Since we’re in a man’s POV, I would say ‘face’ but I also wonder if he would use ‘warmth.’ Maybe ‘heat’ sounds a little more manly] my cheeks. Aunt Heloise’s eyes widened.

I forced [obviously just a typo. Missing ‘my’] annoyed gaze away from Ingrid and willed my rigid jaw to relax.  “Of course. What time?”

“We’ll be speaking to the new ambassador as well.” Father shot Ingrid a frowning glance.

The King had never liked the pretty blonde and made no secret of it to me. Mischief sparkled in eyes the same deep blue as mine. He looked on the verge of saying something more…something very wicked, but excused himself to greet English aristocracy.

Ingrid turned to follow, but I arrested her by taking her hand. [Since this next sentence is her dialogue following his action, I’d move it down to a new paragraph and perhaps indicate she’s speaking] “I’d like to meet His Lordship.”

“And you shall, but first we must have a word about your sudden urge to speak for me tonight.” I gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “I’m quite capable of conversing without your help, and I must say I was irritated by your behavior.”

A blush crept up her neck and across her ivory face. “Zander, you’ve never chided me before.”

Was the blush embarrassment or anger?

“You’ve never misbehaved so flagrantly.” Once the accusation slipped past my lips, I regretted it…or did I?  Tonight, my feelings were ambivalent.

She stiffened, her voice icy. “Misbehaved? Don’t treat me like a child.”

I turned her toward the group around Lord and Lady Malgovern.  “Don’t use that tone with me, Ingrid. I’m going to introduce you to the man you’ve been ogling over my shoulder.”

Ingrid stood six feet tall in her bare feet.  With her four inch heels, we were eye-to-eye. She laughed. “You’re jealous.”

“Not at all. It was merely an observation.” I dropped her hand. “I’m not the jealous type. Surely, you know that by now.”

“You’re handsome, royalty, and the world’s darling. Why should you be jealous?” She placed her hand at the crook of my elbow. “One day, I might get trampled by a stampede of women.  It’s a good thing I’m not insecure.”

“At, [No comma here. Perhaps after ‘least’ but not here] least you didn’t call me arrogant…as you’ve often done.”  I smiled and, with a hand at her waist, guided her along the star-studded path that was my life.

****

Virginia Claire McDonald dropped her phone on an inlaid desk and stared at the Atlantic from the window of her friend’s home—mansion—on the Battery. She didn’t actually see the beauty of the waves lapping the Seawall. The window was open, and the sound of their soft conversation drifted to her deaf ears. [This is a little confusing. Whose conversation? And, if it drifted to her ‘deaf’ ears, then she can’t really speak of it, because she didn’t hear it] Stunned [Why is she stunned?] , she stood motionless, images from magazines, newspapers, and on-line articles flashing before her eyes. Her friend’s father had actually been appointed to an ambassadorship in Desjardins, a small, elegant principality blessed with mountains and white seashores.  Of course, Chrissy would spend the summer with her parents in the country that was Prince Charming’s home.

Ginny was twenty-five years old and chided herself every time she indulged in hero worship. She shouldn’t believe in romance…but she did…as dreamers do.

“Dear God,” she breathed. “You might actually get to see Prince Alexander.”

“See who, Ginny?” Chrissy flopped onto the bed and said in her deep-South accent, “You’re all flushed. What’s wrong?”  She laughed. “Will you miss me that much this summer?”

In travels with her parents, Chrissy had lost most of her Southern accent, but once she [ missing ‘was’] back in Charleston, it didn’t take long for it to resurface.

“Nothing’s wrong.” She turned to her friend with a shaky smile. “Your dad’s been appointed to Desjardins. Can you believe it?  You might actually see our hero. I wish I were you.”

“Don’t get excited.” Chrissy studied her red nails. “It’s not like I’m going to get a date with the world’s favorite prince. He’s been squiring that Scandinavian blonde for a couple of years. I’m a nobody from South Carolina, and I doubt he even knows where that is.”

“Yeah right, a nobody who lives in one of the most historic and expensive houses in Charleston, Chrissy. Your daddy is the United States Ambassador to Desjardins.  I’m the peasant.”

Her friend shrugged. “I don’t think Dad’s Audi will catch Alexander’s Ferrari.” Chrissy gestured as if she were driving a car. “They say he drives like a bat out of hell.”

Ginny chuckled. “Toss that long blonde hair—he likes blondes—bat those big brown eyes, and shake your pretty booty. I bet the prince will notice you. You do get to go the parties and big to-dos. He’ll see you.”

“Rags to riches.” Chrissy threw a pillow at Ginny. “I know this will come as a shock, but I’ve never really believed in fairytales. I know you do…”

Ginny fended the down pillow weapon to the floor. “It’s time to start. You have tons of beautiful dresses.” She pointed at the antique chifferobe containing Chrissy’s formal wardrobe. “You’re going to stand out at the ball. Cinderella, don’t forget to lose your glass slipper.  If he doesn’t pick it up, throw it at his handsome head. I’m so excited I could celebrate with some pecan pie and ice cream.”

“You’re on for the pie and ice cream.” Chrissy leapt to her feet.

“You can return with your parents immediately after graduation. I’m thrilled for you.” Ginny hugged her friend. [‘her friend’ is probably used a little too frequently] “If you marry Alexander, you won’t have to go to medical school and cut up corpses.”

“I never intended to. You’re the one who wanted a career in the medical field.”

Ginny frowned. “Dumb butt, it doesn’t hurt to dream. Princess Christabel sounds good, don’t you think? I’d be envious, of course.”

Chrissy flung an arm around Ginny’s neck. “You are a dreamer.  A dreamer in the first degree.”

“Guess who wants to be a lawyer.” She tweaked her friend’s cheek.

****

The week before graduation passed in a fog of hurry and dreams that Ginny spoon-fed to Chrissy every day.  Both sets of parents arrived for their big event—graduation from the College of Charleston—but the ambassador had to return to Desjardins the day after in order to settle in before Chrissy joined them for the summer. Together, she and Chrissy moved out of the furnished apartment they’d shared near campus. Ginny’s parents and brother didn’t stay the next day either. They had places to go and people to see, she supposed. Bert was always their favorite, and nothing she could do quite measured up. It was all very well and good, and soon over.

In her 2009 Honda Civic, Ginny drove her friend to the airport.  “Have a great summer.”

“Maybe you can come visit.”  Chrissy hugged her as they unloaded multi-striped hardside luggage, a majority of her things having been shipped. “I have lots of dresses that will fit you. We always did trade clothing. I loved that amber dress of yours.  I know you’d snag your prince charming’s eye. As you said to me, toss your long red hair, bat your green eyes, and shake your booty. Right?”

A sinking feeling gave Ginny pause. She wanted to say, I don’t have the money, but she tried to sound optimistic.  “I plan to get a summer job.  I’ll save my money, then watch out Prince Alexander.”

Ginny caught a glimpse of herself in a cab’s window.  Faded blue jeans and a university sweatshirt. Yep, definitely royalty material.  At eighteen, she’d married her high school sweetheart straight out of high school. That heartache still haunted her with or without his pleading calls.  Mike was a wonderful guy except that he preferred drinking with his buddies to being home with his wife.  The divorce was final, but during that long, lonely year, Ginny had held onto her dreams like a lifeline. Prince Alexander of Desjardins had been her solace.

“What are you laughing at?” Chrissy tapped her shoulder.

“Myself. I’m good amusement material.” Ginny swung her friend’s carry-on to the ground. “Sometimes, when I’m on Facebook, I just laugh at my own foibles.”

Chrissy’s smile faded. “Stop it. It wasn’t your fault that your a-hole husband made you miserable.”

“I know.”  You’re going to get to live my dreams, all those dreams I clung to at night. I’m not envious of my best friend. Yes, I am, damn it, I am.

“I’m going to do a little work for Dad.” Tears glittered on Chrissy’s mascaraed lashes. “I’ll help you get the money to visit me.”

“I’ll find a way.” Ginny patted the other girl’s [Sounds a little distant. I know it’s not great to overuse character names, but I think I’d use Chrissy here] cheek.

“We will.” Chrissy tapped her a High Five.

“You’d better check in.” A lump of unshed sadness choked her.

Chrissy tapped her finger to the end of Ginny’s nose.  “See you soon.”

Ginny nodded.  Short of a miracle, she’d never see Desjardins.

****

Looking like a blonde version of an actress from Pretty Woman, Ingrid sat on the sidelines in her brown-and-white polka dot dress. The skirt flared beneath a white patent leather belt hugging her slender waist.  I noticed all this while I paused to tap my whip to my helmet, saluting her as the polo match began. Damn, she was a pretty woman—to equal any movie star. So, why was my heart beating a retreat?

Wearing the number four, I was always referred to as the Back.  [I don’t understand this but it could be because I know nothing about polo] We charged into the match, my new pony quickly showing his mettle and speed as a player on the opposite team attempted to ride me off in a bump to spoil my shot and remove me from the play. A good bump can [‘could’ – tense was switched here] shake discs and rattle teeth. He was within the 45 degree limit, but we held our own, and I completed my shot.  The first of six chukkas sped by in fierce competition.

I loved polo. The excitement and speed of the sport definitely got the [I think a more active phrase and not using a qualifier like ‘definitely’ might make it more active and impactful. Something like ‘The excitement and speed of the sport spiked my adrenaline’ or something like that :)] adrenaline pumping.  The preciseness appealed to my inner perfectionist, but if I had to choose, fast cars on tight turns was [were] a greater thrill.  Nothing felt better than the quick handling of a finely tuned and engineered machine.  A great day was coming.  I was entered in the Grand Prix, fully aware that I’d be up against the best drivers in the world.

Since I was the sole heir, Abelard Pierre Leandres, King of Desjardins, was against the idea, but Father denied me nothing. I was one lucky, arrogant bastard with a perfect lineage tracing back centuries.  Fate waits for no man.

 

See, not much to offer. I really enjoyed the chapter. Linda did an excellent job with description, sensory detail, and set up. We all know a certain redhead is about to shake up the prince’s world. :) Thank you, Linda, for sharing your work with us. If any of you would like to volunteer your work for my blog, please see below for information on how to do that.

Until next time…happy writing!

 

*** Temporary Discount on Freelance Editing – 20% off any editing package. If you wish to take advantage of the special and your MS is not quite ready, you can secure the sale price by paying a $100 deposit through paypal. Details of my editing services can be found by clicking HERE

 

*** 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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*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 99 cents each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

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

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Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 70 – Elvis’ Divorce from Priscilla

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

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Today’s post:

As most people know, even non-Elvis fans, Elvis met Priscilla while stationed in Germany. She ended up coming to live at Graceland and the two married May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Lisa Marie was born exactly 9 months later, on February 1, 1968. (Did you know that the only celebrity to attend the wedding was Redd Foxx? Redd was quoted as saying, “This it the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”) Here is a link to an article in the Las Vegas Sun from May 2, 1967 about the wedding:

http://lasvegassun.com/news/1967/may/02/presley-brunette-beauty-surprise-vegas-wedding/

Elvis_20Presley_20wedding_20cake.0

The marriage only lasted 5 years. Elvis and Priscilla split in 1972, when Lisa Marie was four years old, and legally divorced in 1973. Some of the songs Elvis recorded at the time seemed to speak about the heartache of the split. Many people thought “Separate Ways” was written about Elvis and Priscilla, but it was actually written by Red West about his own marital problems and about his son. When Elvis recorded the song, they changed the line from ‘the tears that he will cry’ to ‘the tears that she will cry’ in order to fit Lisa Marie. Red brought “Separate Ways” and “Always on my Mind” to Elvis at the same time. According to Red, Elvis said, “Man, you’re killing me with these songs.” :( I always thought Elvis sounded so sad when he sang it. Here is a recording of him singing the song:

When I was a kid and found out Priscilla was divorcing Elvis, I hated her and thought she must be out of her mind. (As an adult, I realize, being married to Elvis can’t have been easy, but honestly, I still think she was out of her mind. I can’t imagine much I wouldn’t have tolerated to remain Mrs. Elvis Presley…) Anyway, I once watched an Elvis tribute Priscilla hosted and she spoke about the day she asked for a divorce. Elvis said, “Is there someone else?” It always strikes me when I hear about these ‘normal’ conversations involving Elvis and think of him as an actual man, a husband, whose wife was leaving him. It doesn’t really fit with his almost otherworldly presence and image in my mind. Priscilla told him there wasn’t, she just couldn’t continue living like she had been. In truth, there was someone else. Priscilla had started an affair with Elvis’ karate instructor, Mike Stone. Although, I doubt that’s the actual reason Priscilla was leaving him. She just couldn’t handle the life, and she said she felt she was losing herself. It was also difficult being married to someone who belonged to the entire world.

Sections of the divorce papers:

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Their divorce was especially tough on Elvis since Priscilla was taking Lisa to live nearly two-thousand miles away. He was used to having his daughter at the house all the time. According to Elvis’ long-time friend, Jerry Schilling’s, account of the day Priscilla and Lisa left, Elvis kissed Priscilla gently on the mouth and told her to let him know if she ever needed anything. Then, he really broke down when it was time to say goodbye to Lisa. He held her tightly and told her to have her mommy teach her to use the phone so she could call him every day. Lisa peered into his eyes and said, “Daddy, are you crying?” Elvis really lost it then. He closed himself up in his bedroom after they drove away and for hours he remained there. Jerry and the others could hear him through the door, sometimes cursing, but mostly sobbing.

Elvis, Priscilla, Lisa

Elvis passed away only five years after he and Priscilla split. During that five years, Priscilla and Elvis remained very close. Lisa spent half her time with Priscilla and half her time with Elvis. She was at Graceland the night he died.

Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for Priscilla to maintain successful relationships after being the wife of Elvis Presley? I have to wonder how the men would have felt, trying to follow Elvis. I doubt that was an easy task. :)

According to Priscilla, when asked about it:

“…I realized how difficult it was dating someone with my history, so I tried to put myself in the men’s shoes. Being with the most gorgeous man ever and not just gorgeous but a good human being too, I realized this could be difficult, so I never threw it in their faces.”

“I hope I was respectful of everyone. But Elvis was absolutely the love of my life, and there’s no sadness about it because I have my memories, and they’re delicious and they’re all mine.”

Ha! I would imagine they’re delicious. Wow. She’s the only woman in the world, ever, who can say she was chosen by Elvis to be his bride, the only woman he shared his name with, a child with. No matter how it turned out, that’s something pretty special. 

A few random notes…

Did you know that David Bowie was an Elvis fan and that he was born on Elvis’ birthday? A quote from Bowie:

“Elvis is a major hero of mine. I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something.”
David Bowie

Lastly…

Today in Elvis History:

1955 – Elvis performed at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, LA where  “Colonel” Tom Parker was in attendance and saw Elvis for the first time. 

Hope you enjoyed today’s post. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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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

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Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Don’t Beat Your Readers Over the Head – Plus, a Brief Quiz :)

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…

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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.

 

Something I try to be cognizant of in my own writing, and in editing for others, is to avoid telling readers what they already know. It’s repetitious and can be annoying. Readers, for the most part, are quite intelligent. After all, they were bright enough to choose to read your book, right? ;) So, surely they do not need every detail spelled out for them and/or reiterated.

 
Examples:

She stuck out her hand. “I’m Mary Smith.” She introduced herself.

(Her action of sticking out her hand, plus her dialogue, lets us know she introduced herself, no need to also state it.)

 

“Your husband, Ben, stopped by the store yesterday.”

(I would assume the person knows their husband’s name is ‘Ben.’ So, you should drop one or the other. Just say ‘your husband’ or just say ‘Ben.’)

 

She turned the knob and entered the room. She was going to beg for his forgiveness. “Terrence, please forgive me. I’m so sorry, and I’ll never do it again.”

(No need to tell us she was going to beg for his forgiveness, since she does that exact thing, immediately. The only way you might want to tell us that is if she did not end up begging for his forgiveness. Say, if she walked in and caught him making out with his secretary. :))

 

Dexter picked up the knife and strolled to the table. The man lying beneath the plastic wrap squirmed like a caterpillar on hot tin. Dexter allowed a small smile to emerge, even though he took no pleasure in killing. It was a necessity. His Dark Passenger insisted on it. As for dragging it out and making them suffer, well, that was just for him. He moved the knife toward the man’s chest. This was going to hurt. In the shadowed room where the only sounds were the muffled squeals of Joe Neal, Dexter whispered, “This is going to hurt.”

(Introspection is fine, great, but not to the extent that you have the same thing in narrative than you then say in dialogue. Didn’t the dialogue sort of make you pause, since you’d just read those same words in the narrative?)

 

And then, there are the smaller, more subtle things. Can you tell which of the below details in each sentence are unnecessary?

  • At 8 a.m. in the morning…
  • She lifted the vase with her hand…
  • It was raining outside…
  • He picked up the remote and turned up the volume on the TV…
  • The clouds in the sky looked ominous…

So, what do you think? Did you figure it out?

While these ‘issues’ might not exactly ruin your manuscript, if you avoid revealing this kind of unnecessary/repetitive information, not only will your writing be tighter, but your readers will be less likely to assume that you assume they are idiots. :)

Until next time…happy writing!

 

*** Temporary Discount on Freelance Editing – 20% off any editing package. If you wish to take advantage of the special and your MS is not quite ready, you can secure the sale price by paying a $100 deposit through paypal. Details of my editing services can be found by clicking HERE

 

*** 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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*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 99 cents each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

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

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