Thursday, July 24, 2014

WHAT'S A DOUBLE NEGATIVE? .... FIND OUT!

Remember, dude…always remember…

This is my life. The only way for me to survive.

The bell rings and I’m off to yet another class. I don’t know how much more I can take. 

I coast through the halls, avoiding eye contact with the cool kids. Their snide remarks ricochet off me like a quarterback hit by a linebacker.  

After entering into science class, I drop into the desk behind Jenny and Mark, pricking my ears to hear anything that may help me pass.

Beads of sweat mist on my forehead as Mr. Sanders hands out the test. 

This is hopeless…

After school I search for the one person who knows my secret. Fat Nyla. I overhear the loud voices and high-pitched laughter of Cassy and her gang, badgering Nyla as I approach.

Cassy pushes Nyla into the lockers and the crunch of the metal clenches my fingers into a tight fist.

“Back off!” I call out. 

“Mind your own business, loser,” Cassy says. Her tone cuts through my like a razor, but draws me to my full height. 

“I said, back off.”

She takes in my brooding stance and stiffens. “Let’s go girls. Our work is done for today.” She faces Nyla. “I’ll get you later. Count on it.”

Fat Nyla lets out a deep breath as she watches her nemesis retreat.

“Are you alright?”

“I’ll live.” Her dark eyes raise and stare into mine. “You look like hell. What’s up?”

“Do I really need to spell it out for you?” I turn from her penetrating eyes. “I can’t cover it up much longer.”

“Dude, you need to get help. You’re just one step away from Juvy.”

She rummages through her locker, takes out a pad and scribbles something, tearing off the bottom and hands it to me.

“I’ve heard she’s helped a lot of guys like you. Give her a call.”

I glance down and barely make out the name and numbers.

“Can you read it? Her name's, Maggie. 529-6613. Memorize it. 529-6613.


I mouth the name and numbers several times, forcing them into my brain.

“I hope she can help me…”

“I’ve gotta go. Later, Hutch. And…thanks.”

I stare down at the jumble of letters and numbers. Remembering what they say, I head for home…


Will Hutch get the help he needs?


Will Maggie be able to help him or does Hutch slam into another dead end?


DOUBLE 
NEGATIVE 

by

C. Lee Mckenzie




Time is running out… but for who? 

Hutch?

Maggie?

Or both?

Whoa... now this is intense... I know I want to know more! Lee certainly knows how to PEAK our interest!

Available TOMORROW, July 25TH! Here's the link...

CONGRATS LEE! 

I hope you all enjoyed my interpretation of Lee's book.  Here is the logline for DOUBLE NEGATIVE...



Sixteen-year-old Hutch McQueen is a smart kid who can barely read. He makes one bad choice after another, trying to find a way to escape his rotten life at home and at school. Each time he gets into more trouble.


Do drop by Lee's blog and say hi.... 




Lee is also having a giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

SEARCHING FOR A STORIES HOME...

Hi, All,

Well as you may have guessed. today is the first Wednesday of the month and that means.... Another segment of the IWSG...

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, we all get to share our anxieties and support for each other on this special day. Here's the link to sign up and join us! I know I am very proud to be a member of this group and we welcome you to join, if you haven't already!

Today, I'd liked to share my month long querying experience with you. 

Finding a home for our precious manuscripts is NOT EASY. We all know this, but we hope and pray that perhaps a shimmer of golden light will shine on us.... 

As many of us know, querying is HELL... WE take months to write the perfect query, then another month or so to research potential agents/publishers. 

As our heart pounds against our chest we address the agent/publisher and add the query. Thoughts ranging from, My work is crap... They'll hate this... Why am I even bothering?... This is SUCH a WASTE of time... I know I'm going to nail this!... I'll never hear back from them... I'll have an offer by next week! ... 

These are the anxieties and emotions that run rampant through our minds every time.... THEN we have to face the DREADED SEND button!

With one last terrifying glimpse of our letter, we use every ounce of energy that's left to move our finger toward that dreaded button. As our fingers tremble we hold our breathe and DO IT. 

DONE. It's out there... 

Now the waiting begin... 

AGAIN!

This is what I've been experiencing on a daily basis. Not only sending queries, but waiting for answers. They do come... Three rejects this month. 

Thankfully I have at least another fifty or so agents I haven't queried yet. Of course I am waiting until the very end to send to my favorite agents. 

Each rejection I hold my breath as I skim for SOME piece of useful advice. But sadly, most of mine are form rejections, which INFURIATES ME, but not for the reason you think. 

I get angry because I spend SO much time on getting the query perfect, tailoring to each individual agent, the LEAST they can do is ADRESS it to ME... not just, Dear author, or nothing at all. I'm sorry, it doesn't take THAT MUCH TIME to type in the words, "Dear Michael." Especially since almost every agent has an assistant who sends these lovely rejection gems....

But we must endure, keep positive, and believe in our stories. ALWAYS remember this. This is a VERY SUBJECTIVE business and we need to realize this right from the beginning!

I am hoping that next month will bring me better news. My heart jumps for joy every time I see good news from a fellow blogger stating they signed a contract or their book will be released soon. It brings me hope, knowing there are agents and publishers that DO have taste...

SO PLEASE everyone, KEEP bringing our community good news. Believe me, it helps writers like me who are struggling to be heard.

I wish you all a fun weekend and keep your dream alive!

Don't forget to drop by the other members and lend your support!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

THE DAY HAS COME....

HAVE you ever dreamed of creatures just steps away living in your nearby forest?  

One can only guess what or who is lurking within the trees, ravines, brooks, or under foot.

Are they friend, or foe?

Are they zombies, ready to eat your brains?

Or fairies to delight and entertain you with their grace and charm?

Perhaps mischievous elves, wanting to place you under their spell?

What about frolicking water nymphs, to serenade and calm you with a  tranquil dance.

Or maybe, just maybe, something more...


Welcome to BROKEN BRANCH FALLS




by 




Hi, all!

Don't you just want to grab your copy. WELL...you should! AND NOW YOU CAN!!!!! I just finished reading BBF and loved it! Here is my review...

From the first page I was swept into Gabe the Goblin's life and times. Goblins are no different than any kid dealing with the trial and tribulations of growing up in a teen world.

As we all know high school has it cliques and social groups, but can you imagine being forced to only associate with said group? Yes...in Broken Branch Falls, species are ONLY ALLOWED to associate with their own kind. Major bummer. And that means everything! No hanging out, period.

What if you have a crush on a cute pixie or a bewitching ogress and you're an elf or a goblin...no can do. It's against the laws of the high council...species are not allowed to mix!

Not to mention your life is planned out for you. What if you're a goblin with a flair for fashion? Or an ogre who has musical talent? NOT ALLOWED...one must conform to the rules.

But...as we know...RULES are MADE TO BE BROKEN...

And Gabe does just that. Pulling off a prank on the Dragons' football team, Gabe is ordered to join the sport. A fraction of the size of your average ogre, Gabe soon learns to use his mind to survive. He creates new plays and the ogre team finally wins a game. Gabe bonds with the orgres...

Not good.

The High Council steps in...

What happens next?

A tale of mystery.

A tale of camaraderie...

An unlikely team is formed as Ms. Tyler weaves an intricate scavenger hunt with obstacles for Gabe and his friends. 

Will they succeed in their quest? 

Only their bravery and determination will get them home.

I found this a delightful and intriguing read. With memorable characters from all species! Ms. Tyler's wonderful ease of writing flows the reader through this adventure as quickly as one is swept over Broken Branch Falls themselves.

I recommend this to all middle graders, young adults, and adults alike. Their are lessons for all of us to learn within the charming prose. 

Thank you Tara! It was such a pleasure reading your book! ALL the best for your launch on June 24th!


Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. Gabe’s closest friends are goblins like him, but Gabe is tired of being a goblin – he’d like to try other things. And he has his eye on the new ogress at school. It’s against all beastly rules, but there’s just something about her.

When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment – but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for the Book of Ages, which holds the laws of all beastkind and hopefully the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.


Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Twitter ~~~ Facebook ~~~ Blog

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

Friday, June 13, 2014

THE ORIGINAL TWISTER...



HAPPY FRIDAY, Everyone!

As you can tell from this wonderfully colorful marquis, it is time for another FUN BLOGHOP! The brainchild of Armchair Squid, this hop is all about a favored movie from the past. She is joined by hosts, Nicki Elson, Suze and Nan Mock. Is the film you watched over and over again still your favorite? Has it changed to you or does it hold a different significance? We'd all like to know. Everyone has a film near and dear to their heart!

There are so many special films that mean a great deal to me, but the my most treasured childhood film is THE WIZARD OF OZ. This film has a special meaning to me. First, it was a film I always watched as young boy. The first viewings I had were on our black and white TV. Yes, black and white. LOL. So for the first four or five times I never saw the film in all it colorful splendor. Can you imagine not viewing Munchinland and especially Emerald City in Technicolor?

And my MOST treasured memory is Judy Garland's singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I love that song so much my mother sang it to me every night from the time I was five to seven. Mom was very special and PATIENT.

In 1969 my grandmother bought her first RCA color set. My bothers and I were amazed, gawking at it every time we visited her which was nearly every night. I'll never forget the night TWOZ played. At first the subtle difference between black and white wasn't as noticeable in the sepia toned beginning. BUT, when Dorothy opened that door.... TWoOZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The colors almost knocked me off the sofa. I couldn't BELIEVE my eyes. It was MAGICAL. I STARED without blinking for God knows how long. Then when they scampered through the poppies...and I caught my first glimpse of Emerald City.... To this day when the song breaks out and Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow skip across the poppies on their way toward Emerald City, my heart skips along with them. It's still my favorite scene and always brings a smile to my face. The Emerald City decked out in all its Art Deco splendor is my favorite architectural style. I would LOVE to see a real city just like that!

image courtesy of Warner Brothers/photobucket

The next revelation came when I saw TWoOZ on the BIG SCREEN. When I was about fifteen, the local movie house in our town still had a single screen... AMAZING, too because this was the age when ALL the theaters were splitting the single movie houses and creating multiple screens. It was like watching it for the first time... I was in owe. The INCREDIBLE details of Munchinland...the costumes...even the special effects at this time (1939) were pretty remarkable. After it was over, I never wanted to see it any other way again.

But I did! When it came out in video, I bought it and watched it often. Then the special edition DVD came out and I snapped that up too. Now with our home TV's larger than ever one can have that MOVIE experience right in their living room. I HIGHLY recommend it!

Thanks everyone for letting me share my happy childhood memories with you. Do forget to drop by the other hoppers and see what their favorites are!

Have a GREAT weekend.....








Monday, June 9, 2014

WHO LURKS BEHIND THE MASK? ...

Thousands of torches dot the winding hillside road. Their light dances on this inky, starlit night as an endless parade of horse drawn carriages glitter from feathered plumes, waving in the casual breeze. The queue moves slowly, and as each carriage pulls up to the medieval arched entry, masked strangers step out and climb the cobbled steps, entering into the gleaming marble hall.

Banners from nine different provinces flow from guilt poles, forming a colorful welcome to each royal guest.

Upstairs in the farthest corner of the castle, a jeweled crown is woven into the golden locks of a young woman. Her heart patters as she steps in front of the looking glass. Two hand maidens finish lacing up the back of her gown.

"You look beautiful your highness," stutters the youngest of the two. Emerald eyes flash from the reflection and into the servant's widened brown eyes. 

She nods. "Thank you, Arabella."

Trumpets echo throughout the massive halls and shivers race through Princess Zoe's body. She squares her shoulders and stretches to her full height. "It is time for me to meet my future husband." 

Arabella rushes to the princess's side and hands her a glittering mask. She bows. Princess Zoe gently takes it by the handle and steps toward her destiny.

One last carriage inches its way to the front. The footman opens the door and a booted leg hits the cobbled stone with a heavy click. He straightens to his considerable height and adjusts his metal mask dusted with fine marquisites. 

He jets up the stairs and into the grand hall. Hundreds of guests congregate at the base of a massive, multi-storied stair case as twenty or so trumpeters toot another announcement. He stops and stares at the top of the landing, his view unobstructed. 

A sentry calls out, "Her royal highness, Princess Zoe!" 

Princess Zoe turns her head to one side of the crowd, smiling at her guests. As she pivots her neck in the opposite direction, she rests her eyes on the one man who stands head and shoulders above the crowd. A breath escapes her. She composes herself and glides down the staircase like a breeze over a wheat field.

She greets each one of the eight princes with a polite air. And continues to the ninth. The remaining guests part as she steps toward the mysterious man who watches her every movement. A stoic figure, carved in granite. Flickering torchlight illuminates his hazel eyes as she stops before him. He bows. 

"Princess Zoe." His lyrical baritone voice sends electric shock waves through her body.  

"And your name, Sire"

He remains silent and extends his arm.

Another breath escapes her...

Why all the mystery?

What does he have to hide?


The Mystery Prince

by



Mary Waibel



Will Princess Zoe find her true love with this mysterious prince?

Or will his secret tear them apart?

A magical device may be their only chance...


First, I must say this is one of the most beautiful covers I have seen. And the mysterious circumstances of this premise has certainly peeked my interest! Let me be the first to congratulate Mary. She is an amazing writer and I know her newest novella will be a big hit! 

ALL the best MARY!

Please drop by Mary's site and wish her well. And snap up a copy of this book. I know I will...


Buy Link:


You can find Mary Waibel at:

https://twitter.com/mewtweety14

Thanks for dropping by today everyone. I hope you enjoyed my newest intro....

Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

THE WAITING GAME ...

Hi, All,


Welcome to another segment of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. As most of us know Alex J. Cavanaugh founded the group a few years ago for writers to vent and support each other during the LONG process/journey to publication. Thank you, Alex.

I have been a member since day one and I know how wonderful this amazing group is in accomplishing what Alex has originally set out to do. It has grown into its own website and Facebook page. I bet Alex never new how successful this would be when he first created the group! So sign right up if you're feeling insecure or have some advice for other writers!

From my title you might have guessed my topic today is QUERYING! I know, I hear all the GROANS now...mine is right there with yours. 

As many of you know I have just finished the final edits on my second novel and have began the querying process. BUMMER. This is my least favorite thing to do as I am sure many of you agree. But it is a necessary part of our journey to publication. 

In the past I haven't been very successful in landing an agent. But this time I am hopeful. I have a terrific query letter, thanks to a fellow blogger/friend, Morgan Shamy, who helped me tweak it. I have had some requests from publishers in the past, so I know there is interest in my story. YAY! I'd also like to offer a HUGE THANKS to my CP's and Betas. You know who you are and if I could gather you all up and give you a great BIG BEAR HUG, I would!

Today I plan to send out another three of four letters. From previous advice from fellow writers, I've decided to send out a small group of letters and wait. Wait for the response, if any. This is by far the WORST. The "Waiting Game" grinds on my every nerve. What does one do while waiting? Read a book? Work on another project? Blog? Drink endless amounts of coffee? Eat chocolate? Hibernate? Pull out every single hair on your head? 

Well, although some of these my take up part of our day, the bottom line is, there really is nothing to do but WAIT. Sad, but true. However I do have a few tips that may help. First, do something for someone else. Take the focus off yourself and dive into CP or Beta project. That's what I'm doing and it really helps! Focusing on your partner's world is such a great escape. Not to mention you get so wrapped up in perfecting their story, there is very little time to think about what that agent or publisher is doing with your query.

Next. Get OUT OF THE HOUSE. Seriously, now that the weather, for the most part, is sunny and warm throughout most of the US and Canada, there is no excuse to be locked away in the house fretting over you queries. Commune with nature. Really study the chirping birds. Smell the blossoms, and look at each delicate petal. Go to your local dog park and watch the puppies at play. It is so much fun to see them all chase each other and have such a great time. 

And finally, exercise. Relieve the tension. Take a brisk walk. Go for a five or ten mile bike ride. Jog through the park, beach, or lakefront.  BREATHE. STETCH. Go home and you will be ready to face the dreaded empty inbox.  

As long as you keep you mind on other things, The "Waiting Game" won't tear you apart. Remember it is just a GAME. There will be winners and losers. Here's hoping we are all WINNERS!

Have a fantastic day today all and do visit your fellow IWSGers... Not a member? Sign up for next month's meeting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

INSPIRATION FROM THE PAST...

Hi, All...

Happy Wednesday!

Thanks for all the great comments about How I Found the Write Path, blog hop. The letters to our pre-writing selves were truly amazing! Thanks again Carrie for pulling it all together. SO many writers will benefit from it. I know it.

Today I'd like to talk about stumbling along in our writing progress. I must admit I'm in slight funk trying to reorganize my thoughts and get to writing again. For the past six months I've been in HEAVY revisions with my second novel and I am very secure in my belief that it is ready. I started to send out queries, but not as many as I should. I've been hesitating. BAD MICHAEL. I guess deep down I feel afraid of rejection, although I know it's part of our everyday lives. I haven't queried in so long, so I guess it's only natural.

So I am PUSHING myself. I can use a "NUDGE" guys. LOL.

I actually TRIED to dive back into my film noir novella I had started a while ago. For some reason I lost my edge on it. BUT.... At last I have been motivated. It's exactly what I needed! God always provides for us. Last night, on Turner Classic Movies, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE 1940's Noir films was broadcasted. LAURA. With Gene Tierney. Have any of you seen it? It is so fine. The acting amazing. The detective, played by Dana Andrews, is flawless. THE PERFECT noir detective. Dark, muscular, handsome. Just like my detective in the noir I'm writing. Gene Tierney, who plays Laura is one of THE MOST GORGEOUS actresses of that time. Stunningly beautiful in her mystique. And of course, I CANNOT forget to mentions the amazing B&W visuals... Talk about atmosphere. SO uplifting. I STUDIED EVERY detail from the sets, clothing, stances, gestures, and speech and the forever lighting of cigarettes... SO NOIR!  Now to only capture that in my novella.

The cast is amazing in this film. Clifton Webb plays the elitist. A super young Vincent Price, Laura's fiancé' who is so unworthy of her. Who could ask for more, especially in Noir. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's great!
Here's the movie poster from 1944. Photos courtesy of listal.

SO I just want to tell all you writers out there that are in a funk, stuck in a mini writer's block, or just plain out of sorts. It only takes on little thing to set you back on the right path. SO LOOK for those small signs. You just might find them in your TV guide. LOL. I did!


HAPPY WRITING everyone and I hope this little bit of advice gets you over your HUMP....

How about you? Have any of you had any amazing stimulation this week? I'd like to hear about it!