Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Learning my craft

I love learning my craft. KM Weiland's blog is always a great source for craft.

I found this post about Character Arc and how for your story to resonate with readers, you character needs to go through a moral or emotional change, a growth from beginning of the story to the end.

Have a read here!

I will be looking more carefully for small, but important changes to my characters as i work through my WIP's.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Secrets and Lies

I opened up my WIP folder and ended up taking a peek at the first story i wrote 5 years ago. I spent a lovely two hours editing and adding to this story.

I realised i have learned a lot about my writing since then, the biggest thing was point of view. In this story there is rampant head hopping :s. So i went through the first 7 seven chapters and fixed that.

I also discovered i describe way too much so it slows down action - i have to do some more extensive editing on this one, but i still love the story, and i'd love to send it off for publication when finished :)

What have learnt about your craft since you first started?

Monday, December 17, 2012

What to do with all my free time!

I have finished my Diploma! And four days later i was handed a contract for my first teaching job!
This was a shock as hubby and i were expecting maybe March or April next year, but this is great!

Now though, i have a lot of time to do stuff i want. Downside? It's the kids last day at school today.
Upside? I get to spend lots of that time with them, since i've missed that the last 7 weeks being on practicum. The other upside - no homework or readings in the evening. I CAN WRITE!!!

So which project do i tackle first? That is the question!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nearly Done

I have been so absent from the writing scene for the past month and will be for another. I have 4 weeks left of my final practicum and then i will be a provisionally registered early childhood teacher!
Whilst applying for jobs, i intend to be back into my writing, as my characters are all demanding my time and attention which unfortunately is being spent on reflections, assessment and my family.
I have been reading everyone's blog, just not commenting, but that will be back in full operation shortly too.
Keep up your writing people, you are wonderful!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Editing. There're 3 types?

If, like me you have no idea of all the different types of editing that a book goes through before being published, i found this post from Rachel Gardener.
It has information on Revisions, or Content Edit.
Copy Edit
and Line editing.

Ok, i've heard of all of them just didn't know all the nitty gritty involved. Did you? No?
Go and have a read!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Secrets in a Book

Maisey Yates has a great post here where she talks about character's secrets in a story and how they can either mask weak internal conflict or be the master of the story. Or having no secrets and laying it all out in front and watching how the layers peel back to reveal the core of the character.
She also gives some great advice, in the form of questions, to help you work out if you secret is good or bad for your story.
Go and have a read!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nicola Marsh's road to Publication

Nicola reveals her way to publication of her Indie book Crazy Love here
It is an awesome and very brave story!

For you Indie- pubbed authors out there, what was your journey like?

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Book!

My Fav contemporary author Nicola Marsh has just released her first Indie Published book, Crazy Love!

Blurb from Nicola's blog:

All's fair in love...and matchmaking!

Sierra Kent doesn’t do love. 
While she embraces the quaintness of her home town Love and delights in matchmaking her clients through her Internet dating agency Love Byte, she doesn’t trust her intuition when it comes to the one emotion that has repeatedly let her down. 

City-slick Marc Fairley, CEO of LA's premier acquisition company, doesn’t have time for Love. 
From the minute he enters the kitschy town he can’t wait to hotfoot back to LA with his deranged mother in tow. 
Instead, he gets roped into the town's Love Fest hoopla, investigates the shady farmer his mom is engaged to, berates his butler for a mad crush on a brash Aussie waitress, and finds himself falling for the brazen red-head who continually baits him.
His life couldn't get any crazier.
Until he discovers in exacting revenge on his father and achieving his lifelong goals, he may lose the one thing he values most...

Can Sierra and Marc create enough sparks to send Love up in flames? 
And prove that winning isn’t everything in the love stakes, it’s how you play the game.

At $2.99 on Amazon kindle it is a bargain. I've just downloaded it and am dying now to read it but have to wait until next weekend when i have no kids, no hubby and just me and group of girlfriends!

Go on, snap it up now!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Romantic Friday Writers

I haven't done a post with RFW for at least a year!
The topic this week is I Should Have Kissed You. 600 words to describe the hesitation.
I've chosen to do a scene for my best friends story. It's a little hot!

Emma inhaled Matt's scent. Closing her eyes she let the spice and soap that was uniquely him fill her senses as his hands warmed her in his embrace. 
The heated path his hands created over her bare skin was more than enough to get her heart racing. The feel of his smooth muscled chest under her palms and against her cheek sent her mind reeling.

His splayed hands travelled ever so slowly from the dip in her spine upward causing the warmth to pebble her skin in anticipation. Letting her head fall back Emma smiled when he obeyed her instinctive movement and brushed his lips along the ridge of her jaw, his warm breathe creating yet more heat. 
“This is wrong,” he murmured before clamping his teeth on her earlobe, his hand fisting her hair and holding anchor at her nape.
Moaning at his obvious hesitation of claiming her mouth and the riot of desire coursing through her, Emma gripped Matt’s shoulders. “No it isn’t.”
Pulling her head free from his restraint caused a sharp pain at the roots of her hair but she ignored it as she looked him in the eye. 
“We both want this, have wanted this for a long time.” Reaching forward with her own lips seeking his, she was thwarted when he gently cupped her throat, rubbing his thumb at the sensitive spot right below the hinge of her jaw, their lips only a whisper apart.
“Matt, please.” His dark eyes widened and she read the battle in their depths. She knew he was scared. She was terrified. If he pulled away now things between them would never be the same again.
Taking the plunge she fisted his hair and yanked him forward. When she captured his lips with her own, she felt the resistance but threw herself, her love into her movements, moulding her body further into his embrace.
When he muttered a curse but didn’t break contact with her mouth, pulling her even closer she felt victory as their mouths each fought for the upper hand. The cold shock of the sheet on her back was her only indication they had moved to the next stage. 
The stage she had set. Wanted. Oh how she wanted. 
Bracing his weight on his elbows as his body covered hers, Matt lifted his lips from hers to stare searchingly into her eyes, only to replace them just as quickly.
As his hands grew increasingly searching as they travelled her heated skin, Emma let out a small laugh. “I should have kissed you ages ago.”
His response was muffled when she plunged her hands into his hair as his lips travelled over her belly button. Tugging on his hair she pulled him back to her mouth, reveling in the smile she felt against her lips. He did pull back then and she felt panic crash through her system. Please don’t stop, don’t regret this!
His eyes dilated as he focused through his desire. Even his hands stilled encircled as they were around her hips. Swallowing she watched as his eyes tracked the movement of her throat, his gaze slowly settling back on her mouth. 
“Yes. You should have.” 
Mating her tongue with his, Emma felt her panic disappear and be replaced with satisfaction. As long as he was being ruled by desire, he wouldn’t have time to regret this.

words 562.
full critique allowed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's been more than a month??

OMG, i have not posted in more than a month.
I have, however been writing! When i read Nicola Marsh's Not the Marrying Kind it got my creative juices flowing and i have been attacking my Princess story. I have been dreaming of this story for ages and know all the key scenes. They just need to be written!
So slowly, very slowly (i have to juggle writing time with study time, kids, dog, hubby and home!) i have been adding to my word count.

A sneak of my WIP? Okay!
This is the first time my heroine Tori sets her eyes on her hero Max.

Compared to the other three he stood relaxed, his weight balanced slightly on his left leg. His suit was a darker grey that somehow exuded unrestrained power.
Tori immediately wondered why he would need bodyguards. The fabric of his pants showed clearly the strength in his long muscled legs. His buttoned jacket, tailored to broad shoulders, tapered to a narrow waist that just showed the strength in his torso more clearly. It was clear to her he would be able to handle himself.
Her perusal and musings were stopped in their tracks when he spoke and her gaze rose swiftly to his mouth. He had a rich rumbling British accent, tinged slightly with the lilt of Ireland. It flowed through her so quickly, warming her body, and settled the spinning in her tummy to that of a calm lap against a sandy beach. She felt safe and absent of fear.
Why would a man’s voice affect her so much, especially one she’d never heard?
“Ma’am. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
Her mother stepped forward and accepted his greeting with a little smile, a slight flush tinting her pale cheeks as she curtsied. Curtsied!
Kissing her cheek, the man held her close and said something in her ear that made her mother break out in a proper smile. He released her and when Tori tore her fascinated gaze from her mother being enfolded in her husband’s bracing arm, she was arrested by the deepest pair of blue eyes. The gentle lapping in her tummy stilled and lay quiet as she drowned in their depths. The dark blue with hints of gold, as his strength had done had her at peace, safe and protected, Like she was home.
Why then was her heart hammering so hard she was sure everyone could hear it, or at least see it trying it’s darndest to explode from her chest. Drowned as she was in his bottomless eyes, she vaguely saw a curtain of soft dark hair framing a strong face, a long straight nose and thin lips. In the depths of her wavering vision she saw a young boy, waves of ebony hair swirling around his face as he raced over tumbled stones scattered on uneven ground, his mouth open in a laugh as he looked over his shoulder.
Who was he?
“Victoria.” With a bow of his head he spoke her name in a tone so full of joy but so formal it made her want to cry. The expression in his eyes were at odds with his tone yet so unfathomable to her. It was said exactly as she heard it in her head, the young boy turned towards her with laughter and affection in his gaze. Tori was so overwhelmed with her emotions she ignored his outstretched hands, obviously expecting her to accept his greeting as her mother had. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Character Gesture Crutches

And no i don't mean the crutches that help one to walk!
I mean their gestures, movements that are idiosyncratic to your characters.

Do you have lots of shrugging, huffing, or frowning?

Julie Coulter Bellon has a great post here about this, which she found on Jordan McCollum's blog.

One of the commenters on Julie's blog mentioned a great book "The Emotional Thesaurus" which may prove useful to help explain your character gestures, instead of restricting it to a few. I think i'll get that for my kindle (really, i just love my new kindle so any chance to get a new book for it!).

So, pull out your manuscript, read through a page or two and see if you have repeated gestures or crutches, then 'find' them all and see if you can make them better.

This is a great way for your readers to see what the characters are thinking, even if they don't say it, or say something completely contradictory!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not the Marrying Kind

Nicola Marsh's newest release - also her first with Entangled Publishing, is out now!
And already gaining rave reviews!!!

Here's a blurb to whet your appetite (but you don't need it do you! You love Nicola Marsh's witty, sassy writing and are going to buy it anyway, right!)

Diva Las Vegas!

When investors tarnish the King of Construction’s reputation he’s forced to prove his respectability…by finding a wife!

Beck Blackwood, desert bad-boy made good, will do whatever it takes to expand his construction company nationwide. Including blackmail a woman guaranteed to drive him crazy, into marriage.

LA party planner Poppy Collins is a woman on a mission: save her sister’s sanity. Determined to keep business afloat, Poppy pitches for the divorce party of the century to Vegas hotshot Beck Blackwood, not expecting a proposal of a different kind.

Beck leaves Poppy no option. Marry him or her Divorce Diva Daily secret is out and her sister’s business implodes. He holds a winning hand. However, Beck hasn’t played the game with a defiant woman who has a few tricks of her own!

In the city of high stakes and high flyers, can the Divorce Diva and the construction king take a gamble on love and beat the odds?

Monday, July 16, 2012


That is all i have been doing the last month that relates in any way to writing.
I haven't written a thing in a long time and i think this year is a no-writing year. Oh, don't get me wrong i still want to! And i think about it all the time.
I finish my Early Childhood Diploma this year an as it includes a 7 seven week Practicum i am focusing on that.

But, i have been reading up a storm on my brand new Kindle Touch. Thanks to all the free reads out there!
I've come across some great books - yes including Fifty Shades of Grey!
I managed to snap up two of Sally Clements stories and i love them! As soon as the money comes in i'm buying a few of her stories, her writing is fantastic!
Now, i'm glad some were free reads, cos quite frankly they were either badly written, or the stories weren't deep enough of the characterisation and feelings and moved too fast. I think those authors would have benefited from some friendly editing or critique buddies.
All this reading has made me see my own writing more critically - well, when i get back into it that is! I will be on the lookout for shallow characterisation and actions of characters that don't fit the characterisation. You get the idea.

What have you been reading?
I'll do a post on my thoughts of Fifty Shades soon ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Yep, today i am 30!
I was worried for a while there that it wasn't going to be a special day. I had awesome phone calls and texts and the kids at my practicum sung happy birthday before eating a slice of cake I had made.

I was expecting the evening to be a typical Thursday, guitar practice for son, husband at soccer practice, cooking own dinner...well, i was surprised!
('Cos, even at 30 a birthday isn't a birthday without a present, or a cake!)

Soccer was cancelled, hubby had put a butter chicken in the crock pot. Then about two bites into it, my son pulls out a present....
A Kindle Touch!!

I plugged it in to charge straight away, and am already browsing the Amazon Kindle store for books!

And after the chicken, out came a beautiful Strawberry Fields Cake from the local CheeseCake Shop! Yum.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm back!...I think

This morning i woke up with a burning urge to write.
This has been missing this year, since my sore neck resulting in the horror of migraines, i haven't wanted to write anything.
Ad i've felt so guilty about it. I mean i consider myself a writer, among other things, but i haven't had the urge to write!
I was so excited to open one of my WIP's and delighted when all the joy came flooding back.
So, even though i'm back to fighting fit, and one week into my five week practicum for my ECE degree, i am back to writing! Even if it's a few words or lines, i'm going to be calling myself a writer again.

What have you all been up to? I've tried to visit blogs, but haven't seen as many i used to...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Negative Reviews

Have some? Want some so that you can say at least you have a book 'out there' and at least it's getting read?

This awesome post tells you how to get over 1 star reviews. Brings everything in perspective: Even your favouritest book of all time has 1 star reviews!

Go and read it, the post, and the reviews on your fav book, now!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kill Your Darlings

Put down the gun! I meant your words, those precious words you have slaved over for your novel.

Rachelle Gardiner has a great list of ways to reduce your word count and make your manuscript better.
Words like: almost, were, really, somewhat, and then, exactly, suddenly... and more.

Gerunds, adjectives, adverbs, are a few of the things to cut or reduce.
Go and look at the list and see if you can clean up your manuscript!!

Happy editing/writing :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Editing Rules

I may not be writing at the moment, but i am following everyone. And, i have been thinking about writing again so that is a positive step!
My headaches are stacks better, i think mostly due to the 3x per week visit to the chiropractor, but it could be because of the new medication too :)

Nathan Bransford has a wonderful post on his blog about editing commandments. Editing someone else's book that is! Have a read, it is very good to be reminded if you already knew them and good reading if you didn't.

Happy writing everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting ready to hit send?

I just saw this on Nicola Marsh's blog.

The Mills and Boon UK team are fast-tracking submissions for Harlequin Romance!

"...we’ll be launching a fast track submission period! Anyone who sends us their first chapter and synopsis between 14th March and 23rd April will hear back from us less than ONE MONTH after the closing date, before the 18th May.

"The email address to send your submission to is 

"Please attach your first chapter and short synopsis to the email as well as a short query letter, letting us know how much of the manuscript is complete. Please note, we’ll be looking at only one submission per person." 

I'm still out of action but that doesn't mean you have to be! Go on, finish those next few chapters, write your synopsis and query letter and hit send!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Hi everyone
I am apologising for the lack of posts and comments on your blogs at present. I am currently laid low with neck and head problems so just getting out of bed and getting the kids to school is a struggle so everything else has been on the slide.
I hope to be back in action in a few weeks. Hopefully the Chiro, accupuncture and physio will soon see me right.
Keep writing everyone.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Digging Deeper

I'm talking about characters.
Yep, to make our readers enjoy our stories, to fall in love with our characters, we have to make them believable, real. 3D characters are what gives life to your work and makes it memorable.

Disney is great for giving us lasting themes to pull apart and use for our characters. Time-worn but loveable themes like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are used over and over again.
I watched The Princess and the Frog for about the fifth time on Saturday night with my kids and it struck me why i like it so much.
Sure it's got the jaunty music, a handsome prince and some comedic secondary characters. But what really got me was the message behind Tiana, the lead. She is a hard-working girl, doing everything she can to achieve her dream. There is no waiting for Prince Charming, she's taking life by the reins and getting herself her dream, all by herself.
However, this is where we discover, with the help of the catchy song by the Cajun Priestess Mama Odie, that in order for Tiana to realise her real dream (that being something that she didn't know she's always wanted!), she has to dig deeper.

How is this relevant to our writing? To your characters?
To make your characters 3D, lovable, believable and root-worthy (get your mind out of the gutter!) they need to walk onto that first page with a dream, or with something that they want with a passion. As the story progresses, they clash with other characters or they are forced by excellent plot devices to realise that their dream is deeper than they realised (but that we, the knowing reader always suspected!), and this gives them that 3-dimensionality that keeps readers turning the pages.

It is also part of a characters growth known as the character arc. Another excellent way to make our characters believable and real, but that may be ideal for another post!

Happy writing :)

Friday, February 10, 2012


Hello everyone
I feel like i've fallen off the face of the Earth i haven't been on the 'net much at all this year so far!
The past two weeks i've been struggling with massive headaches and this time they aren't associated with my migraine disorder, rather i seem to have done something to my neck.

Slowly i am getting back into it. I've been to a few sessions with a physio and have an acupuncturist appointment this afternoon (i hate needles to this will be interesting!!).
The aim is to be able to move in the morning without feeling nauseous and having lie down every 10 minutes! Thank goodness for the husband.

So, sorry for not being present, hopefully i will be back in action soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Google Reader

Do you or don't you?
I hadn't used this, as i just follow my fav blogs using the links to the side of mine. But after Leah Ashton's insightful post on the ease and how to, i am now using Google Reader!

Have a look at the post and if you haven't signed up, i suggest you do!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Writing Tip: Characters Secrets

I've just read an awesome post by fellow kiwi as-yet-but-so-close unpublished author.
I love Jackie's blog, she is so honest and she gives the best tips that she has learnt on her very rocky journey!

This post is about the BIG secret that your characters have, what seems to be the surface conflict. Jackie describes it so wonderfully potentially being the thing that drives the story and character, but what would happen if you the author revealed the big secret earlier is in the story?
You them have room to explore the deeper issues associated with the big secret. Have a read of her post and tell me what you think!

I've recently begun editing my Price of Passion (Billie and Cooper) story. Billie has a secret, and it's not until the end that Cooper finds out, but i have always wondered what would happen if she told him near the beginning? It is a wonderful opportunity to explore their deeper conflicts!

What about you? Do your characters have secrets?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What's your colour?

At the moment we are redecorating. We have been wanting to do this since we moved in Feb 2010.
We started with the kids rooms which have been finished...well, except for the windows and doors! (we like to do things backwards)

Now, we are painting the hallway, lounge and dining (they are pretty much all linked up). This was stemmed from my son and I both being frustrated with the mess that his wardrobe is always in. We decided to build in shelves at either end, with one end having a short bar and a shelf for shoes, under which we will put a basket for his soccer ball etc.
As my husband wants to paint the inside the same as the rest of the house we have ended up choosing colours.

We started with 4 white colours - then i promptly discovered i actually hate white walls! In some houses it works but generally when i walk into a house with white walls i feel a bit uninspired. There's no personality.
I understand that white is clean and modern, but it's not me.
We love our colours. So after my scowling all afternoon husband went back to the paint shop for more samples and came back with 4 creams.
Now this is me! It feels warmer, not so stark or prestine. I am not a tidy person - though every now and then i hate mess and just have to have things organised. I have organised mess! (mostly)
And two young children, an 8 month puppy and a cat, so prestine is not our house!

This got me to thinking about how other people feel about colours, what makes them choose the colours they do, what colours would present my characters and why.
We are actually going to use the same colour in one of my favourite pictures that i used in a scene for my story The Price of Passion, it's the greeny brown on the walls. Resene Mondo! I'm very excited about this!

So, colours.
I love bold, bright colours that represent the personality of the people in the house. But then i do love autumn colours which to me are so warm and inviting. So earthy tones too.

What colours do you like for decorating? How do you choose?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Keeping track of notes!

So, over the weekend i booted up the laptop and got ready to edit the story i wrote two years ago, The Price of Passion.
The problem with having it been so long ago that i wrote it, i had forgotten the real conflict of the characters, the real reason they did and said things and not the surface stuff.
I knew i had notes somewhere...

Not on the laptop. Um, maybe the USB?

No! Darn. Hmm okay, on the Mac then.

Yep there they are! So i dutifully copied the folders to the USB and put them on the laptop.
Only to realise i hadn't converted the documents to .doc and couldn't open them. Doh!

Back to the Mac, convert all files.

Back to the laptop, find what i wanted and then realise my time was up.

Time for preparing dinner.


So my big writing tip is to keep all your writing current and updated to all your devices, laptop, USB, home computer, iPad etc. It will save you your writing time when you have to go search for it!

It may be a good idea to copy and save documents at the end of each week. Or maybe even every day if you write a lot!
Besides, it's good to know you have ALL your writing stuff backed up multiple times just in case one of your devices goes capoot! (shock horror that that should ever happen!)

Happy New year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!!

I've been on holiday with the family in Wellington and have been a bit out of touch internet-wise.

Some big things happening personally this year:

i'm turning 30 in June and my husband and i are resolved to lose lots of weight (at least 15kg each!).
Hopefully i will complete another WIP this year and maybe have my last years one self-pubbed on Amazon - or maybe subbed again!

What up for you this bright new year??