Monday, February 20

Are you intentional?

Sunrise at Flahertys
We are having spring in February here in Indiana. Not sure how long it's going to last, but this week is looking pretty good! It is a time of hopefulness for Good Things to Happen and I'm pinning my wish-I-may, wish-I-might thoughts on that.

How are you all coming on your reading for the year? I finished Number 13 this week, a Maggie Osborne re-release, The Bride of Willow Creek, which was every bit as good this time as it was the first time I read it. Right now I'm reading an ARC by a good friend with an excellent voice and enjoying it a lot. Kristina Knight's Famous in a Small Town, the first book in the Slippery Rock Series, is available for pre-order and so worth the wait. I've also read wonderful new releases by Kristan Higgins and Mary Balogh.

I'm not ready to call 2017 a success--there have already been too many bumps in my personal road for that--but I'm grateful to Curtiss Ann Matlock for issuing the reading challenge. I have been more intentional in my reading than I have been in several years. Not every book has been a winner--there are a few I didn't even list because I didn't make it past the first couple of chapters--and I've listed a couple that I only read half or three-quarters of simply because sometimes the books are too long for my taste.

There is a question for you, by the way, in case you thought I might let a week go by without asking you one. Do you prefer long books or short ones? When I was young, I loved long ones. I have no idea how many times I read Gone With the Wind, most of Kathleen Woodiwiss's offerings, and some others, but now I like short ones. I love novellas, although I seldom read all the stories in the boxed sets we find on every shopping corner at Amazon. I think it's funny-peculiar that I read a gazillion series romances in my younger days, went almost entirely to single-title for a good many years, and have returned in large part to series, or at least series-length.

I just read back over this post, mumbling, "Geez, Liz, did say anything?" Well, I did, although it was kind of lost in there. It was the word intentional. 

We talk a lot about writing, about scheduling it or not, about writing every day or not, about (on bad days) whether we are really writers or just hacks with computers. (I may have made that last thing up, but doesn't it look writerly?) I sometimes get discouraged because I don't stick with my schedule or make my goals. I know Nan and Margie do this sometimes and I imagine Kristi, Ava, and Jana do, too. But the truth is, just as the the reading challenge has made me into an intentional reader, we are all intentional writers. If we don't make the goals or stay in our chairs until time to leave them, we are no less intentional than if we punched clocks at our office doors.

Yeah, I'm good with that. How about you?

Have a good week!

Liz


We hope you visit us on the web. I'm not going to list all our links here, but just in case you wanted to give us a hello at Amazon, here we are.

Kristina KnightLiz Flaherty, Nan Reinhardt, Ava Cuvay, Jana RichardsMargie Senechal's internet home is here on Word Wranglers, for which we are all most grateful!


Saturday, February 18

Villains: Heroes in their own minds

My friend posted a quote the other day, attributed to a Karen Marie Moning book: “Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

This quote got me thinking about villains in general and a current favorite TV show in particular. In their own minds, every villain believes he/she is the hero of the story. They are convinced that what they are doing is right and correct.

One of my favorite TV shows this year is “Timeless”. IMDb describes it as “An unlikely trio travel through time in order to battle unknown criminals and protect history as we know it.” The Mason Company invents a time travel machine – two of them, actually. Garcia Flynn steals one of them and begins a campaign to change history and rid the world of the mysterious group Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse has been around since the beginning of America, composed of influential people through history. They believe they know best what is right for the country, and they are ruthless in pursuing their goals.

One of the things I like about this show is the complex characters. Most of the characters are neither all good or all bad, and I think that’s what keeps them from becoming cardboard cut-outs. Each is convinced of the rightness of what they’re doing.

Flynn is an interesting character. A former NSA asset, his family was killed by Rittenhouse when he began asking questions about them. His goal is to destroy Rittenhouse in the past so that he can bring back his family in the present. Though his intentions are noble, his methods are not. He will stop at nothing to meet his goal, killing anyone who stands in his way. Sometimes he has his doubts, but in his mind, he’s doing the right thing.

Even Wyatt, one of heroes of the show, falls into the trap of believing the end justifies the means. A few years previously, Wyatt’s wife Jessica was murdered. In a desperate attempt to get her back, he steals the time machine and goes back to 1983. His mission is to prevent the parents of the man who murdered Jessica from ever meeting and conceiving him. If the murderer is never born, then Jessica can’t be killed by him. But nothing goes to plan. Despite vowing that no one would get hurt, a man is accidentally killed, and in the end it doesn’t bring Jessica back.

I love villains because they bring the conflict to a story. But I love them even more when they’re complex and believe they’re the heroes of the story.

Who’s your favorite literary villain? Why do you like him/her?

Friday, February 17

It's a Whole New World!

Writer peep Aleatha Romig, who recently hit the New York Times, USA Today, AND the Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists, has invited other authors to write novellas based in the world of her Infidelity Series. Let that sink in for a sec… how totally cool is it to have other writers crafting stories situated in the world you’ve created?!

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, some of those authors are also writer peeps! The Infidelity World will be released on March 23rd, and I’m spotlighting those peeps today with their cover reveals. It’s a squeee! moment for me brag about these fabulous gals!

 About the World: The Infidelity Corporation will broker relationships—for a price. Their clients are exclusive and successful, their employees confidential and classified. Infidelity ensures that CEOs, politicians, and high-profile artists find love, with their friends and relatives none the wiser about how the happy couple met. But twists and turns abound in a world where old money, new money, and no money clash, from West Coast to East Coast and beyond. Enter Infidelity’s world of entrapment, betrayal, and deceit, where you decide whose relationship is real and whose is just an agreement.
Authors writing for Infidelity World include:
Infidelity World Authors: New York Times Bestselling author Pam Godwin, Ted Persinger, Lulu Astor, Rae Riley, TC Winters, Donya Lynne, A.d. Ellis, DeeDee Lorenzo, and Jillian Jacobs.Learn more in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/368121873586542/INSIDER by Jillian Jacobs

Within the lens, everything is picture perfect… Or is it?
Stepping through Infidelity’s doors binds all who enter to the strictest secrecy. Even insiders have secrets they must keep, and the consequences for betraying that bond are dire.

Infidelity insider Imina Lesedi is forbidden to share her employer’s secrets—and her own. Only one man understands the delicate nature of working for a company that provides companionship for the elite, but his social and financial status make him unattainable, even though Imina craves a visit to his darkroom.
 
Award-winning photographer Aiden Maxfield views life from behind the camera. A charmer by nature, he relishes the moments he makes the elusive Imina smile--but he would much rather picture the exotic beauty on his rumpled sheets.
 
When the two are trapped together, the enticement proves too strong to resist. Raw passions are exposed, and their years of denial culminate in an insatiable desire for more.
 
But not everyone celebrates their newfound bliss. A malicious foe is threatened by Imina's knowledge of a dark secret from their shared past. When that truth is exposed, Imina and Aiden must fight for their love before it becomes shuttered by lies, deception--and Infidelity.on my books at jillianjacobs.com
First books in both series are perm-99cents!
More info on the Infidelity world HERE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/368121873586542/
More info on Jillian's books at JillianJacobs.com
 
INHERITANCE by TC Winters
 
Every stroke of the brush creates an illusion.
 
Renowned artist Dante Costello's carefree lifestyle is shattered by his father's brutal murder. Although is mafia family is suspect, when he confronts the person he believes is responsible, the man is executed right before his eyes.
 
In a bizarre twist, his younger sister is arrested for their father's murder, and Dante is ordered to locate a priceless stolen painting to exonerate her.
 
During his search, Dante investigates the family business and is devastated to discover his father's legitimate lifestyle was only an illusion.
 
As the hunt turns deadly, Dante must race against time to protect everyone he loves.


DEVOTED by A.D. Ellis

Adam & Kyle: Something About Him

Kyle Matthews and Adam Jeffries have a terrific relationship, fabulous friends, and plans for the perfect wedding and honeymoon.

When their plans are derailed, a mysterious stranger comes to their rescue. Yet even with their honeymoon back on track, Kyle and Adam face doubts, hostility, and opposition.

Is their mutual devotion strong enough to save their marriage? Or will the bitter malice awaiting them be the beginning of the end?

**This is a male/male romance meant for ages 18+ due to adult material.**

 
And these are just a few of the authors.... Join the Facebook group to learn more about the stories and the awesome authors behind them:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/368121873586542/
But not everyone celebrates their newfound bliss. A malicious foe is threatened by Imina’s knowledge of a dark secret from their shared past. When that truth is exposed, Imina and Aiden must fight for their love before it becomes shuttered by lies, deception—and Infidelity.
More info on my books at
jillianjacobs.com
First books in both series are perm-99cents!
More info on the Infidelity world HERE:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/368121873586542/

Thursday, February 16

Plot Lines

by Margie Senechal 

I spend a good portion of my life thinking about other people's lives or you know character's lives. 

It gets pretty bad sometimes especially when I only listen peripherally to my family and get in trouble for not hearing the whole thing. You'd think they'd be used to it by now.

Lately I find living in my plots preferable to living in reality. Not that my life is bad, it's just that reality is kind of bleak these days. 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that if we don't see a big change in our government, that we will see an uptick in Dystopian fiction in the coming year or so.

To that end, I've been thinking of taking my post-apocalyptic/Dystopia out of moth balls and testing the water. Mine is a weather-based apocalypse and the more climate-deniers stay in office, the more believable my premise becomes. The government that rises out of the apocalypse embraces population control and second borns are shunned from society. And the religion is an earth-based goddess type that I haven't completely figured out yet.

Don't worry, Liz, I'm not delving into this until Suitcases is done. Although, I may tinker a bit. But, that's generally the way I write anyway. A little here, a little there, and a lot back here. Maybe I'm an attention-deficit writer. 

Or I just have so many ideas and so little time. Or that's simply my justification for not focusing.

Hang on, a plot beckons....

Wednesday, February 15

On Bingeing and Old Favorites - @AuthorKristina Knight

The cast of The West Wing
We're getting ready to cut the cord in our house. 

A couple of years ago, we got our first Apple TV device - it's kind of like a cable box except it doesn't cost us anything (you know, after we bought it at the store). I'd known about Netflix and Hulu before we bought the Apple thingie, but I could never really get comfortable watching either of them on my computer. It wasn't the same, sitting at my desk and streaming something. Once the Apple TV was in place, though, I totally got the excitement about streaming. 

I could sit on my sofa or in my favorite chair, and I could watch...well, whatever I wanted. I discovered (gasp) that I'm a. . .a. . .a binger! I watched entire seasons of old favorite sitcoms like Family Ties and Friends. I found a whole section of old movies (Woman of the Year, Awful Truth) that I adored (seriously, did anyone have as much pluck as Katherine Hepburn or Irene Dunn?). And then I discovered things that were completely new to me - shows like Reign (a fun take on Mary Queen of Scots), the Full House reboot Fuller House (did you know Netflix is also re-booting One Day At A Time? Can't wait to watch that!), House of Cards and Newsroom (Jeff Daniels is the BEST is that show!). 

A couple of weeks ago I rediscovered the beauty of The West Wing. And I've decided (once again) that Aaron Sorkin is a genius. He writes fast, and he writes witty, and he writes like we talk. Even references I don't quite get the first time around, I understand because of the context that he uses...and then when I figure out the reference, I giggle madly again...and restart the binge.

When RadioMan mentioned actually cutting the cord of cable (or in our case DirecTV), my entire body tensed. I mean, what if I missed something amazing, sensational. . .bingeworthy? I seriously started feeling queasy, even though I rarely watch anything on TV that isn't either DVR'd or streaming. And then I remembered, even if I miss the next best thing since The West Wing on cable...I could always find it in a couple of months. And - beauty part! - I could binge it. 

What about you? Do you binge watch?
~Kristina