Sunday, 16 January 2022

10 Ways Authors Can Keep Their Characters in Turmoil and Their Readers Reading by C.D. Hersh...


We recently came across an old email entitled Instructions for Life. The 45 positive recommendations on the list are meant to help make one’s life better. By turning some of the instructions upside down and we created bad life advice that will keep novel characters in turmoil.

Next time things are going too smoothly with your WIP try throwing one of these in the mix.

    • 1. Let them believe in love at first sight, but fight it like it can’t exist.
    • 2. If they make a mistake, don’t let them be too quick to acknowledge it.
    • 3. Let them fall in love deeply, passionately, and with people they would never choose. They might get hurt, but it’s the only way to live life completely.
    • 4. Make them fight to keep their values, but make sure they do keep them. No one loves an un-heroic hero.
    • 5. Remember silence is sometimes the best answer and unanswered questions are always suspect.
    • 6. Let them dredge up the past; it makes for good conflicts.
    • 7. Let them read between the lines … a lot. Miscommunication thickens the plot.
    • 8. Let them slowly discover that not getting what they want is sometimes the best thing that ever happened.
    • 9. Never let them mind their own business. You can’t get in trouble that way.
    • 10. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risks, and make them willing to risk everything to reach their goals.

Do you have a favorite trick for keeping your characters in turmoil?

Now if you want to see what we do with our characters how about checking out our series.

   


Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. 

As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after. They are two hearts creating everlasting love stories.  


Catherine and Donald look forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life. 

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their Website and at Soul Mate Publishing. Stay connected on Facebook, their Amazon Author Page, and Twitter.

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Heat Up Your Winter with Cookbook Author Sloane Taylor's Spicy Jambalaya...


With winter in full swing, I asked cookbook author and gourmet guru, Sloane Taylor to stop by and prepare us a pre-Mardi Gras dish guaranteed to keep you warm enough to make you believe that you're in the middle of New Orleans on a steamy summer evening. Welcome, Sloane! My virtual kitchen is yours, so let's heat things up...

JAMBALAYA
 
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
½ tbsp. garlic, chopped
¾ lb. andouille sausage, sliced to pieces 1 inch thick
2½ cups chicken stock, possibly more
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ cup paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. tabasco sauce2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup rice
1 cup green onions, chopped, include plenty of green

Warm a Dutch oven on medium heat. Pour in oil. When it shimmers add onion, celery, and green pepper. Sauté 7 – 9 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Adjust heat so onion doesn’t burn. Add garlic. Sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.  

Stir in sausage and stock. Add remaining ingredients, except rice and green onions, and then stir well.

Add rice and bring to a boil. Cover then lower heat to simmer. Cook 25 minutes. Stir well after each 10 minutes so rice doesn’t stick to pan. Add more stock if the food looks dry.

Sprinkle green onions across the rice mixture when you serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor's cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Summer Sizzle, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available at all book vendors.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 2 January 2022

A New Year of Being Resilient in my Author Life…


As we close up the second year of the pandemic, albeit a more hopeful year than 2020, I can’t help but wonder what’s in store for us resilient humans in 2022. Perhaps resilience is the key. Being resilient in your chosen profession and your life. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s to truly be resilient in the face of adversity. To adapt, go with the flow, rebound, or be flexible. It’s how we’ve survived throughout the millennia, and how businesses choose to evolve instead of die. Remember Sears? If not, do a check and see what businesses survived during this pandemic. How did they adapt? What did people do to keep themselves (and their customers) safe and protected? That’s where the answers will lie.

With our hands tied these past two years, even authors have had to give up in-person events such as book signings and doing public readings or book launches. Zoom became our friend in order to reach readers. Social media continued to thrive, though we should be mindful of what content we allow into our energy system. If we keep our wits about us, we’ll thrive. That’s what I plan to do in 2022. With the release of my latest time travel young adult book (number three in the series) The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, last September I worked hard promoting it (mostly online) to become my publisher’s bestselling author in the second half of the year. I’m high fiving myself in the mirror for that achievement! However, being a resilient author (or insert a profession here) doesn’t stop there. Like the Covid-19 virus has trained us, we need to mutate into the next variant if we want to better our best. After all, that’s what evolution is all about.

 Speaking of evolution, my publisher is celebrating their eighth anniversary in the publishing biz in 2022, and have got an amazing deal for readers who love to escape into a book. So, without further ado, Mirror World Publishing is offering a discount of 20% off ebooks and paperbacks in their online store to their friends, family, and fans for the entire month of January 2022. How does it get any better than that! Use the code MWFAM22 to cash in on some really great reads this winter by visiting https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/discount/MWFAM22 to feed your need to read!

In case you never got the chance, please check out my candid interview with my publisher below as we go ‘beyond the bio’. I share some personal and professional info, as well as what’s happening next in my author life. Cheers and wishing you and your loved ones a safe and wonderful new year! Happy reading…

 Tell us a bit about yourself, your hobbies, or your background.

Only a bit? LOL! Actually, I really think my Twitter account bio nails it: Author of THE LAST
TIMEKEEPERS and MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS YA series. Lover of single malt scotch, anything arcane, and ancient mysteries.

Allow me to explain.

I’ve always loved watching shows or reading about the unexplained, supernatural, ancient mysteries, and legends throughout my life. Topics like Atlantis, the Druids, Robin Hood, Voodoo, monsters, and psychic abilities intrigue me. I’m a deep thinker, as well as an analytical thinker (in fact I’m an over-thinker) which prods me on to do the research needed to get those golden ‘fact’ nuggets I can use to make my books entertaining and educational for the reader.

Of course, the single malt scotch needs no explanation after a hard day of writing. Cheers!

What's your writing process like?

Cut a vein and write. Kidding. My writing process is always the same for every book. First, I start with the characters and build the story around them. The characters—my characters—must carry the story to completion, and give readers closure. It’s a must. In order to do this, I begin writing out character tracking sheets (stats on character appearances, clothing, likes and dislikes, etc.) which have served me well throughout the writing process. Then the fun begins. Research, research, and more research. I love this part of the process too. Only when I have enough facts, and I feel my characters are fleshed out sufficiently, then I begin to plot the novel. That’s another thing—I’m an intuitive plotter and love to outline the entire storyline. I also make sure I leave enough room for my Muse to pop in and direct me to where my imagination wishes to go.

Hindsight has taught me that I’m a little anal when it comes to managing my writing life, and love to be prepared and organized when getting to the guts of a story. Guess that’s how I’m built!

Tell us about your books and why you write in the genre that you do, or for the age market you've chosen.

A psychic once told me I’d always be a little girl at heart, so I figured why not write for her? I believe the young adult genre chose me, and not the other way around. The first book I penned was a supernatural romance thriller with shapeshifters, witches, and African folklore in the mix. When I received a critique from a dear friend who said my ‘voice’ was definitely more for the young adult crowd, I almost fell off the chair in shock. The more I thought about it, the more I knew in my heart that her constructive critique was bang-on.

Presently, I have two young adult book series on the go: The Last Timekeepers time travel adventures, and Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mysteries. Both series contain a healthy dose of humor, mystery, and the unexpected; served with a dash of inspiration, entertainment, and education on the side.

What do you have going on right now in your writing life? Anything new we should be looking out for?


Well, the third installment (fourth if you count the prequel) of The Last Timekeepers series entitled, The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave came out on September 17th, 2021 which I was so excited about! It’s been a long time coming, as this book was put on the backburner so I could release books one and two of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. Once I caught up with those launches, it was back to the writing grindstone to complete the next time travel adventure which is set in antebellum Georgia during 1855. My poor characters are in for the rides of their lives with this Timekeeper mission!

Currently, I’m working on the next book in Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Sticks and Stones, where the main character’s latent psychokinetic ability is unleased in the most unexpected ways. So, keep an eye out for this book in the near future!   

Here’s a glimpse of the premises of both my young adult series:

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mysteries…

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with this freakish power. There’s no hope for a normal life, and no one who understands. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go.

Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventures…

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—five classmates are sent into the past to restore balance, and bring order back into the world, one mission at a time.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.