Good Gosh Woman – What Are You Up To?

Wow! That’s a great question. Honestly, it’s hard to keep up with it all, at times. I also don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with…

Music Life!

Kevin is 1.) playing lead guitar in church every week during the summer. The main lead guy has gone on his summer work schedule so Kevin is filling in. Normally, he fills in wherever he’s needed; drums, bass, acoustic and now lead. 2.) He’s also playing bass in a Branson show called The Sons of Britches. Believe it or not, even for us metal heads it’s very entertaining. 3.) And last, but not least, he’s working together with some other awesome musicians to create a club/rock band. All of that keeps me busy when I’m not working on my books.

Books and Writing!

Yes, I have. I currently have three books published and waiting on one to clear the review process. Some of them I’ve co-authored with a friend, but it still counts as work – a lot of WORK!

If anyone tells you this writing gig is an easy job, they are lying—or they can’t write worth a shit in the first place and are fooling themselves thinking it’s easy.

Check out the Books Page to see what’s published and what’s coming up soon.

I should have two or three more books published by the first of August. Some of them are co-authored. It’s going to be a busy summer keeping up with everything, but I’m truly enjoying the work and the extra activity involved in our lives right now.

That’s about what I’m up to. I hope to start blogging every Friday to let everyone know what’s up, what my frustrations are (if any) what my aha moments have been—the general life of writing.

All the best,
Patti

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Man, that’s a tough question isn’t it? I do miss blogging, but I can’t say I miss the “pressure” of having to keep up with it. The thing I miss the most though is the interaction–when you guys and gals leave comments and follow me, for whatever reason.

It’s been super busy around here but I am writing, editing, publishing books and all that good stuff. In fact, if you go to My Book Page, you’ll see what all I’ve published in the area of fiction. Right now, I also have a couple I’m co-authoring and hope to get out this summer, plus the 2 or 3 of my own that I’m working on.

This is a slow process for me, or it seems slow. I’m always working on something, but it seems like it takes forever between finished projects. However, things have been quite busy outside the writing life too. My husband is a musician and things have taken off for him, so we’re busy with music A LOT! But it’s the good life, yanno? We’re both chasing our dreams—and starting to live our dreams–so that’s pretty dang cool.

Anyway, I do want to try and get a post out each week. I also want to do some book reviews of books I’m reading. I already have one review posted and will be doing another soon on the book I’m currently reading.

I also want to blog to get popular again. There, I admitted it. LOL. Seriously, I’ve missed the interaction and I’ve missed the people who wanted to read what I had to say. I will be doing mostly personal posts. You can find “useful” information all day long, but I prefer to just share my life and hopefully entertain you. I think people miss reading those kinds of posts too.

So, let’s get this journey started. You can sign up for updates in the sidebar if you’d like to keep up with my writing life. I will probably share lots of tears and frustrations, because this is not an easy gig…but it is one I enjoy. Yay!

All the best,
Patti

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Book Review: The Rebel

The Rebel Book Cover The Rebel
Hennings Family
Adrienne Giordano
Suspense - Harlequin Intrigue
Harlequin
Oct 2015
Paperback
284

Bad to the bone…in all the right ways

A brilliant civil lawyer, David Hennings has always been the outsider—at odds with his wealthy family, shunning relationships, defying convention as a sexy leather-jacketed biker. Which is why sculptor Amanda LeBlanc agrees to his request to reconstruct a skull from a cold case murder. The instant heat between them is scorching.

But once Amanda takes the job and gets too close to the rebellious attorney, her carefully balanced life is upended by a series of methodical attacks. Someone doesn't want her to finish the job. Now David will risk everything not to lose the woman he unknowingly put in jeopardy.

The Rebel by Adrienne Giordano

What I Liked:

I enjoyed discovering this author. I liked the writing, but there is one thing that annoyed me to no end. You can read about that below in the “What I Didn’t Like” section.

This book was pretty well written (aside from the annoyance I mention later.) I didn’t find it heart-pounding, but it was well-paced enough that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.

I liked that I didn’t figure out ‘whodunit’. I kept trying to guess as I was reading, but there really wasn’t any clues leading to the guilty party. I’m not real sure how I feel about that.

The Characters:

Amanda LeBlanc has her life turned completely upside down. In the beginning, I liked her a lot. She never got too whiny or overly annoying, but there was just something about her I didn’t like as I got into the book. She was well-done in the fact that she wasn’t one of those whiny damsels in distress, and her fears were shown but not too over-done. I really can’t put my finger on what I didn’t like about her.

David Hennings. I liked him. He had the bad boy look but he was a true gentleman and wasn’t afraid to show his feelings. I didn’t like the fact that the author kept bringing up the fact he’s a blue-blood–extremely wealthy family. One mention of the word would have been enough.

What I Didn’t Like:

The writer’s style is pretty good, but there’s a few things I didn’t like. In the middle of a character thought, she adds in “silly” words. I’ll share some examples below.

Another thing that annoyed me is some repitition, she repeats things we already know—like the reader forgot them already. She may have been trying to reiterate knowledge she’s already given us, but I found it annoying and felt like she was writing it for a very young audience who might not put the pieces together. One of the rules of writing is to respect the intelligence of the reader. I feel like she missed that one.

Here’s some of the annoyances in the writing. These “bits” are set off by an em dash — and to me it’s jarring. Not sure what she was trying to accomplish.

 

A biker shot out of an alley and the big guy swerved. Too late. He crashed into the rider and –yow–the rider went one way and the bike the other, both landing directly in David’s path.

***

Still holding her, he backed her against the wall, pressing against her, not gently, either, and –wow, that’s wild–his hands went crazy.

***

He kissed her again and the bulge in his pants–hello, fella–left no doubt he wanted exactly what she did.

 

Sex/Heat Level:

There’s only one sex scene and it’s very tastefully done. She doesn’t go on and on with details. Most of the sex scene was character thoughts and feelings. I skip really detailed sex scenes in books—I simply don’t need them and when I’m reading suspense or mystery, I want just enough heat to want the couple to get together.

Final Thoughts:

I received this as a free gift for signing up with Harlequin’s reader program. I was very happy, overall, with this book even though a few things did annoy me in the writing. I will definitely buy some of her other books to see if I like the author even more.

Where You Can Purchase:

You can purchase the paperback copy at Harlequin.com or the Kindle version at Amazon.com

If you’ve read this book feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. If you haven’t read it but it sounds interesting, feel free to comment about that too.

All the best!
Patti

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Staring Down the Evil Thing

What is this evil thing?

Book revisions, of course.

editing-manuscriptI’m taking Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel Course. The course is massive! Going through revisions can be a daunting task. Going through her course IS a daunting task, but she promises once you get through the initial pain (your first real revision) it gets much easier.

I’ve revised stuff before, but never on this level. In the end, I think it’ll make me a better writer than any “writing” course I’ve taken.

I’m supposed to be five weeks into the course. Unfortunately I did the first week wrong and decided I didn’t want to edit that story, so I’ve started over from the beginning. I will edit the other story at some point, but for now I’m happy with the one I am taking through the course.

Why am I putting myself through this torture course? Because, in the end I do want to be a better writer. I see so many indie authors putting books out that could be better if they’d spent the time to go through this process. Anyone can throw a book out there and call it finished—but is it really? I know I’ve grabbed at least a hundred Kindle books, started reading them and couldn’t get past the first few pages.

I don’t want readers to put my books down because they are poorly written.

Here’s a shot of the beginning. My revising table is a bit messier at this time because I’ve gone through a bit more–but this is how it looked on Day 1.

revision-table

 

I have a lot more papers scattered around now. Each week of the course comes with worksheets. Right now I’m still a bit confused (and overwhelmed) by it all, but in the end I believe I’m going to be very happy with my results. The story may not be a master piece, but I believe I’ll feel better about it and myself by going through this.

I can’t give you any insider information, and she only opens this course once a year. If you can get in at the end of the year, I highly recommend it. Start setting aside money now if that’s an issue for you. I think it may be the best investment you’ve ever made for your writing skills. She takes you deep into picking it apart—and putting it back together.

Happy Writing!
Patti

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Finding a Genre

Update June 2016: I’m leaving the original content intact, below, but boy how things have changed. I’m now really getting into medieval romance. I’m not as great at suspense as I’d hoped. I can write it so-so, but it takes a lot out of me mentally and emotionally. And while I said that romance can bore me, it does seem to flow out of me much easier than anything else I’ve tried to write.

Original post:

I can’t tell you how to find your genre. It’s a personal thing. I can tell you though, it may not be in a genre you actually read a lot. I love reading those cutesy cozy mysteries–you know–the ones about bakeries or bookstores or whatever. However, my attempt at writing them failed miserably.
I also like to read romance from time to time, and while I can write decently in that genre, I don’t like what I’ve written. It bores me to death.

I’m finding that my best style in is suspense. I’m no expert, but it’s the genre I want to focus on and hone my skills. I finally finished the suspense novel I started—awhile back. I like it best of all the things I’ve written so far.

My best advice is to write in several genres before you decide. You can’t know if you like writing fantasy, horror, romance, mystery or even women’s lit until you write some stories. I do suggest you pick one to three to test out and finish the stories. They don’t have to be novel length, but you need to finish them so you can print them out, read through them and attempt to revise them.

If you find the revision stage to be worse than pulling teeth, it may be that you don’t like the genre. It could also mean you don’t like what you’ve written, period, but in my case it’s been because I didn’t like the genre.

There’s no one way to discover these things when you set out to be a writer, so it’s best to try several on for size and see which fits the best. Think of it as buying a new coat. You may love a certain one, but if it doesn’t fit right you’ll never be happy wearing it.

Happy Writing!
Patti

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New Year – New Beginnings – Journey of a Writer

writers-new-year

A new year is a time for new beginnings and a chance to reflect back on the year that’s going out.

In 2015, I hardly blogged at all. In fact, when I had to change webhosts, I completely deleted my old blog and all of those old writings. It was mostly aimed at freelance writing and that part of my life is behind me. 2015 is the year I took fiction seriously.

In 2016, I will start publishing and getting more accomplished with fiction as a business and a career. I did finish 3 first drafts in 2015. While this isn’t the fast track, I did prove to myself that I can finish what I start and will still have plenty of ideas brewing when the current project is finished.

I’m now entering the revision stage, which can be quite overwhelming. I’m taking Holly Lisle’s course and it’s massive—but it’s in depth and it’s good. I’m pretty sure, from now on, I’m going to stick to learning from her. At least until I get through all of her courses, then I may see what other people have to offer. However, I do want James Patterson’s Master Class on writing this year.

2015 has been a year of letting go. Letting go of a lot of things/reasons/excuses, etc. that I allowed to hold me back. I didn’t let go of everything (I still have some things I’m working through) but all in all it was a year of letting go.

2016 will be a year of stepping it up more, get the momentum of this ball rolling. Right now, I’m still pushing it uphill, but that’s what it takes. When I get to the top of the hill, it will gain it’s own momentum and roll down the other side much more easily.

This also means staying focused on what *I* want. Not what other people think or other people think I should do. It’s me time. It’s time to be selfish about it. It’s time to let go of things and people that hold me back…or that I allow to hold me back. No more worrying about what the world out there is doing on Facebook or whatever. It’s time to focus on me and my husband and what we want out of life.

2015 has ended with us both seeing some good things happening in our lives. He’s playing music in a live show, I’m getting to write (full time when I work it full time). This new year is a time for us to expand and dig our roots into the areas we both want—living a creative life and making a living at it. We aren’t quite there yet, but it’s so much brighter than the past year.

So, time for new beginnings and chucking out the old.

May your 2016 be all that you desire and create for yourself!

Happy New Year!
Patti

Road1a

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Cryptic Cove – Building a Fictional Town

Cryptic Cove is the fictional town I’ve created (or am creating) in my first cozy mystery series. I’ve finished writing book one and am in the editing phase now. As I’ve read through the first draft, it’s apparent that although the town is in my head, I haven’t translated it onto the page yet. It still needs development during revisions.

It’s an odd little town, perched high on a cliff above a modern, touristy town on the coast of Massachusetts. I have no idea if a small town like this actually exists, but it’s fiction, right? I can put it where I want it, right?

It was a lot of fun writing book one. I have four books planned in the series, but it may become a longer series, as I can see where the two MCs can grow and solve more mysteries.

I also wanted this to be a mystical town, but don’t want to lean too heavily on the paranormal aspects. I’ve also discovered that this element does need to be brought out a little more than I have.

If this sounds interesting to you, be sure to check back and keep up with updates. I will try to post some blurbs from time to time, during the revision process, so you can decide if it’s something you’d like to read when it’s published.

All the best,
Patti

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