Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July Links!

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Note to readers: My second cataract surgery is planned for tomorrow. I'll be back around as soon as my eye settles.

I've got a bumper crop of links for you this month. Enjoy!

Elissa Altman shares "Writing and the Permission to Succeed." We all need this one!

Jacqueline Mitchard shares "8 Practical Tips to Avoid too Much Plot in Your Novel."

Donald Maass explains "What Makes Fiction Literary: Scenes versus Postcards."

Abby Geni has some tips on "Description" for us.

Marta Sprout has advice "On Writing Crime Scenes."

Katie Rose Guest Pryal shares how to "Write Around Your Dialogue."

"So, How Do You Know If You're a Good Writer?" comes from Janet Reid of Query Shark fame.

Answers to Vexing Questions:
Ronovan shares some info graphics on "Why Readers Stop Reading" that are eye-opening.

Next Week: On Thursday, July 21, I'm presenting to a book club my take on "What Is Women's Fiction?".  I'll report on how it goes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Book Pusher's July Mini Book Reviews: J. Blackwell, U. Carbone, C. di Maio, S. Meissner, C. Ruchti

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THE PARIS KEY Juliet Blackwell: Women's Fiction

Genevieve Martin thought that not all locks should be  opened, but maybe some secrets shouldn't be under lock and key. Moving to Paris teaches her that happiness can be hidden away as easily as pain. Good Read.

BLUEBERRY TRUTH Ute Carbone: Women's Fiction

This is a sweet story about hard truth. Add a great main character and you have a good read with genuine heart.

THE MEMORY OF US Camille di Maio: Women's Fiction

This poignant story of love and loss, repentance and renewal, will take you into the heart of Julianne Westcott. The journey will renew your hope for all who have their dreams stolen.

A FALL OF MARIGOLDS Susan Meissner: Women's Fiction

If you haven't read any of Meissner's books, A Fall of Marigolds is a good place to start. Meissner is a master of stories with two setting--in this one we have a 9-11 widow and a nurse working at Ellis Island in 1911. A Fall of Marigolds is a beautiful story of two young women--Taryn and Clare--who must discover the freedom to love and be loved will never be found if we are stuck in between choices. This is a must read! I'd give it ten stars if I could.

SONG OF SILENCE Cynthia Ruchti: Women's Fiction

This gentle story of grace, hope, forgiveness, and love reveals how music and life both benefit from rest.

Next Week: July Links!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Eyes Have It

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I'll be missing in action next week. I'm having my first cataract surgery. Yes, I'm that old. I know you didn't think so from my photo. Ha! I know better. So, if I don't hop around much next week, please cut me a break. My optometrists and ophthalmologists have been tracking them for over six years. Now, they're finally "bad enough" by the standards of my insurance company for removal. 

Our eyes are so important to our writing. We observe, write, edit--everything with our eyes fully engaged. As my sight took that gradual dimming that comes with age, I knew I'd have to do something. Glare is a constant companion. In fact, when I edit either on screen or on paper, I found the glare to be more than distracting.

Here's hoping that that problem will be gone soon! By the way, I'm opting for multi-focal lens implants. I'll be saying "Goodbye!!!!" to glasses, my hated companion for fifty-one years. (Now, be a sweetie and don't try to figure out my age from that tidbit. ;-)

Hopefully, I'll be a better blog-visitor when this is all done. Keep your fingers crossed!

In Two Weeks: The Book Pusher is back!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Book Pusher's June Mini Book Review Part 2: E. Carpenter, B. Davis, L. Grimes, IWSG, C. Ruchti,

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BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS Emily Carpenter: Women's Fiction/Suspense

Carpenter gives us a roller coaster of a story full of gothic suspense and deeply moving emotional growth for the main character. Excellent read.

THE SECRETS SHE CARRIED Barbara Davis: Women's Fiction

The secrets kept by Leslie Nichols family at the Peak Plantation have a way of seeking the light. Only Leslie has no clue what's coming until the truth shows up and up-ends her life. Good read.

ALL FIXED UP Linda Grimes: Urban Paranormal

(Ciel Halligan Book 4) With a bang and a giggle, Grimes continues her comic urban paranormal series. Can you imagine Ciel as an astronaut? Apparently the enemy isn't buying it. Great read.

PARALLELS: FELIX WAS HERE IWSG Anthology: Science Fiction

Ten insightful, intriguing stories--all from the minds of the member of the IWSG. Under the direction of founder Alex J. Cavanaugh, this group offers support for writers and, now, has unveiled the depth of talent within this group. There's not a story rating below a 7. If you like thoughtful SF, you'll love this book.

AS WATERS GONE BY Cynthia Ruchti: Christian Women's Fiction

The journey from despair to hope is a long one, and Ruchti's characters are rich, inviting, and forgiving. Lovely story! Told exceedingly well! Must Read.

Next Week:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June Links

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Some of my many books...
And now, on the center stage--the Links for June! There's enough for everyone. Pick and chose of read it all. I aim to please. tease, and share the wisdom of writers, editors, and agents. And, Readers! Without them, there would be no reason for the rest of us. ;-)


Readers (without you, we writers would be lost. XOXOX)
Let me know which is more "link worthy" to you. I value the input!
Next Week: The Book Pusher's June Mini Book Reviews, Part 2!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Book Pusher's June Mini Book Review part 1: S. Bryant, D. Gabaldon, D. Hining, L. McNeill, F. Rivers

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CHANGE OF LIFE Samantha Bryant: Science Fiction Women's Fiction

(Postmenopausal Super Heroes book 2) This is a bigger rip-roaring superhero tale than Bryant's book one. I can't wait to find out what comes next for this fabulous cast of women now that their creator has made such heroes of a much maligned group.

THE SCOTTISH PRISONER Diana Gabaldon: Historical Fiction

This is even better than BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE and true to its title, it concerns Jamie Fraser and Lord John Grey. If you've ever wondered how these two very different men can be good friends, you must read this book. Besides, we all need a dose of Diana Gabaldon while waiting for the next big Jamie and Claire book.

A SAINT IN GRACELAND Deborah Hining: Christian Women's Fiction with elements of Romance

This is a story about the growth of mature and radical faith. The romance is nuance and amazing, too. Hining has topped her debut with a story of war and peace.

SISTER DEAR Laura McNeill: Women's Fiction/Suspense

In this taut mystery, the brilliant use of multi-POV tells a compelling story. The emotional journey will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

LEOTA'S GARDEN Francine Rivers: Christian Women's Fiction

This is a classic story of pain, forgiveness, love, and sacrifice in the style Rivers is known for. The deeply realized characters tell the story from multiple POV.

If you didn't find anything interesting above, how about one of these? Here are the 2016 WFWA STAR Award Nominees.
Finalists for General are:
  • Scott Wilbanks, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster
  • Cynthia Ruchti, As Waters Gone By
  • Cynthia Swanson, The Bookseller
The finalist for Outstanding Debut are:
  • Kelli Estes, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
  • Linda Lucretia Shuler, Hidden Shadows
  • Scott Wilbanks, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster
Here's another chance to Read! Read! Read! this summer! Check out WFWA's Summer Reading Challenge.

And now, another place to find me and my book suggestions: Pinterest!
Next Week: June Links! ;-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

IWSG: Inspiration is All About You

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Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Our Co-Sponsor's this month are:
Murees Dupe
Alexia Chamberlynn
Chemist Ken
Heather Gardner

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

I have a confess to make. I'm not visual. Before you get worried, I want to assure you that my visual acuity is fine--unless you consider my cataracts, but they will be fixed later this summer. I promise. ;-) No, what I mean is that I don't connect to the world primarily through the visual sense. When I describe setting in my stories, I'm usually stymied for words. Sounds, on the other hand, are easy. That's why I find dialogue is a major jumping off point for my scenes. But grounding the action in a physical sense is a challenge. This is a huge insecurity for me.

One of my methods for fixing it is to us photos of settings that allow me to spend time digging deep. My main character is baker and gardener. I write contemporary, so I find photos to be a great way to dive into setting. Here's a few photos of my personal setting that inform my story's placement in the real world in Cherry Hill, Georgia.

Do you have any suggestions for how a non-visual writer like me can get more details and reality into my stories? How do you do it?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Friends and Old

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As much as I love a quiet day in which to write, I can't imagine doing that and only that. Truly, it takes connections with the rest of the world of writers. For that I'm blessed to have many options and opportunities.

One of the groups I'm a member of is the Women's Fiction Writers Association (founded 2009). I've mentioned my genre group many times here, but I could go on and on. Once I found my genre home and we formed, I found resources and workshops, but more than that, I found friends and cheerleaders who help me and allow me to help them. This group is international, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a few in my general area.

Jody Herpin, Emily Carpenter, Melanie Logan, and me
Last Saturday, a few of us in the Atlanta area got together for lunch. What fun! We found time to check in with each other about our writing journeys. Even though, I was an hour and a half late because of road construction and a wreck. (That's Atlanta traffic in a nutshell--even on a Saturday!) There's nothing like sharing the battles and victories with others of your tribe. Here's to you, Emily Carpenter, Jody Herpin, and Melanie Logan. I'm just sorry that the other Atlanta area writers--Kimberly Brock and Monica Cox--couldn't be with us for lunch. We talked, talked, and talked some more about our writing, and books. The fact that I'd missed Emily's BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS, has been remedied. (Once a book pusher, always a book pusher. ;-) Be sure you check out these talented ladies sites, too!

Long before I even know Women's Fiction existed and that my stories were included, I joined the CompuServe Books and Writers Forum. I know I've talked incessantly about this group that calls itself the "longest-running literary cocktail party" on the web. I can only thank Diana Gabaldon for introducing me to this marvelous group. It's within the welcoming membership that I've found fellow writers willing and able to teach and critique me. The Writers Exercises folder is worth a ton of $$$ and it's free! The only requirement is that you dive in and share your ideas and hints.

From the ranks of the Books and Writers Forum, I met sixteen friends who live all over the globe. Collectively, we're known as the SOC. and we share critiques, suggestions, and serve as a sounding board for all things story. But far more than that, we share acceptance, love, and genuine concern. It's not just writing that keeps our little group hopping. ;-) I love you one and all! 

Don't think that you'll be sentenced to solitude if you become a writer. Seek out genre connections, writers groups, and other like-minded souls and get those stories going!

Tomorrow: Don't miss my guest post on Jody's blog--Sensing Southern.
Next Week: IWSG--Inspiration for the Journey