Writer Wednesday–Blog Crit

Laura Barnes was gracious enough to critique my blog last week and I wanted to share her blog with you guys today.

Click HERE to see her critique of my blog.

Laura does a great job of assessing a blog’s aesthetic appeal, informational content, design, and scope.

I IMMEDIATELY implemented many of the suggestions she gave me.

You can sign up to get your blog critiqued too!


Deb’s up for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic. Stop by her blog and say hi! Check out her dragons figures too–she designs and molds them herself.

Writer Wednesday–Being A Worthy Beta

So I’m beta reading a project from a new writer friend I met through the interwebz. I offered to read her novel because I’d read other work by her and was really curious to see more. (Kind of self-serving, eh?) Anyway, I read the first sentence and was BLOWN AWAY. Then the second sentence was just as FAB. And the third, fourth, fifth, EVERY SENTENCE was GREAT! Strong verbs, powerful descriptors, clear actions, crisp dialogue, dynamic characters–it was ALL there!

“Geez, I’m not a worthy beta,” I thought. “How can I possibly give a helpful critique when I’m so impressed with the writing that I don’t think anything needs changing???”

OK, every writer DREAMS of a beta saying: “I LOVE IT DON”T CHANGE A WORD!!!” But really, is that realistic? I mean, shouldn’t there be something I could point out that may need work?


(Truthfully, I’m developing some thoughts for the writer to consider, but really, changes are not necessary. At. All. I pretty much have only stylistic comments rather than critical ones.)

What do you do when you’re so impressed with a beta project that you’re at a loss as to what to offer for a critique?

(Photo credit)

(Photo credit)

Check out Lydia’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog response to if non-writers have found/commented on her blog!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–Who Else Is Watching You?

This month, Lydia asks:

Outside of your writing friends, do other people (work, family, friends) know you blog? What do they think of it? Have you ever been hit with a, “Hey! I read your blog today!” from someone you never expected to read it?

FANTASTIC question, Lydia!

When I first started writing (over 3 1/2 years ago now!), I didn’t tell anybody. Back then, I wasn’t sure where my writing was going. I had dreams, of course, but really it was a way to destress, do something creative, and it was FUN!!!!

Then I joined QueryTracker’s forum and met a bunch of fantastic people! With time, I became comfortable enough to start this blog. It was slow going at first, but as the months passed it developed into what you see today.

My blog posts are connected to Twitter and Facebook and since I’ve friended some co-workers, friends, and family there, they’ve seen the links. Much to my surprise and delight, my blog has spread from writer friends to people in my “real life” circle.

It’s been nice to see them “like” a post and even comment on them!

What’s more, they whole-heartedly support my endeavors. They send “*hugs* and chocolate” when I get a rejection and they send “CONGRATULATIONS! and SQUEEEs!!!” when I announce accomplishments.

Even better, it’s hard for me to go a day to two without someone asking me about my book and my short story!


How about you? Any non-writerly peeps find your blog?

Writer Wednesday–Writer’s Road and Indie Chat

There’s a LOT of chats happening on Twitter. It can be daunting and overwhelming to decide which ones to join. There’s YALitChat, MGLitChat, Scriptchat…oh hell, just check out this LINK (from @inkyelbows) for more.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve “attended” two writer chats on Twitter:

#Indiechat (Tuesdays at 9pm EST)

#WritersRoad (Mondays at 9pm EST)

I have learned SO MUCH that I plan to stick with these two. PLUS, the peeps on there are SUPER SUPPROTIVE and eager to share their experience and knowledge of the biz (and in a way I can understand!).

What chats have you been to? Which are your favs and why? Ever thought about starting your own chat?

Be sure to check out Deb’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of Prologues–Love ’em or hate ’em?

Writer Wednesday–How Do You Review?

So, I’ve been watching my writer friend, Kendall Gray, on her journey of self-publishing. I’ve been lucky enough to read an ARC of INHALE, the first novel in her JUST BREATHE trilogy and, man, I just want to shout it out to the world how AWESOME Kendall’s writing is.

If you don’t believe me, check out the book trailer HERE.

Awesome, right? Seriously, you need to pre-order the entire series NOW. *waits while you go to Amazon*

*squints at screen to make sure you’re at Amazon’s website*

Okay. Glad you’re back.

What makes me love INHALE so much?

The characters are clear. They are goal-directed (sorry, that’s a psych term, but you’d be surprised how many characters are just wandering around their novels like post-lobotomy schizophrenics). They have faults. There’s great smexy scenes. There’s a TON of action and conflict.

All those things keep me reading on. It keeps me thinking about the characters when I’m not reading. I even picture myself hanging out with the main characters, Gavin and Zoe. In Australia. On the beach. Yeah. And heck, if I can picture myself hanging out with the characters, that means their writer has made it into my inner circle of favorite authors.

(Pssst, that includes YOU, KENDALL!!!!!!)

We know books sell based on word of mouth (yes, there are other things, but go with me on this one). So, I wanted to review INHALE. I wanted to support Kendall.

I wanted to really capture how I felt and why it was important for me to recommend INHALE to other people.

…And then I realized I kind of suck at writing reviews.


I worry about writing spoilers. I worry about sounding trite or saccharine. I worry about rambling aimlessly (sort of like what I’m doing now). I worry about not conveying the essence of my reaction.

So, I wrote about what I liked (as I just did above) and left it at that. Better to be short and sweet, than ambling and confusing, no?

Still, I feel like my review fell short.


Now I open the forum to you.

How do you review? Is there a certain template you follow? Do you only write positive reviews? Or do you “tell it like it is?”

Check out Lydia’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of the uses (or misuses) of Prologues!

Author Christine Fonseca Guest Post

I’m so excited to be here with Laura for Day 3 of the blog tour for the launch of my debut novel, LACRIMOSA. Laura was one of the first to read this book forever ago, so I was thrilled when she indicated that she wanted to be part of the tour fun.

For this post, we both thought it would be EPIC to bring a special interview with Nesy and one of Laura’s characters, Justin. Take it away Justin –

Justin [adds another log onto the fire and rubs his arms]: Sorry, it gets cold at night in the mountains. I want to thank you for traveling here to meet with me. Smith is keeping watch, but we’ll have to talk fast…just in case, you know, the Vie ambush us. [laughs nervously] Then again, I guess you know about surprise attacks and fighting and stuff. What is it that you do again?

Nesy: Without giving too much away, I’m a warrior of sorts. Most similar to your Samurai of the pre-industrial Japan, I think. Just thinking of me as a bad-ass with a sword 😉

Justin: That’s awesome! I wish I knew sword fighting…though I am pretty handy with a Taser and a stake. [wry grin] So, what’s it like to keep your identity secret? I mean, I have this tattoo that tells everyone what I am—an Anemie—so I can’t hide it, but you, I can’t tell what you are. So cool.

Nesy: I’m fortunate because I can hide in plain site most of the time. People don’t often think of pretty teenage girls as hardened warriors, which helps. A lot. Still, most of the things I battle against can see through my disguises, so I have to be vigilant and careful.

Justin: [clears throat] I wanted to ask you…have you ever lost something so important you’d give your life for? My sister, Sammie, was kidnapped by the Vie, and I have to get her back…I’m just not sure how to do it. And I kind of feel like an idiot hiding in the forest, but…I don’t have weapons like you and we don’t have a strong enough army to take down the Vie. Do you have an army?

Nesy: [deep sigh] I’ve lost many things. Important things. I have never been one to hide if someone I [cough] “love” is in danger, army or not. Of course, I have training you do not possess. Have you ever considered asking for help in some way? I mean, through your prayers, I guess you’d call them. You never know, maybe help will come. Especially against the forces of evil.

Justin: Um, yeah, I don’t know. The closest I got to praying was when I had to join a cult for safety. Not something I like to remember. [shudders] Okay, one last question. What’s it like where you’re from…Celestium, right?

Nesy: Yes, my home is Celestium. And it is beautiful. Colors – indigo, emerald, ruby, and gold, seem to fill the sky, glistening off of the towers and citadels that make up my world. It is like nothing you have seen other than in your dreams. There is a calm, a peace, I long for, especially when I have been away for long periods of time.

Justin: Cool. Sounds like an awesome place. Way better than here. I wish I could bring Sammie there. Maybe someday, right?

Nesy: Oh, I have a feeling you will both come to know it one day.

Justin: Thanks for meeting me. Good luck with your mission. I hope to see you again.

Nesy: You will Justin. You will.


Such a great interview! Thank you to Laura and Justin.

Ready for the last part of my reading of Chapter 1? Be sure to check out Michelle’s post on Operation Awesome tomorrow. And be certain to check out the entire schedule for the tour here – there are special giveaways throughout the tour…

including the EPIC Nesy Prize pack filled with her favorite things:

Just complete this form.

You can enter up to twice daily (through the tour and my blog).

And there’s more – collect the daily clues to enter the EPIC grand prize giveaway that includes books, swag and a special surprise.

Today’s clue – DUTY

Short Blurb for LACRIMOSA

As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.

He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.

Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself.

Author Endorcement(s):

“LACRIMOSA reaches out, grabs readers by the heart, and takes them on an emotional journey from the first page to the last. The last novel you’ll need to read to understand true sacrifice.”

~Elana Johnson, Author of POSSESSION



ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)

Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers.

Kindle buy link– http://www.amazon.com/Lacrimosa-Requiem-Series-ebook/dp/B007HEVTS4

Nook buy link – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lacrimosa-christine-fonseca/1109329729?ean=2940013923256

Additional Titles in the series include DIES IRAE (a Requiem Novella), LIBERA ME (Oct 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013).

The book trailer can be seen by linking to YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTQoOFKEZg

About Christine Fonseca

School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. Her nonfiction titles include 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.

When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – http://christinefonseca.com or her blog http://christinefonseca.blogspot.com.

I totally enjoyed this book when I first read it and I can’t wait to read it again!!!! CONGRATS, CHRISTINE!!!!!!! *hugs*

Check out Sarah’s response (today), then Lydia’s response (next week) to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of: Prologues–Love ’em or hate ’em?

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–To Prologue Or Not To Prologue

This month, I ask:

The Prologue: Love It or Hate It? Are there times when it’s necessary to have a prologue?
Before I started writing for realz, I actually LOVED prologues. I didn’t care if they were directly connected to chapter 1 or note. It didn’t bother me if the narrator was completely different from the main character. Hell, I didn’t even mind if the prologue captured a different century, planet, or plane of existence!
Then I learned about the RULES.
And The Prologue (to me) died.
They weren’t allowed. Agents didn’t want to see them. Writing forum members swayed newbies away from them.
I was like, “Okay, no prologue. No harm, no foul.”
(I try to go with the flow.)
Then I saw newly published books (touted by the writing world as AWESOME! FANTASTIC! MUST READ!) WITH prologues!!!
I was like, “HUH? I thought they were a no-no!”
Listen, when I read a book for enjoyment, I still like prologues. I don’t skip over them. I don’t “tut-tut” them.
But I don’t include them in my stories. And I don’t really know why.
What about you? Prologues: Love ‘Em Or Hate ‘Em?
Tune in next week for Lydia’s take on Prologues.

Writer Wednesday–Battling Social Networking Overload

I’ve been on the social media highway for about three years now. It all started with QueryTracker, then branched out to RallyStorm, then to Facebook and Twitter, and finally, my blog. I’ve spent countless hours on each site, chatting with other writers, learning techniques, learning how-to’s and don’ts, all the while watching the network grow and branch out in directions I’d never thought possible.

And now there’s even MORE avenues to get connected!

Klout, Google+, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and now Pinterest…

How can I possibly keep up!!!!!!

*flails* *runs into wall* *passes out on floor*

So, folks, how do you keep a steady pace on the social networking highway without running out of gas? How do you find time to do real life things, like, gee I don’t know, WRITE??? 😉

This week for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog, Deb answers the question of what inspires her.

Writing Wish Wednesday

Award-winning author Jessica Bell (blogger of The Alliterative Allomorph, poet extraordinaire, talented musician, and gifted writer) is hosting a writer’s retreat in ITHICA, GREECE this August. Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest has signed on to be there too!

Here’s the link: The Homeric Writers’ Retreat and Workshop

Man, oh man, if I didn’t have a hundred million things going on, I’d totally sign up!!!

That is my Writer Wish.

How about you? What does your writer self wish for?

Check out Lydia’s response for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog’s topic of Inspiration!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–Inspiration

Deb asks:

What type of book do you read for writing inspiration, and why? Do you read fiction or non-fiction, and what genres? Mysteries and YA, or archeology and astronomy?

Great question!

The simple answer is I read YA books to inspire me for my YA WIPs and I read middle grade for middle grade inspiration. 😉

I prefer paranormal, horror, sci fi, fantasy, and all things magical. I also like unique and “odd” things. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children fit the bill for unique and odd. The voice, while it seemed “old” for YA, along with the isolated setting and eerie photographs, really created a fresh landscape that captivated me and totally got my creative mind going. The Marbury Lens would be another example.

I’m not big on non-fic. At. All. Lol! I’ve read enough textbooks in my lifetime. That’s enough non-fiction.

On the other hand, there are a lot of great books for writers on technique, like Save the Cat. It’s on my TBR list…towards the bottom, haha!

How about you? What books do you read for inspiration?