Tag Archives: book reviews

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Certainly a non productive writing weekend as I attended a reptile show both days (see previous post https://mandyevebarnett.com/2017/05/08/upcoming-writing-events-add-yours-for-your-location-14/). However, I do have this weekend free so will indulge in as much time as possible writing. This will include a complete revision of the ghost written book project prior to sending back to my client.

I have my writing retreat to look forward and it is getting tantalizingly close – 18th May. Here I can immerse myself completely with no distractions, unless I actually seek them out.

Books:

Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger. I am thoroughly enjoying this story. The characters are well rounded, there is a connection/distance between the two main characters, which gives the narrative an undercurrent of possibilities.

Symmentry

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn (because you all know by now I’m fascinated by this subject)

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What are you reading?

I watched this movie, which had a great twist on the subject. I am always intrigued by the variations on the reincarnation theme.

the-discovery

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5155780/

Writing Tips from the Master – Stephen King

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

“I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.”

“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

What’s your favorite King quote or writing tip?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Well my creative writing took a backseat yet again but I did manage the update my ghost writing project and completed my conference presentation so feel pleased there are both completed.

twesome-loop-002

I am co-hosting the senior residence writing group on Thursday so can escape to the library for a couple of hours before to return to The Twesome Loop. Having found a fantastic cover artist I am thinking of a design for the book cover. It will take some careful thinking to make the cover reflect my characters finding their past selves in an Italian villa, that’s for sure.

I did add more story to my ‘extra’ project – yes I know isn’t four manuscripts enough? Well obviously not because my children’s ‘alien planet’ book has been gaining in word count!

As many of you know I am a multi-genre author and my current WIP’s – are all in various stages of completion. They range from cowgirl romance to thriller to reincarnation romance to speculative fiction, added to that the above kids book. Never a dull moment in my brain, I can tell you.

Do you have multiple manuscripts/ideas formulating or clambering for your attention?

Books:

The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney

faraday

Loved the characterizations in this book, each sister was so unique, so defined. Here is my Goodreads review:

What a wonderful narrative. Lots of characters interacting, conflicts, sibling rivalry and unexpected twists in the plots.
Monica weaves such a artful tale of four sisters brought up by their father – family traditions, a surprise niece/daughter and global travel.
A book I would re-read for sure.

Now onto a book I have been looking forward to. It has started well.

The Other Life by Ellen Meister

The Other Life

Do you have a recommendation for a alternative life, reincarnation or fantasy?

Do you want to hook up on Goodreads? Follow the link on the side bar to my account.

Writing Tips:

Let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write a draft, refrain from proofreading until that draft is complete.

Proofread everything at least three times before submitting your work for publication.

Print this one out:

You are a writer so own it and say it out loud: “I am a writer.” Whether it’s a hobby or your profession, if you write, then you have the right to this title.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Since my mini writing retreat last weekend, I have not had any time to immerse myself in the revisions for The Twesome Loop, until last night. I took advantage of a couple of hours of peace & quiet in the library prior to my writing meeting. Word count increased by 892 and a couple of scenes were ‘fleshed out’ (actually erotic scenes so literally – pardon the pun!)

Twesome Loop 002

I have a meeting with my client whose book I am ghost writing this evening as I requested ‘personal experience’ pieces from her on several topics within the book. These I will include thus ensuring it is her voice.

My book cover proof is still pending for The Rython Kingdom so I have to be patient – although having the new cover available for my readers is paramount. So excited for it to go ‘live’ on the various websites.

rythonfinaltitletext

Through a facebook page I found a submissions requirement where I can send my steampunk story – The Toymaker. Fingers crossed it gets accepted, it’s only 7790 words.

Books:

I am thoroughly enjoying this book – The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney – sister’s growing up, finding themselves, drama, love, rejection and a mystery. Set in Tasmania and Ireland it becomes international as each sister flies the coop in search of her path.

faraday

My TBR pile includes a book I found in a lovely bookstore while on my weekend escape. The Other Life by Ellen Meister This is the blurb:

If you could return to the road not taken…would you?

Quinn Braverman has a perfect life, with a loving husband, an adorable son, and another baby on the way.

Quinn also has an ominous secret: she knows that another version of her life exists…one in which she made totally different life choices. But she’s never been tempted to switch lives-until a shocking turn of events pushes her to cross over, and she discovers the one person she thought she’d lost forever: Her mother.

But Quinn can’t have both lives. Soon, she must decide which she really wants-the one she has…or the other life…

The Other Life

Doesn’t it sound fascinating? Of course as I love reincarnation, spirits, afterlife and parallel universes it is just up my street, so to speak.

If you have a recommendation for this kind of story, please let me know.

Writing Tips:

Stop procrastinating. Turn off the TV, disconnect from the Internet, tune out the rest of the world, sit down, and write.

Create a space in your home especially for writing.

Why not share your writing space? Here’s mine:

new writing desk

The opposite wall is my inspirational wall.Inspire wall

Happy writing.

 

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I am pleased to announce I completed the two beta-read & editing assignments given to me and both authors were happy with the feedback. One will require me to re-read once certain details are confirmed for legal consistency and correctness.

Another project – ghost writing – is proceeding well and I am waiting on some input from the client.

As for personal projects I made progress on my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop this past week and the word count is over 80K – so that makes me happy. There is still some polishing to do. A surprise road trip with my dear friend Linda this weekend will give me uninterrupted writing time to do this. Love when we can escape on a whim! I had to plead for a rain check with another friend for a proposed meeting this Saturday but she was accommodating. Thank you Kathie.

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The new book cover for my fantasy romance, The Rython Kingdom is in the hands of my publisher and should be ‘live’ in the next couple of weeks. All in all I am happy with my progress and writing life.

How are your projects progressing? Care to share?

Books:

I am really enjoying this book – it doesn’t give up it’s secrets quickly that’s for sure.

uninvited guests

What are you reading? 

Do you review books on Goodreads? Why not follow me for my reviews and books just click the link on the side of the page.

Writing Advice:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”Saul Bellow

So is this true? How about you?

I know I have ‘dreamed’ scenes or story ideas but always improve on them when awake.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

As I mentioned last week a prompt picture at my writers meeting resulted in a short story. I thought I would share it. This is the picture inspiration.

lampost girl.jpg

Annabel kicked the tuffs of grass as she walked down the street. She was angry with herself for forgetting her door key again. She knew her mother would rant and rave about her stupidity, so Annabel decided not to try and break into the house – again! The bathroom window had seemed the easy option last time until she was firmly stuck and had to wait for her mother to arrive from a late shift, by which time her leg’s were numb and she had thrown up because of the pressure on her stomach as she was suspended in the small window frame. What made matters worse was the vomit had oozed slowly down the inside of the bathroom wall pooling beside the sink.
Her mother had screamed and stomped around for hours refusing to let Annabel have any supper. Instead she’d watched from the doorway as Annabel washed the wall and floor. No it just wasn’t worth the hassle to try and break in.
All Annabel could do now was watch the traffic and pick at the threads on her school bag until she knew her mother would be home. She thought up an excuse to explain why she wasn’t home. A trip to the library for an assignment would not raise suspicion, hopefully.
Weary of walking back and forth she sat down on the sidewalk and leaned against a signpost. Wishing she had a snack of some kind as her stomach growled. Better hungry than a smack on the back of the head from a screaming mother though.
As soon as she was home she would find that stupid key and make a necklace to hang it on. Never again locked out, hungry and fed up – hopefully.

With the imminent launch of a new cover for The Rython Kingdom, I read through the novella again and made a few changes. There are always a few little edits that need refining. I also added that there will be a sequel following Celeste and Maralynn.

Here is a teaser:

rython3dreveal

I am continuing with edits for two friend’s manuscripts and have made some progress on my reincarnation novel. Busy, busy.

What are you working on?

Books:

the-outcasts

I finished The Outcasts – a neat story with extraordinary imagination of a Grade 7 (UK) young lady. The story is full of tension and wonderful characters. Looking forward to seeing her develop and write more stories.

I browsed the library shelves and found two books. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones and The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney. I have begun the Uninvited Guests – so far it is enjoyable. Unfortunately my book hold had lapsed for Bookshop at Waterès End by Patti Callaha Henry but I will order it again.

What are you reading? 

Do you review books on Goodreads? Why not follow me for my reviews and books.

Writing Tip:

Have two or more projects on the go: Having more than one project on the go is never a bad idea. Although focus and dedication are paramount to completing a work, sometimes you inevitably get stuck. It’s good to be able to move on to something else instead of feeling frustrated and stagnant. You don’t have to have a few big projects happening either … maybe you’re penning a novel, but also some short stories and an article or two. Chuck Sambuchino

Do you have a tip to share?

 

Mandy’s Year in Books – Goodreads.


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This is a cool graphic from Goodreads – detailing your year’s reading. If you are on Goodreads – take a look at your book reading chart.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016/5477628?utm_source=fb

Why not share yours here? Recommend books here too.

Interview with Vikki Thompson…


Please welcome Vikki – an inspiration!

Fruition – definition: 1) the state of bearing fruit; 2) the state of becoming real or complete: realization, accomplishment. It will become abundantly clear once you visit Vikki’s blog that she is completely and totally committed to her writerly life and goes above and beyond to make it happen. I am in awe of her efforts – you go girl! Today’s word is so very apt for Vikki.

20121013-233030Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I have a huge soft spot for a character I’ve been working with for the last couple of years whose called Ronnie Quinn. When I first wrote about him he was the villain, but I ended up making him change his life around because I couldn’t bare to see him be a baddie lol

Do you favour one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I dabble in a couple of different genres. Mainly thriller or romance. I’ve tried my hand at ghost stories but they never seem scary enough lol

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Creating characters, being in control of their lives. Like playing with dolls in a dolls house!

Have you got a favourite place to write?

My desk in my bedroom. It’s only small, but it’s all mine and I get peace and quiet plus a window to look out of.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I used to be a Pantster, and at heart I still am. But I can see the value in planning now, especially when it comes to editing lol

What inspires your stories?

People! Real life stories and the way that people deal with the trials and tribulations of life.

What are you currently reading? 

We Had It So Good by Linda Grant. Linda came to my writing class to give a talk. Nice lady.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

When I was 5 I nearly drowned whilst on holiday in Spain. I fell into the deep end of the pool and couldn’t swim. I was pulled out by a Spanish gardener who grabbed hold of by plaits and pulled me out by my hair.

Do you have any pets?

I have 2 cats. Tigzz is a male common moggy (but we think there’s some feral in him, he’s HUGE and can be a nasty bugger) and Treacle who’s a British Shorthair pedigree, and doesn’t she know it!

English: British Shorthair, Classic Tabby
English: British Shorthair, Classic Tabby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I belong to two. A writing group for women called Mermaids, which is a traditional writing group and then another smaller group called Maidstone Writers, which is more of a social discussion group.

What age did you start writing stories?

Ha ha ha, do I really have to say? Ok, lets just say I was over 40, so pretty late in life lol

Do you have a book published?

No, not yet! 😉

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If you could meet one favourite author who would it be and why?

Do they have to be alive? If not then I’d say Emily Bronte. I want to know who inspired her to write Heathcliff.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

Italy, definitely, near the sea *sighs*

What’s your favourite movie of all time?

My Fair Lady

Where can readers find you and your blog?

http://www.the-view-outside.com

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And on Twitter @vikkithomp

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I have plans for the next 5 books! Lol

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My husband, affectionately known as The Hubster on my blog 🙂

Thankful and excited all rolled into one…


This past weekend is amongst the best I have ever had. Why you may ask, well in short two great writing events came to fruition for me. I was beside myself with excitement and smiling like the preverbal Cheshire Cat.

Literally bursting with happiness and wanting to share with everyone not just because I was proud of myself but also to show that determination, hard work and commitment bring their own rewards. If you follow your dream it will become reality, maybe in small steps but that is the joy of our journey.


My first event was submitting my fantasy – The Rython Kingdom – onto Smashwords. It was a nerve racking experience, letting go of a manuscript I had worked on for over a year through revision after revision and numerous edits…but the immediacy of its availability to the global community was the part that took my breath away. We are used to everything being instantly accessible – just not our precious words – there was no time to adjust to them being out in the world for all to see. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/214247
Why not take a look? The next event was quite a surprise. I had been asked to write an article for a new online newspaper, so submitted one, not really expecting it to be accepted. Almost as soon as I had sent my email, I got one back asking for my bio & a headshot! I frantically read through my bio’s and then took a few new photos to send off. As many of you know I am passionate about my writing but also my writing group and that is the subject of my article. http://strathconaconnect.ca/strathcona-county-gets-writing-p219-90.htm
I encourage you all to follow your dream and take advantage of any and all opportunities that come your way.

Smiley face – Daniel Y Go