Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Plotting and Planning--a #Writing Manual, Just in Time for #NaNoWriMo! (@suzdemello #MFRWAuthor #iamwriting)

Hey there, aspiring authors! Ever wondered how an author plots and writes a book?

Wonder no more! Suzie deMello is here to tell you the secrets, or at least a few of them.

Plotting and Planning is Suzie’s second writing treatise, following the best-selling Write This, Not That! 

Here’s the blurb:

Another engaging, witty writing primer from Suz deMello, whose Write This, Not That! was an Amazon bestseller. Plotting, point of view, character creation, conflict and much more are examined in this brief but pithy writing manual.  A must for the serious writer who wants the basics without boredom. 

Here’s an excerpt to pique your interest:

How does an author write a book?

Unfortunately for aspiring authors, this is not an easy question to answer. It's tantamount to asking, Where do authors get their ideas? which, believe me, is our least favorite question. I often tell people I get them at Sears—they're sold by the dozen in the basement between the barbecues and the bikes.

In reality, I get my ideas from almost anywhere. Maybe a magazine article about a place or event. Perhaps someone I meet or something a person says may trigger a train of thought that will eventually lead to a book. Maybe travel to someplace new ignites the creative spark that will inspire me.

Here's a better question: What are the building blocks of plot and story?

If you like what you read, here’s where you can buy the ebook:

About Suz deMello:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for several including Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.


A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Check out Suzie's site:

And her blog:

Monday, November 17, 2014

RBTL Presents Deamhan by Isaiyan Morrison Blog Tour #giveaway #paranormal

Title: Deamhan
Author: Isaiyan Morrison
Series: Deamhan Chronicles (#1)
Genre: Adult/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Release Date: Aug 12 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print


Deamhan have survived by remaining hidden in the shadows. Ramanga, Lamia, Metusba, and Lugat have been overshadowed by what humans know as the modern vampire. But what if vampires aren’t the real threat?
One woman’s search for her mother who disappeared without a trace on the streets of Minneapolis takes her into the precarious world of Deamhan, psychic vampires who rule the underground nightlife in the city’s most darkest corners.
She gains the trust of the only other human familiar with the Deamhan lifestyle. With his help she finds not only can the Deamhan not be trusted but it’s her own father, president of a ruthless organization of researchers, who has diabolically maintained that distrust

Isaiyan Morrison was born and raised in Minnesota. She moved to San Diego, California while in the Navy. After serving four years of active duty, she moved to Los Angeles. After a few years, she moved back to Minnesota where she started to pursue her dream to be an author. Her novel Deamhan, is the first book in the Deamhan Chronicles. She now resides in Texas with her two cats, a pit bull dog, and two guinea pigs.

Author Links

Other Works by Isaiyan Morrison

Deamhan Chronicles

Deamhan (#1)

Deamhan Tales


Veronica nodded, and the waitress disappeared into the crowd. Veronica held her breath to calm her rapid breathing in hopes the adrenaline coursing through her body would dissipate. The pulsating bass emanating from the speakers grew louder and more intense, causing her to rub her temples. The dancer from the bathroom had returned to the stage, now even more scantily clad in a short skirt with white electrical tape X’ed over her nipples, dancing in gymnastic gyrations.
The crowd’s movement grew violent, with patrons pushing and shoving. The throng morphed into a mosh pit, and Veronica wondered how long it would take before someone was crushed. Fog machines released a steady stream of mist from above the crowded dance floor, giving the huge room an ethereal atmosphere. The lights dimmed, and Veronica could hardly make out the waitress as she returned, carrying a shot of whiskey.
“Here ya go.” She handed Veronica the drink.
Veronica gulped her drink and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, this time thankful for the sensation of the amber liquid searing her throat. She preferred vodka, but at this moment, any liquid running down her gullet was good enough.
“You want another one?” she asked. Veronica nodded, and the waitress left. Veronica dropped her face to her hands, trying to readjust. Damn, this is harder than I thought it’d be. Her mind raced: hide your thoughts, don’t show fear, stick to the plan.
She felt a tingling sensation deep in her forehead. In seconds, it had increased to the extent of a migraine. She looked up squinting, the pain becoming more intense with each passing moment, and she knew.
Someone is reading my thoughts.
The waitress returned with two drinks. She placed them in front of Veronica.
“Uh, thanks?” Veronica couldn’t recall ordering two whiskeys, but she pulled out a ten.
“It’s already paid for.” The waitress pointed to a man sitting at the opposite end of the bar, his long brown hair slicked back in a ponytail. He wore black jeans and a long black see-through shirt, revealing pierced nipples and a six-pack. Beautiful.
He stared at Veronica with deep brown eyes and smiled, his pale skin resembling a Deamhan at its finest. She felt the pain in her forehead ebb and flow, subsiding a bit each time. Veronica turned to the waitress, but she’d again disappeared.
Muddled, she downed the whiskey and slammed the empty glass on the table in front of her. She shut her eyes and concentrated on emptying her mind. The pain diffused into a mild tingling.
Veronica snapped her eyes open when a male voice told her to not be afraid. She whipped around, but no one was near.
The voice came from within her head.
“It’s okay,” the voice said.
She looked at the man, who still fixed her in his stare, and he slid from his seat and headed her way.
She dropped her head and stared at the counter. She fought the urge to fling her glass at him and run. Leaving Dark Sepulcher wouldn’t answer the questions about her mother’s disappearance. Don’t think of Mom. She quickly visualized the brick wall.
“Your thoughts stick out,” the man said, taking the empty stool next to her.
His penetrating stare caused Veronica’s head to tingle again, but the tingle stopped as quickly as it started. She’d clouded his attempt to rummage through her mind.
Veronica cupped the whiskey glass and stared into its glowing liquid.
“Beautiful women like you shouldn’t drink whiskey.”
What a line. His respectful approach did nothing to impress Veronica. The Deamhan were naturally devious.
Veronica remained quiet. The stranger smiled and reached for the glass, grasping it from the rim and placing it front of him.
“I’m trying to start a conversation,” he prompted.
From the corner of her eye, Veronica saw him examine her. His eyes roved her short, formal straight brunette hair, her face, and finally her hands. Even over the din of music, she could hear him inhale her virginal scent. She tried hard to block her thoughts from him, but the tingle told her she was failing.
“You should know it turns me on when you do that,” he said.
She glanced at him, making eye contact for a second and then quickly looked away. He mumbled something, but his voice was too low for her to hear over the blaring speakers.
Veronica’s thoughts caught his attention again, and he leaned back on the stool, studying her.
Veronica understood now how a woman could fall for a man like that. Most of the men in Dark Sepulcher were attractive, but this man was hot. She stole a covert glance from under her eyelashes. Tall, medium build, long, glossy hair—stop it. Stay off that bandwagon.
His full lips broke into a smile. “Sorry I intruded on your thoughts. But I gotta admit, I like what I see in there.”
Veronica felt heat rise in her chest, neck and face. Busted. He offered his hand, another trick she wouldn’t fall for.
“I’m Remy and you are?”
Remy. The name sounded too familiar. Veronica recalled the name listed somewhere on the documents she’d stolen from The Brotherhood. His name was just one of the many that stuck out to her but at the moment she couldn’t remember why.
She fixed her thoughts on her napkin, staring at the condensation ring left by the wet glass. Still her mind wouldn’t quiet. What Deamhan type is he? Until she knew which, she couldn’t be sure of his level of threat. She couldn’t get too close.
Despite herself, she stole a quick look in his direction.
He flashed a ready smile.
Teeth aren’t sharp and pointy. He’s not a Ramanga. She stared again at her drink, wiping the droplets of water from the side of her glass.
“Am I scaring you?” Remy’s voice interrupted Veronica’s thoughts. She shook her head and remained silent.
“Do you talk?”
“Not to strangers.” She immediately regretted her gutsy remark, knowing it would intrigue him further.
“Maybe you should.” He traced the rim of the glass with a slender, pale finger. “You’re new here.”
Veronica wanted to check him out but knew she should avoid his eye. She looked over her shoulder and then at the ceiling. She glanced at the sticky floor and studied the woodwork on the bar.
He’d read her like an open book. She felt a tiny tingle as he tried again to read her thoughts.
“Your thoughts. They come to me kinda like a movie: sometimes clear, other times fuzzy.” He chuckled. “Right now, they’re crystal. Do you really find the bar’s wood grain that intriguing?”
Veronica couldn’t help but grin.
“Do you smell that?” His voice dropped to a loud whisper. “I smell a vampire.”


Saturday, November 8, 2014

RBTL Present Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton Guest Post

AJ Wiliams, Adding Spice to Life 
Top Ten Guest Post for Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton 
Top Ten Fairy Tales You Would Like TDo a Retelling of Someday and Why?

Retelling fairy tales wasn’t ever something I thought I’d tackle as a writer, but I’ve learned over the years never to say never to anything. When I hit on the idea of gender flipping these stories that have been told and retold so many times, however, it was just too juicy an idea to pass up. In writing Shadows on Snow, while I’d intended it to be a one-off experiment, I actually ended up sprinkling in potential for other books in line with this one. Shadows on Snow IS a standalone and a self-contained story with no cliffhangers, but I have a few plans for the future, so I’ll share some of those with you, plus a few that fascinate me by themselves. As a general rule, fairy tales aren’t big on character and world-building, so these foundations provide ample fodder for expansion into something much larger.

10. Beauty and the Beast - one of my favorite sequences from any Disney movie are the stained glass backstory scenes from Beauty and the Beast. For purely aesthetic reasons, it’s gorgeous to watch that part. I also love the theme of the story in general: one person’s kindness unlocking the same in another person who’s hardened their heart. This is one I have plans for in the future, but it’s a ways off yet.

9. Ivan and the Firebird - Russian fairy tales have a very different feel to them than European ones. Things or people die and there’s rarely any expression of remorse or sadness or regret ever expressed, and not really even any mention of love. This story is exactly that, but it’s always irritated me because the main character, Ivan, does a string of really stupid things, consistently doing the exact opposite of what he’s been told, and is CONTINUOUSLY bailed out. Continuously. It’s super annoying, and I’d love to take a crack at it to give the main character half a brain, but, as of this second, it’s not on my to-do list.

8. Jack and the Beanstalk - This is a story everyone and their dog knows, and it’s pretty straightforward. Poor boy messes up, poor boy lucks into something, a bit of an adventure ensues, and he lives happily ever after. I feel like stories like these are sort of missing for girls sometimes. Sure, they exist, but not in the abundant way they’re out there for boys. That said, I couldn’t pass up my chance to rewrite this one. It’s currently the one I’m working on at present.

7.  The Enchanted Bottle - I have mixed feelings about this Irish folk tale. On the one hand, I love the potential for imagery it presents, but I’ve got a hard time feeling bad for the family that squanders their gifts. I have to believe that they learn their lesson in the end, however, because they use a bit of cleverness and get their happily ever after. I don’t have plans for this one right now, but if I ever did, I’ve got a lovely photo I took for a college project a few years ago that I’d love to use.

6. Little Red Riding Hood - Oh goodness. How much fun would this be to gender flip? I love the idea of this one, so it’s definitely on my to-do list, though not for a little while yet. However, this wouldn’t be a werewolf spin, and anyone who’s read Shadows on Snow might get a tiny hint about where the story springs from.

5. Cinderella - To be fair, a lot of my stories will have a “Cinderella” moment. This isn’t really intentional, but something I’ve recently realized carries through much of my writing. I think it’s mostly that I love the idea of being able to show a person’s beauty inside reflected by what’s on the outside. Humans are very superficial creatures, and the ability to circumvent that in fiction is really hard to pass up.

4. Fairy Gifts - Of all the morals taught in fairy tales and fables, I love this one dearly. Above all, it shows that being content with yourself is a greater gift than nearly any other in the world. Humility and acceptance are hard things to acquire and hold on to, but are often the most rewarding of any trait a person can possess.

3. Sleeping Beauty - You want to talk about dark? Wow. Go look up the original versions of this story and it’s quite eye-opening, and DEFINITELY not the tame tale that Disney put before us. Jealousy, obsession, imprisonment, rape, cannibalism… this one’s got it all. You’d better believe this one’s on my radar in a BIG way, but not until I find exactly the right angle to approach from.

2. The Clever Little Tailor - Smart characters are the ones I fall in love with the fastest. I will always reward my children (real and fictional alike) for using their wits, but I don’t hesitate to take them down a peg for getting too big for their britches. This story has huge potential for doing exactly that, so it’s on my list as well.

1. East of the Sun, West of the Moon - Much like Orpheus’s tale of woe when it comes to love, this one has a similar theme of the tragedy that can befall you when you doubt the person you love more than anyone else in the world. But, unlike that myth, East of the Sun, West of the Moon offers a chance to make up for mistakes made. This is interesting to me, as it’s already about a girl on a quest to save a prince (as you don’t find that terribly often), so I’ll basically be reverting this one to the more standard “boy saves girl” trope. So while I originally set out to turn the tables on these standards, in falling in love with this story (and, yes, it’s definitely on the list), I’d be remiss if I neglected to carry through on my gender-flipping mission with this one. Equality in all things, I say, so it, too, will have its day under my pen.

There are endless possibilities with fairy tales, but some of them are just a tiny bit juicier than others when it comes to retellings. I’d love to know what other folks would like to see, as I’m sure everyone has their favorites.