Monday, July 28, 2014

Painful Plotting

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about Plotting. As I'm not a plotter, this should be interesting!

I'm attempting to plot out a rewrite. I love the story and the characters, but there are huge issues with the story - mainly lack of tension between the 2 MCs. It's a contemporary romance so (d'uh!) I need tension. They're both too sweet and nice and get along and... yeah, no tension. There's lots of external stuff to keep it going, but it's not enough. Not nearly.

Hence the need to plot! Hope you'll pop on over and join the discussion - I could use some suggestions!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Double Negative by C. Lee Mckenzie

The lovely and talented C. Lee McKenzie has a new book coming out!

Double Negative

Hutchison Mc Queen is a sixteen-year-old smart kid who screws up regularly. Hes a member of Larkston Highs loser clique, the boy whos on his way to nowhereunless juvenile hall counts as a destination. He squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. When that doesnt work, he goes to Fat Nyla, the one some mean girls are out to get and a person whos in on his secrethe can barely read. And then Maggie happens. For twenty-five years shes saved boys from their own bad choices. But she may not have time to save Hutch. Alzheimers disease is steadily stealing her keen mind.

Doesn't that sound awesome? Can't wait!!

Amazon (available this Friday July 25th!!)

If you haven't met Lee yet, here's where you can find her:
Website     Blog      Facebook

Want to enter to win? Of course you do!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just for fun, I tossed 3 Favourite  questions at Lee

Favorite beverage: That’s a time sensitive question. Coffee AM. Wine PM.

Favorite season: Summer. I get to eat fresh tomatoes.

Favorite high school course: Don’t laugh, but I loved geometry. Something about those theorums

(I totally get the theorum addiction - I love Math!)

How about you? Love Math too? Or those fresh tomatoes? Hoping Maggie can reach Hutch in time?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Put Downs or Build Ups?

There often seems to someone on the attack lately. I've been teaching for a lot of years and I've seen lots of attacks on books as well as attacks on people who choose to read certain books.

To me, the attacks are usually a waste of time & energy ... and just a little bit nuts.

Some people become absolutely inflamed because of what they think is in a book.

Whenever a new fuss pops up I think back to a student I'll call Amanda. She was in my split grade 6/7 classroom for 2 years. During our first reading conference of her Grade 6 year, Amanda admitted she'd never actually read a book on her own. Reading was very tough for her and by the time she finished sounding out words she'd almost always lost the meaning of the sentence.

She thought she might like some of the Goosebumps books everyone was talking about. There was a lot of fuss at the time from people who wanted to ban Stine's series from classrooms and libraries. There were people who claimed teachers were 'evil' for allowing kids to be exposed to them. (I question if any of those people actually read any of the books!!)

Being me, I had over 30 Goosebumps books to choose from. She selected 2 and I read them into tapes. She tried to read along with my voice during reading time.

Then she read one on her own.

Then another.

By the time she finished Grade 6, Amanda had read 17 Goosebumps books on her own.


Over the summer and during her Grade 7 year, she moved on to Stine's Fear Street series. And Christopher Pike. And Caroline B. Cooney. Then Lois Lowry and JK Rowling. And many, many more.

Her grade 8 teacher was shocked she'd been a non-reader 2 years before.

Ridiculing anyone for their choice of reading material is yet another kind of put down. The world has enough of those.

I'd rather see the build ups. I'd rather celebrate the Amandas of the world who demonstrate perseverance and are willing to admit to a difficulty and take the risks involved in becoming stronger.

If I only stocked my classroom with my favourite books, it would still be a very large library, but it wouldn't rival the 5000+ books I stock today. The more variety I have available, the easier it is to find those Home Run books for kids and turn them into avid readers. Do I have to personally like the books they choose? Nope. Do I have to support their right to like them.


How do you feel about the folks who want to dictate what we read or judge us based on the ones we choose?

Monday, July 7, 2014

J.K. Coi Likes a Challenge!

Please welcome JK Coi to the blog today!

How this paranormal author started writing contemporaries

When I first started writing, way back when in high school, I wrote about aliens. Specifically, aliens who possessed a teenage girl’s radio pretending to be the ghost of her dead boyfriend.

Now, without getting into all the things that were wrong with that (and all the things that were WAY COOL), it does illustrate the place from which my imagination was born. I’ve always written paranormal, or horror, or some form of supernatural. I’ve had vampires in my books, immortal warrior dudes with commitment issues, ballerina spies with metal and gears for legs, and werewolves involved in satanic rituals. The crazy list goes on.

So why did I suddenly decide to write a contemporary romance about two people starting their own tech companies at an industry convention in Antigua?

Well, the truth is, all the stories I’ve written have one thing in common besides the paranormal aspect: they challenged me in some way. One book I told in first person point of view because I’d never done it before; another book I wrote because I wanted to turn the trope upside down and make the heroine the vampire instead of the hero. I wanted to challenge myself to write a zombie book that could also be sexy. I wanted to challenge myself to write a series.

With IN BED WITH THE COMPETITION the challenge was to write a full length contemporary romance. I’d written short contemporaries before but not a full length book, and I always thought I would need serial killers, or bombs, or something abnormal to make a story about two regular people interesting enough to keep readers with me until the end.

But the truth is…I really liked it.

And now I’m writing another one. I bet you want to know what the challenge is going to be for the next book, don’t you? *grin*

JK Coi ( is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy, who loves writing dark, tortured characters that leap off the page and into readers hearts. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

This rivalry is too hot for the tropics…

Elizabeth Carlson and Ben Harrison used to be friends, coworkers...and almost lovers. But that was before Ben proposed mixing business with pleasure. Elizabeth refuses to lose her heart to a hotshot tycoon with a cutthroat, take-no-prisoners attitude. Not with the prospect of starting her own
company at stake.

Driven to succeed in all areas of his life, Ben couldn’t resist the temptation to make Liz his. But then she walked away, igniting a bitter rivalry. Competing for the same contract at a Caribbean conference ignites sparks too hot to ignore, and Ben’s determined to finish what they started, even if it’ll only last a few steamy, tropical nights.

Elizabeth’s resolve begins to crumble under Ben’s blatant seduction. Can she walk away from a hot island fling with the sexiest man she’s ever known with her heart intact, or will losing herself in Ben destroy everything she’s fought to achieve?

Book Link on Goodreads

Sounds like lots of fun! Can't wait to read it!

I love how J.K. switches genres for a challenge. I wrote my YA Steampunk for the same reason - and that MG sf idea refuses to go away completely!

How about you - do you have ideas for different genres knocking at your skull trying to get out?