Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
if you follow the music that round you flows...
...and enter the mound of the fairies."
-- Coyote Run
The word for the fae in Scottish Gaelic is Sithichean, in Irish Gaelic, Sidhe.
As legends are told, once upon a time the Tuatha De Danann resided in
Finvarra is the High King of the Daoine Sidhe. Some also believe him the King of the Dead. He is known as a benevolent monarch, ensuring plentiful harvests, horses of great strength, and riches to those he favors. Finvarra's fighting skills are legendary and he is a master at chess.
I recognize him as the womanizer of his race. He is notorious for his lust of mortal females, which he often kidnaps and whisks away to his subterranean palace. Which is so wrong. His queen, Oonagh, is reported to be beautiful beyond measure.
Oonagh appears as a secondary character in my un-contracted Garden Gate series. Centuries after banishing a halfling faerie princess—fearing the lass would attract Finvarra's attention—a fae prince convinces Oonagh to challenge the princess into making three unlikely matches. If the princess succeeds in joining the three couples, the queen will permit her, once again, to frolic in Tir-na-nog, land of 'hearts desire'.
You can read excerpts from the Garden Gate series at DawnMarieHamilton.com
Tweet me at @DawnM_Hamilton
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
February's birthstone is the purple Amethyst -- The Happy Stone. Also called the Bishop and/and Bacchus stone. That means it's for saints or sinners.
Amethyst and magic have been connected for over 2,000 years. It is steeped in ancient lore, myticism and age-old magic. Roman soldiers wore it for protection when they went to war. The Crusaders carried them along with their rosaries as protective charms. If placed under a pillow or worn to bed, an amethyst is said to promote quiet peaceful sleep, pleasant dreams and it also claims to heal tired joints and muscles.
The amethyst is a stone of deep wisdom and can be used to increase psychic awareness, to sharpen one's sixth sense. Because of this, many people keep a crystal near them.
And lastly, it is one of the few stones specifically recommended for men to use for attracting wonen. I guess that means men can wear it or give amethyst to women.
For witches in February it is a time to open awareness. They call the groundhog a 'whistle-pig' because of the sounds it makes. Actually, Groundhog Day comes from the ancient custom of Imbok, sacred to the goddess Brigit of the British Isles. Imbok or Brigit's Day was a time to predict the weather. She is credited with inventing whistling as a way to warn against danger and enemies. Not that different from a groundhog.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
This story also marks my first time writing something historical, which I've wanted to do for a long time. I was an English/History double major before I realized I wanted to get out of college quicker than getting the double major would allow.
Captive Moonlight is book 3 of the Wolves of the Wild West multi-author series, but it stands alone.
I really hope you all enjoy it! Please let me know what you think!
Genres: Paranormal, Action Adventure/ Suspense, Wildest West, Werewolves
Series: Wolves of the Wild West, Book 3 (Multi-Author series)
A gentlewoman will do whatever it takes to rescue her captive werewolf betrothed.
When her betrothed, Joe, is taken captive by a group of men looking for werewolf laborers, it's up to Charlotte to track him down and win him back -- even if that means putting her own life in danger.
Read the Excerpt - Since it's a little too hot to post here. *winks*
Dark Magical Encounters of Passion...
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Until I finished writing my first novel, I had no idea of the adrenaline rush you could get from typing two magical words.
So much work goes into earning the opportunity to type those two simple words! Wow! Hours and hours of typing in front of the computer, gnashing your teeth when you lose the tension in the middle, racking your brain for a way to write yourself out of the corner you just created, and cruising through the thesaurus to find another word for “looked” since you just noticed you used it 4 times in the last paragraph.
Not to mention those days when you look over what you wrote and completely lose all confidence in your ability to tell a story. (Oh I hope I’m not the only one who has those days! LOL)
This is part of what makes writer friends a precious gift. Only another writer understands when you look at them with a wild gleam in your eyes and say, “I think I’m going to hit the end today.”
Only another writer can relate when you tell them you've only slept 4 hours in the past twenty because you couldn’t pull yourself away from the keyboard during the final push to tie up all the loose ends of your plot in an effort to type those two beautiful words…
I’m super happy to report that I reached “The End” of my novella, Night Thief, tonight!!! WOOT!!!
And now I’m too fired up to sleep! LOL Ah well…
Thanks for understanding!!! And may you all reach your own “The End”s soon…. :)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
So, we know what an opening hook is and should do and what it shouldn’t do. But that isn’t the only place to hook readers. Scene breaks need hooks to keep the reader turning pages. If the characters wrap up a scene by jumping in bed and going to sleep, I may just crawl into my own bed and go to sleep. Instead, have the character reveal something important or engage another character in conflict. Nothing like conflict to keep the pages turning.
It should be obvious that chapter and scene openings are good places for hooks. A reader who is hooked has to get free and how do they do that? They keep reading.
Do you open with a hook? Any thoughts on better ways to hook readers?
~ Nickie Asher ~
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Sunday, February 19, 2012
I sometimes think I was born to live up to my name. How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna? I would either have ended up a nun or this. --Madonna
I love picking out names for my characters. I’ve always believed that names hold power and that a name must have resonance and reflect the character’s inner self somehow. Easy, right?
Looking my name up in a baby book, you find “dark one”, “dark” (Kerry Adrienne). Ok, mom, that is scary. Had me freaked out for a long time, wondering if I was cursed by my name—a writer’s mind will do that to you, right? But I grew up without visible horns, and subsequently saw my mom name my brother after a deacon in the church and my sister out of the phone book, so I don’t think mom cast any circles when she named me…
I did become obsessed with names, though. Hubby and I have three daughters, and I wanted Greek names, all A’s, all middle names derived from Catherine because that is a powerful feminine name (yet starting with K), reverse of my initials (AK instead of KA), names that had multiple nicknames…perhaps I am the one with a naming problem? (we chose Alexandria Katarina, Anastasia Kathryn, and Andromeda Katriona) Whew!
I moved on to naming cats. To me, this was not an issue. I love cats. Five or six in the house—no problem. My cats had names and multiple nicknames. One day, hubby said, “No more cats until we get rid of a kid. If you want to name something—write another story.” Indeed.
So--where are good places to find character names? Baby name books are great, of course. Now there are books with all sorts of beautiful names from around the world that weren’t readily available 15 years ago. Phone book? What is that? TV shows, your favorite books, people you meet—all are good sources for names. Of course, if you name a demon in your book the same name as your grandmother, be prepared for some backlash. Caution with the family names!
One of my favorite places to find names is a cemetery. I especially love the very old ones (who doesn’t?). Not only do you get a surname, but you get a whole family at once (and the hierarchy). The same can be said for census records and cemetery records online (and so many are online now—though I encourage you to go to cemeteries as you travel). I really like gathering names from these sources—for some reason it feels “real”. The characters, and sometimes a whole family, form at once and really get the imagination flowing.
You can find names online--there are a zillion name generators out there. You can even find fantasy name generators (just search for one—there are tons) that allow you to set the number of syllables, and/or beginning sound, apostrophes, and other options. I found one that lets you search for “evil” names (Kerry Adrienne was not on the list). I wonder who decides which names are evil (*thinking*). You can find a name generator or name list (with meanings) for just about any type of name you can think of—and you can play with the generators for a long time until you find a name that really calls out as a character.
At any rate, names *are* powerful. Here is a case in point: take the name “Homer”. It used to conjure up only the ancient Greek epic poet (or poets…). Then, a cartoon named a character “Homer” Simpson (some may argue he is an epic poet as well) came along with a long-running and used-to-be funny show. Most people now associate “Homer” with Homer Simpson. Can you see how the name has shifted and also evokes a character when we hear the name?
How do *you* come up with character names? What is your favorite name, ever (not necessarily in your own fiction---just favorite name in general)?
Kerry Adrienne (no horns, I promise)
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Why do people write? There are probably as many reasons and justifications (yes, sometimes madness does need to be justified) as there are writers. Some do so because they have a story to tell them world, vital information and insight that they feel the world will be weaker for not having. Bully for them. Not trying to be snarky, and in a few cases the author may be right. But it does sound a wee pretentious to me.
Could be because I'm not writing for the same reason they are. I write because as many wonderful, amazing books that are out there (far more than I can ever hope to read) there are some stories missing. You know how it goes. Sometimes you pick up a great sounding book, start to read, then realize the author had a completely different idea of the plot that you did. You start to think and wonder why didn't they turn left instead of right (yeah- Doctor Who reference there- go look it up ;)). A whole different story could have taken place. Eventually, in some of us folks with this odd illness, we start missing the books we think should be there. Sort of like a phantom pain of a missing limb, only these limbs never existed.
Trying to badger favorite authors into writing one of these missing tomes won't really work. Most of those fine folks have enough missing tomes in their own heads, they certainly don't need other folks dumping theirs in there as well.
The only option is to make it yourself. The idea pops in your head, prompted by other books, movies, tv shows, songs, pictures, whatever. It then kicks around, bouncing in your brain as it picks up more little bits of ideas, characters, concepts. Pretty soon you're thinking that man, you really want to read that book about the Girl and the Gadget who saved the world.
Then it hits you- it only lives in your head.
So, in self-defence of the valuable and limited space inside my head, I have to write the stories down. I need to get them out so I don't forget important things like where I live, what my name is, what I had for lunch. But also so that I can read the whole story. So that I can find out what exactly happened. Who lived, who died, who got drunk and started screaming for dancing minkies (you'll have to read my book for that one ;)).
Some writers write because they want to share their insights, some of us do so to see what exactly is lurking in our heads. What about you?
"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
|Be My Valentine|
Today is for romance—Happy Valentine's Day.
Rather reminds me of those boxes of cards we used to buy in grade school to hand out to ALL our classmates.
The origin of Valentine's Day is shrouded in mystery...
How will you celebrate Valentine's Day?
Hint for our male readers: Give your love a sexy romance novel along with flowers and chocolate. I promise her pleasure will be worth the effort.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Reviews. We’ve all read them. Maybe we’ve even posted a few on Goodreads or Amazon. They can be humorous. They can be insightful. Or in rare cases, if the reviewer is having a bad day, they can even be mean and nasty. For authors, they can make you soar or bring you crashing back to earth. But all in all, reviews are amazingly helpful in choosing a new book to add to your collection.
I’m thinking a lot about reviews today because my debut novel, Slayer’s Kiss, releases tomorrow on Valentine’s Day! In preparation for this big event, I’ve been sending out ARCs and requesting reviews. Not all will be five-star, raving reviews, but every review gets the book out there and can be helpful in some way. As a matter of fact, when I’m looking for a new book to read, I tend not to look so much at the rating as the content of the review, because time and again I’ve found things that didn’t work so well for the reviewer, but that I know would be a good match for me.
It’s really freeing as an author when you have that epiphany that not everyone has to love or “get” your book. All authors can ask for is a fair review and an honest opinion. Whereas some authors feel that reading a review of one’s own work can stifle creativity, I like to use reader reviews to look for patterns. If I see something that readers widely agree is a shortcoming of the book, I’ll work on fixing that next time around. If I see something people just can’t agree on, like which hero they’re rooting for in a love triangle, I’ll just smile and be grateful I gave them something worth debating.
What about you? Do you regularly read or write reviews? And what do you find most helpful in determining what book to read next? If you like super sexy urban fantasy, may I recommend Slayer’s Kiss? If you pick up a copy, please leave a comment on Goodreads. I’d love to know what you think! And you can let me know about any other books you’ve enjoyed lately by friending me on Goodreads! http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5307736.Cassi_Carver
Sunday, February 12, 2012
What I find even more striking is that I love that each character has a bit of Braxton Wade in him. When I wrote, Voodoo, I Do I had only written one other book. It sucked. Still sucks. However that book showed me what I want in heroes and so when I started writing Braxton and Voodoo, I Do I used that information from my first book. Knowing that I wanted a strong alpha male hero allowed me to expand on all the other pieces of the story. By knowing what would fit with that one character lead me to a plot and lots of other charcters.
Now when I write I start with my hero and herione. I get their characters detailed out and then go for a plot. Usually by knowing my characters their inner thoughts make my plot.
So is it any surprise that my heroes all resemble that first one? No, because that character and story built my writing style. As a reader does it bother you to read an authors work where the male heroes resemble? As a writer what built your writing style??
Oh and by the way, my daughters basketball team won! Yeah, I coached them, yeah I'm good! Lol, not really, those kids were awesome!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
About the Author:
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
It’s still Wednesday here in San Diego, so technically my Wednesday post is still on time, right? LOL I hope so!
Apparently I forgot to add my blog posts to my google calendar for February and without it, I’m lost! So I’m sorry this wasn’t posted early this morning…
But this experience got me to thinking about deadlines.
I don’t know if it’s the same for every writer, but I’m learning that I write MUCH faster with a deadline. When I wrote my first book, Night Walker, I took months to write the first draft and then spent at least another year editing and rewriting.
My next books were written a little bit faster, but now that I’m working under contract, the deadlines seem to make the writing go even faster. Without a deadline, it’s much easier to decide to play on Twitter, or go to a movie, etc. I seem to focus better when I know how far I need to get each day in order to meet my goal.
So while a deadline can be scary, I’m starting to think they might be my friends… Sort of! LOL
What about you? And if you’re not under contract yet, have you tried setting deadlines with yourself or maybe with your crit group? Have you noticed if you write faster?
Ok I’m off to be sure I have my future blog dates on my Google calendar… More deadlines! Whee! :)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
A good villain will elevate the hero/heroine and a badly crafted villain will detract from the hero/heroine.
So how do you make a good villain? A good villain is intelligent, and capable of performing/pulling off his (I’m using male gender but it could also be a female villain) evil of choice. He should also be capable of winning. How much suspense can you have if there is no doubt the hero or heroine is going to win over the villain?
Another important part of building a good villain involves his reasons for making the choices he does. A good villain should believe he is doing the right thing. His motives should be solid and justified, at least to him. The villain should see himself as smart and worthy of winning over the hero/heroin who is the villain of his story (remember, he is the hero of his story).
These are the qualities of a dangerous villain and one who can generate more suspense and keep readers turning pages, and we always want that.
Resist the urge to pile on over the top evil for the sake of making the villain frightening. A villain capable of being evil who is intelligent and thinks he is doing the right thing will take you a lot further. Someone who believes he is in the right is justified. A character who thinks he’s justified has motives and reasons for his actions, even if they are only logical to him. This kind of character is stronger and makes your story stronger.
Just make sure you don’t make him so justified and worthy that readers start rooting for him against your hero and/or heroine.
What makes a good villain for you? Any favorite traits or behaviors?
~ Nickie Asher ~
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