I am deep in edits for a short story to be included in a Wiccan Haus anthology. I am at the point where I need to add textural detail, give the characters depth by how they interact with their surroundings.
This is the main house at Wiccan Haus, an amazing spa for relaxation and healing for humans and paranormals.
I thought I'd share the settings for Alaina and Sean's story. Here is the lighthouse where a magically infused crystal safeguards mariners from the rocky coast.
The shower where Alaina glimpses all she is missing by rejecting Sean's offer.
The garden where Sean seduces her with food, wine, and his undivided attentions.
Alaina's romantic bed...
That's it for now. Back to the editing den! If you haven't read any of the Wiccan Haus series, start with Shifting Hearts, the first story featuring Rekkus, a black tiger shifter..
It's Saturday, the day before Easter, and it's a warm, sunny day. I'm hosting the family dinner of twelve. tomorrow. Ham, mac and cheese, pineapple, green beans, rolls....
Do you think I'm inside scrubbing the bathrooms or dusting the furniture?
Heck no! I'm outside!
I'm also tilling in some fresh garden soil with compost we make ourselves and mulches up leaves. This garden will be my vegetable garden, filled with zucchini, tomatoes, yellow squash, peppers, and sunflowers.
This is not my actual garden (but I'd like it to be!).
What are you doing today?
Photos courtesy of:
By Per Ola Wiberg [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Going to a conference? Have the opportunity to pitch to an editor or agent? Here are some tips:
1. Dress for success...and comfort. While it's important to project an image that's professional and confident, it's hard to focus on the brilliance of your book when your toes are pinched and your skirt is riding up. Wear what makes you feel the best you.
2. Prepare your pitch. The important part of pitching is to distill your book down to a sentence or two. Difficult, time consuming, but not impossible. In fact, I find pitches harder to create than the dreaded synopsis.
Use powerful verbs (no "is" or "are" if possible) and strong imagery. Then, practice, practice, practice! Once your pitch is out, talking about your book will come more easily. For expert, step-by-step directions on writing your pitch, see Laurie Schnebly Campbell's blog on writing a pitch. You only have about 10 minutes to wow them. You have to be ready.
3. Stay relaxed. Talk with the other participants at the conference. Share your trepidation. Everyone is a bit nervous pitching.
4. Connect. Editors and agents are humans, too. After you pitch your first line, smile, admit you're nervous or excited. Find something to comment on. Are they wearing amazing shoes or a statement necklace? Are they wearing your favorite color? Once you have connected, it will be easier to talk to them as professional colleagues.
5. Listen & Answer. After your pitch, the editor or agent will have questions like what is your character's inner conflict? What is your social platform? Be prepared to answer questions and listen to any feedback they may give you.
Now, get ready to pitch!
Live in Hampton Roads, Richmond or Williamsburg, VA? Here's your chance to pitch your manuscript.
For more information or to register for the conference, click here.
#amwriting @RWA @coastal_writers #pitching #writing
Wanted: One Sexy Sorcerer
Librarian Rebecca Jones has always found solace in books. The death of her grandmother leaves her alone in the world. An inherited old Welsh scroll renews her desire to find the father she never knew. She hopes fairytale Wiccan Haus will yield the answers she needs.
Descendent of the inspiration for the Merlin legend, Ian Branson lives with the responsibility of protecting humans and paranormal beings. He takes an impromptu vacation with the Rowans of Wiccan Haus, seeking healing for his out of control psychic abilities.
As soon as Ian meets Becca, he feels the pull of his soulmate. Love has no place in his life but he cannot deny the peace only she can provide. Becca finds her Welsh knight in shining armor to translate her scroll but passion tempts her from her quest to find her father.
As their relationship blooms, Ian fears putting another loved one in jeopardy. A tryst isn’t enough but Ian’s charmed solution goes awry. With his emotions into a tailspin, he is forced to sacrifice his pride and ask the formidable eldest Rowan for help.
Will Sarka’s magic reverse the sorcerer’s spell and will Becca accept Ian’s legacy and her own?
From his Richard Gere hair to his stern clean-shaven jaw, he was model material. His eyes, soft green like a mist-covered glade, penetrated straight to her soul. Ian posed a danger to her heart, no matter how he charged her body.
Remember what Grandma always said. “Think with your logical brain, not with your romantic heart. Love does not put food in your mouth or a roof over your head.”
Or decipher an ancient Welsh text.
“What can I do?” she asked as she stood, having nothing to do.
He rose from where he’d prepared the fire pit and walked to her, extending his hand. After a moment, she took it and stood beside him.
“Nothing. It’s done. Are you ready?”
“For what?” Truly, the limits of reality had been shattered and anything seemed possible.
About the author:
Welcome to Wiccan Haus. I know you’ll love this series as much as I do. It is a world of possibilities, an escape from our daily realities. An island with shifters, witches, and all manner of paranormal beings, there’s mystery and magic around every bend, in each encounter.
I’m Carolyn Spear, mother of two sweet girls and wife of one fabulous husband. Reading, gardening and exploring are my passions. I don’t really “write” but rather channel my characters' stories to share with others. A strange combination of small town girl, travel enthusiast and geek, I am thrilled to be a part of the shared world of the Wiccan Haus.
For Becca’s personality, I channeled by inner child. I still believe in magic and knights in shining armor. She gets a little more than she bargains for at Wiccan Haus. Wizards and werewolves and vampires, oh my!
Ian Branson is an older than usual hero, but I like my heroes a little more experienced. A little uptight and a little supercilious, he is surprised at the feral passion Becca unlocks in him. He has to deal with all the emotions he keeps under lock and key to function. I think he exemplifies many of us who function more than live. And it’s a Merlin inspired tale, who I’ve always felt got a raw deal at the end of his life so I wrote him a different ending.
Contact info/buy links:
Writing is essentially an individual activity. For many of us (especially me), being alone is the only way I can write. However, a successful writer usually does not achieve success alone. There are critique partners, beta readers, agents, editors, and chapter members who support and contribute to the process and mental well-being of every author.
Writers Conferences are a great way to connect with other writers and learn about the ever evolving business of writing.
Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Writers Conference
1. Meet other writers. No one else will understand when you talk about the "voices in your head not letting you finish this manuscript." With others, you might end up in a 48-hour psych hold.
2. Learn from experts. Consider the speakers above. Both are multi-published authors with tons of experience. Publishing changes all the time. Avoid the pitfalls by learning from others.
3. Learn what editors and agents look for. The first page has to hook the editor or agent. Not to mention a reader. The panel of editors and agents will comment on a limited number of submissions.
4. Pitch your manuscript to editors. Many conferences will provide opportunities to pitch your finished work to acquiring editors and agents. Local conferences allow a little more relaxed experience, with other writers just as nervous.
My first pitch was a forced march by a writer friend to an editor who gently walked me through the pitch process. My take away: come prepared with a rehearsed speech but remember editors are people, too. Connecting with them on a human level is equally as important.
5. Take notes. Yes, I know. We're in the digital age. But if you have a life and don't have an eidetic memory, you probably need to jot down notes of things you need to do. Paper or device, write down ideas that will make you more successful.
If you live near Williamsburg, Virginia, Chesapeake Romance Writers is hosting a conference March 5, 2016 at the Regional Library. We are a relaxed, fun, and supportive group of writers and we'd love to meet you. Whether you need a chapter or are ready to pitch your manuscript, we invite you to join us. Register here.
Here is the schedule:
Guest Blog by Author of A Matter of Time
Since childhood, my personal version of heaven has resembled Mr. Scrooge’s time-traveling adventures, only with a much more enjoyable spin: being able to visit any time period anywhere, to fully understand what life was like then.
Rome in its heyday? I could be there. Charlemagne’s ascension to emperor? Yup. Witnessing the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Sign me up!
Of course, I’d be invisible, a mere witness, not an active participant (I wouldn’t want to potentially mess anything up!) – which means I’d like to avoid the more horrific points in human history.
Still, imagining what people, places, and events were truly like in times past thrills me just as much today as it did when I was younger. It’s one of the reasons writing time-travel romance seemed like a natural fit.
I spent hours brainstorming what A Matter of Time’s Eliza James might have experienced once in Regency England. I danced over some of the less savory realities she’d likely encounter (time-of-the-month issues, anyone?) in favor of imagining the furniture, the horses, the open country, the lavish foods … and of course, the handsome, cravat-bedecked gentlemen.
For Eliza, Jane Austen’s time is her ultimate dream-come-true. Until it isn’t. Because, of course, reality never can quite live up to fantasy, right? And accepting that is one of the ways we grow and mature. No matter what time we live in.
So, tell me, if you could travel to any period in history, where would you go? Why? What do you think your first reactions would be?
I, for one, would want to take a bag like Hermione’s bag from Harry Potter, with its Undetectable Extension Charm, so that I could have all the storage without all the bulk. Because I’d want Advil, and Bandaids, and pads, maybe my Kindle . . . Though I suppose if I had all those things, it’d rather defeat the purpose.
I might as well stay right here, in twenty-first century Virginia, curled up in my chair with a good book in hand. Which isn’t such a bad idea, actually, because books allow me to experience my own imaged heaven, right here on earth, every single day.
A Matter of Time:
Love comes when least expected.
Nobody would blame widowed doctoral student Eliza James for giving up on Happily Ever After; at twenty-nine, she’s suffered more loss than most people do in a lifetime. But Eliza’s convinced her own hero is still out there, waiting for her, just like in the beloved romance novels she devours. Every girl deserves a Darcy, right?
Only Eliza doesn’t dream of a modern-day affair: she wants the whole Regency experience. When a magical manuscript thrusts her back two hundred years into the arms and life of one Deveric Mattersley, Duke of Claremont, however, Eliza soon realizes some fantasies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, especially when her duke proves himself less than a Prince Charming.
Deveric Mattersley has no interest in women, much less marriage. Determined to atone for his sins after convincing himself he's at fault for the death of his first wife, he decrees himself content to focus on running his family’s estates, and on raising his son–until the mysterious Mrs. James appears. Who is she? What does she want? And why does she make Dev’s blood run hot in a way no woman ever has?
Can a man with a past and a woman from the future forge a love for all time?
A lover of romance novels since the age of ten (shh, don't tell mom!), Margaret Locke declared as a teen that she'd write romances when she grew up. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things (such as earning that master's degree in medieval history), not penning steamy love stories. Yeah, whatever. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader. Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fabulous kids, and two fat cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window); she's come to terms with the fact that she's not an outdoors person. Margaret loves to interact with fellow readers and authors! You may find her here:
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/MLAmz
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/AMatterOfTime
Magical romantic comedy A Man of Character now available! http://bit.ly/AManOfCharacter
Happy Holidays! Or at least, we here at Romance Writers' Weekly hope that they are. But we know what it's like to be moms, dads, daughters, sons, workers... you name it, we have it covered. It doesn't matter which hat you're wearing, December can be the most stressful and busiest time of the year.
So we've decided to have some fun in among all the chaos. From December 2nd we'll be posting once a day about Holiday traditions, songs, stories and movies, to remind ourselves of how much fun it can be. To make it sweeter still, we are going to have a treasure hunt buried in each post, giving you a chance to collect all the clues and a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Plus there will be daily prizes to win, so make sure to read each blog!
To keep up with the posts, be sure to subscribe to the blog here, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Even better, do all three - that way you're sure not to miss out!
What are we waiting for... let's have some fun!
December 1 - Kick Off Post
Woo hoo! Going back to Wiccan Haus!
School teacher Cassidy Sinclair’s sanity is questioned after claiming to see her hero appear out of thin air. Her savior dies in her arms after intercepting a gunshot meant for her and her student, Allan Branson. The only person who believes her account is the boy’s father who arranges her one-week stay at an exclusive holistic healing spa called the Wiccan Haus off the coast of Maine.
Trevor Green, a paranormal, is recovering—again—from gunshot wounds at Wiccan Haus. His body battered and his confidence broken, he is tasked to protect the woman he almost got killed. The one he’s fantasized about for months and who thinks he’s dead.
What happened? He inhaled a calming breath and counted to ten, aware that Cemil and Cyrus had joined Sage and were awaiting his answer. Well, not Cemil. He was just being polite. As a telepath, he’d already read Trevor’s thoughts.
“She was determined to come back here and I had to stop her.”
Cemil grinned. “The best you could come up with was decloaking her dead savior right in front of her?”
“Yeah,” he snarled, “it was.” Cassidy stirred in his arms and he tightened his hold keeping her close. He savored the innocent intimacy and hated himself for enjoying it.
Dana stood between the two elevators. “Your room or hers?”
He nodded toward Sage as he waited for the third elevator, the one reserved for the humans. Somehow, these siblings had charmed the elevators so that only humans could use the one designated to go to the third floor and only Paranormals could use the second floor elevator. The first elevator was reserved for the siblings alone. No one knew where that one went.
“I could use a key to her room.”
“How will you get there?” Sage asked, though he was sure she knew the answer. As always, he would wait patiently, cloaked, for his opportunity.
“Don’t worry about me. Just get me the key. She’s not going to be an easy one to keep an eye on.” The elevator pinged and Dana escorted him to the third floor.
In the privacy of the elevator, he pressed his lips to her hair. She wouldn’t know, but he would remember the silky strands caressing his cheek during the long lonely nights.
He needed to concoct a believable explanation for materializing out of thin air without threatening her sanity. Or his secret.
About the author
Once upon a time there an only child who grew up with a single mother in a rural Virginia county. This curious, bright girl, full of imagination, often roamed in her mind to far away places she’d read about or seen on television. Now, decades later, she appreciates the slow, steady ritual of suburban life as a wife and mother of two similarly whimsical girls. The trips are still frequent, only now she records them to share with others. Enjoy!
History is in the Eye of the Beholder
As we become a more global community and share information more freely, history is constantly being rewritten.
Several years ago, my family attended the First Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation (Charles City, Virginia). It is a festival with vendors and demonstrations but seeing the reenactors in period garb, feeling the ground shake with cannon fire, the smell of freshly spent black powder on the air allowed us to step back in time.
Check out this article by the Washingtonian. This Thanksgiving tradition only lasted a few years since the Powhatan realized the settlers' intent to take more land, killing anyone who stood in the way. The take away from this story is be a good guest or your hosts may show you the door. Permanently.
View Outside My Window
This week's topic comes from the beautiful Betty Bolte: Our surroundings influence our mood and view of the world as much as setting in any story. What is the view outside your window, or what would you like the view to be? For those hopping over from Brenda Margriet, thank you for making the trip!
My yard is full of trees, both in front and in the back. So when I look out my window, no matter the time of the year, I see birds and squirrels. Sometimes a bird will make its nest in one of our pendant light fixtures so I get to watch the parents care for their ravenous babies.
Romance writer. Paranormal and contemporary. Mother of two and wife of perfect husband. Love the environment, travel and reading.
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