Writing blogs are a great way to learn about the craft and marketing our work. Enjoy the posts I’ve hoarded, some older, some recent.
If You Have Time For Only One Thing
Strategies To Make You Finish That Bloody Novel by Charlie Jane Anders
“Creativity emerges. Ideas emerge. Original thought emerges.
Something happens – but only if you trust emergence.”
– Joanna Penn
Six Tests of a Solid Story Premise and Eight Ways to Write One by Martina Boone
Are You Writing the Right Book? 5 Ways To Find Out by Karen Woodward
How To Get Your Readers To Identify With Your Characters by Karen Woodward
Character Introductions by Alexandra Sokoloff
Putting the “Boo” In Your Book by Michael J. Scott
Elements of Act Three, Part 3: Elevate Your Ending by Alexandra Sokoloff
How I Write a Scene by Joanna Penn
Writer Strong: Is Your Dialog Doing Double Duty? by Shannon Donnelly
How To Write Dialogue Unique To Your Characters by Marcy Kennedy
6 Ways To Develop Your Voice by Marcy Kennedy
5 Must Checks in Book Revisions by Lori Devoti
One Simple and Incredibly Painful Way To Fix Your Novel Draft by Charlie Jane Anders
Manuscript Revisions: Exposition and Incluing by Veronica Sicoe (nope, not including. Read and find out.)
Edit Out The Weak Words by Victoria Reese
How To Publish Your Book – Procrastination Flowchart by Zachary Petitt
5 Questions To Ask When Choosing an Online Writing Course by Krissy Brady
Non-Fiction to Inspire Your (SF) Writing (Mary Roach Edition) by Anassa at Specnology (all about cadavers, sex, paranormal and space)
Why I Read YA by Janine Ballard (great analysis of why YA has become so popular)
How To Write a High Quality eBook in 30 Days by Ali Luke
Shorter Novels in the Digital Age? by Elizabeth S. Craig
Does Size Really Matter? – Fantasy Short Stories by Victoria Hooper
Your Author Platform
How To Fascinate Others… And Why Authors Should Take Note by Jeannie Campbell
Are Writers Too Insulated From Their Readers? by Mike Duran
How To Get Your Book Noticed In Today’s Changing Market Place by Stina Lindenblatt
12 Days of Book Sales: A Dozen Holiday Promotion Ideas by Toni at DuoLit
3 Social Media Myths That Can Cripple Our Author Platform by Kristen Lamb
3 Ways To Boost Your Newsletter This November by Nathan Exley
Does Amazon KDP Select Drive Away True Fans? by Karen Woodward
10 Best Stock Art Sites to Get Photos and Illustrations For Your Book Cover by Kristen Eckstein
How To Find the Perfect Niche Audience For Your Blog by Nick Thacker
Why Your Blog Needs To Be Your 2nd Priority by Stanford at Pushing Social
Cowboy Macaroni and Divorcing Witches: The Changing Face of Blogging by Judy Lee Dunn
Tell Stories No One Can Steal by Joey Strawn
3 Unexpected Ways To Quickly Find Your Next Blog Post Idea (Writing Happiness)
100 Blog Post Ideas (Turn Your Brainstorming to Auto Pilot) by Sean at The Digital Writer
What Makes a Great Blog Post (Infographic) by Sarah Arrow
How To Run a Blog Series and Get More Subscribers by Annabel Candy
How To Edit Your Blog Post In 5 Easy Steps by Marya Jan
Finding Timely Images For Topical Posts by Sarah Arrow
The Minimalist Guide to Social Media by Toni from Duolit
How To Make Sure You Don’t Miss Facebook Updates by Amy Lynn Andrews
How To Use Google+ As an Author Platform by Maria Peagler
Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp
Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig
Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas
7 Days of Paying Attention To Your Spouse by Lisa Hall-Wilson
9 Love Lessons From Jane Austen by Rebecca M. Smith
Urban Fantasy As a Window Into Society by Anassa at Specnology
A Girl’s Journey to the Underworld (The Big Idea: Catherynne M. Valente)
9 Reasons To Elect a Supervillain President by Lauren Davis
Hugo Nominated Short Story: Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn (Beautiful story. Carrie Vaughn is one of my favourite authors)
50 Rules to Follow If I End Up In an Urban Fantasy Novel by Anassa at Specnology
Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Urban Fantasy by Suzanne Johnson
Top 20 Most Annoying Book Reviewer Cliches by Michelle Kerns
his week I had the pleasure to read Wicked Sense, an YA urban fantasy novel by talented author Fabio Bueno.
The beautiful cover and the blurb hooked me from the start:
Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.
Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.
Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.
Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.
Going on a date has never been harder.
In the beginning of the book I got some Twilight vibes (and that’s meant as a compliment). The setting explains some of it. Twilight is set to rainy Forks, Washington, and Singularity is set to rainy Seattle, Washington. Like Bella and Edward, Drake and Skye are high schoolers, and at first they’re fairly awkward with each others.
And as in Twilight, Drake finds out in a very dramatic way that witches exist. But from there the book deviates to its unique direction. No vampires and werewolves in this story. Not to mention much better writing.
Skye and Drake tell the story in turns and each gets about half of the chapters. I delved deep into their minds as the story unfolds in first person. Sometimes the point of view switched in the middle of a scene which was a little distracting at first but I got used to it quickly.
The whole cast is a real thing and I delighted in Skye’s and Drake’s friendships and relationships with their families. Since I’m a female, it was especially fascinating to get a peek of male dynamics.
The villain of the story, Jane, intimidates everyone with her biker attitude. We see only a tiny glimpse of her human side but she works great as a menace.
No punches are pulled for the characters. They make wrong choices, hurt each others and get into harm’s way. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that a nasty school “prank” poor Skye was caught in would have made me hide in my house for the rest of the school year.
Something interesting happens in every chapter, and the identity of the Singularity was a mystery to me until the end. I suspected two other characters instead.
My only minor gripe was that if the search of Singularity was so important to the witches, why on earth did they assign an unexperienced, young warlock to lead the search (regardless of his Trust Charm). Also, Skye got no backup from the the local covens or from the leaders of the witches. But this way the focus was firmly on the main characters. And maybe we see more of the trust issues between the covens in the next book.
I was happy with the ending. With some threads left open, the sequel can’t come out fast enough. Fans of Realistic, Hopeful, Happy and Open endings will all be satisfied.
If you like YA urban fantasy with witches, strong characters and great conflict, Wicked Sense is a book for you.
But on to you. Do you read urban fantasy or YA? What do you think of witches in the popular culture?
So many great books, too little time. That’s the plight of avid readers as new promising releases come out every month.
My to-read list is a mile long. Here are 5 Urban Fantasy highlights from it.
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.
In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…
If you lived in a world where everyone had a personal fairy, what kind would you want?
A clothes-shopping fairy (The perfect outfit will always be on sale!)
A loose-change fairy (Pretty self-explanatory.)
A never-getting-caught fairy (You can get away with anything. . . .)
Unfortunately for Charlie, she’s stuck with a parking fairy-if she’s in the car, the driver will find the perfect parking spot. Tired of being treated like a personal parking pass, Charlie devises a plan to ditch her fairy for a more useful model. At first, teaming up with her archenemy (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a good idea. But Charlie soon learns there are consequences for messing with fairies-and she will have to resort to extraordinary measures to set things right again.
Miriam Black knows when you will die.
Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.
Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead.
But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.
My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.
What’s on your to-read list right now? Why did those books catch your attention? And what books have been on the list for a long time?