Much like the Not Ready for Primetime Players, there is a group of amazingly talented authors on the cusp of stardom. They gather here at the Not so Famous Author's Blog to tell you all about writing and smashing your head on a desk. No just the writing part. .

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Filling in the Rest

Hello and welcome back to the Blog!!

I hope that your holidays were wonderful and filled with family joy and fun. Now with that out of the way, let's discuss your writing.

Pick up your laptop, pen, paper, blood in the inkwell, whatever it is that you will use to create your masterpiece and let's begin.


I am going to skip ahead a bit, because however you have outlined your story is up to you. Personally, I just go with it. (Which is probably a bad idea.) Anyway, as a writer you have a general idea of where you want your story to go. Along the way there are twists and turns that you must address and if you are like me, it is hard to lay out the characters and the initial plots without getting too excited. So, in an effort to slow myself down and create a richer story, I am using a layering process.

Start with what you know

In the beginning, the foundation of the character and their plight is vital. Starting off strong, grabbing the reader and holding their attention is the key. Characters need clear paths and obstacles that make them desirable and bring the reader to either love or hate them.

The layering

Once your writing is off to a start and your stopping point is near, take a break. Come back to the piece and start with the beginning and add a second layer. To most, this is called "fleshing out" the story. For me, it is a vital piece in bringing forth a rich story and character.

Your initial components are usually the thoughts that fly off the top of your head. Good groundwork, but you need to go back in and fill in more details. Little quirks about your character are always good. A nervous twitch, a blink, or a smirk can breathe life into a character and make them more pleasing. Also, adding more to their struggle and background helps to lengthen the tale as well.

This process of layering can be done as many times as you feel necessary. The trick here would be to continue to hold your audience. You don't want to drag this on to a point where the story gets heavy and you lose your reader. Remember there will be plenty more to layer with each section that is written so try to over focus on just one piece. One could set a limit to the number of times you rework the writing, say two to three. This should give you a clear stopping point so that you don't overdo it.


Friday, January 17, 2014

The Finishing of Lady Amelia - Sisters of the Heart Blast!


 
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The Finishing of
Lady Amelia
(Sisters of the Heart Series, Book 3. 
Prequel to Betrayals of the Heart) 
[Kindle Edition]
 December 25, 2013
Scarlett Rains (Author)

Book Description
Lady Amelia Fitzailwyn knows everything about everything. She certainly does not require Finishing School. If John and Alex had not tattled on her, she would still be home! It was fine for them to chase every skirt in the Kingdom but she has one kiss ...or two, and Uncle carts her off!

Day one of her banishment at Madame de Rigeur's Young Ladies Finishing Academie is dismal. Her roommate is insular, Clarissa is cruel...and that spotty girl's rash is probably contagious! Then, she meets Monsieur Pelfrie, the handsomest man she has ever seen, and Amelia decides it might just be possible to endure the two long years away .

Enjoy this delightful tale of mischief and mayhem as a sheltered young woman comes of age in Georgian England.

Review
Claire Carey (Goodreads)
Reading this book was like reading the Mallory Towers books, you realize that girls together at any type of school, be it finishing school in the case or boarding school in the case of Mallory Towers the adventures and mischief is the same. I certainly laughed at some of the things the girls got up to, and the way the different class of girl saw each other is certainly true of the Georgian period. It is something we sadly still have today. In my opinion the book is an easy relaxing gentle read suitable for YA and adults alike. I like the descriptive content of some of the manners and how scandalous it was when one of them swore, something that now you wouldn't turn a blind eye to. There is always a romance to the Georgian period that makes me want the simpler life they seemed to lead.

About the author
Scarlett Rains left the womb with pen in hand...which might explain why her mother carted her off to a children's home at an early age.  Not one to let such things distract her from nurturing her creative talent, she lived, learned, laughed and loved her way through what could have been a traumatic childhood.  
 
That little bend in the road, and a battle with breast cancer, could not stop Scarlett from writing.  The more emotionally evocative events of her life made her appreciate her shared humanity and the desperate need that most people have to laugh.  Scarlett keeps those memories close when she writes. She draws on the personalities of the wonderful people she has been blessed to encounter when she develops her characters, always striving to make her readers laugh so that they may escape their worries for awhile.

Scarlett is a clinician by profession, though she is trying hard to deny that so as to continue writing. We wish her every success.  Her books are enjoyed by readers around the world and we would hate to lose such a talented author.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Seduction of a Bluestocking - Scarlett Blast Day 2!!


Seduction of a Bluestocking
(Sisters of the Heart Series, Book Two)
[Kindle Edition]
Scarlett Rains (Author)
 December 25, 2013
 
Book Description
 
Jilted and heart-broken, Miss Rachel Steele leaves home to begin a new life as governess, mind made up never again to succumb to a man’s charm. Then William Seaton, old friend of her employer, disturbs her peace: meddling in matters outside his concern. "Good riddance to bad rubbish," she says when he finally leaves. Soon thereafter, disaster strikes and Rachel accompanies her charge to the estate of her guardian, the Duke of Warwick: who from his letters sounds like a man well in his dotage. Rachel marches in to his study to persuade the doddering old coot to keep her on as governess. Words fail her when she finds that he is not at all old…definitely not doddering, but none other than the irritating, William Seaton!

William Seaton’s life is precisely as he would have it: mistresses all prettily lined up in a row, a cozy chair at Whites molded comfortably to fit his frame: fine port and cheroots a nod away…just perfect! He is anything but charmed to renew Miss Steele’s acquaintance, she is a nuisance he does not want or need, in fact, he’d prefer to hear nothing except farewell from her tightly-pressed lips. Knowing the annoying bluestocking will likely disrupt his well-ordered life, he agrees to retain her for the sake of his ward.

Hence begins a sizzling romantic campaign of Napoleonic proportions which draws the unwelcome attention of a villain from William’s past. Will Rachel and William realize their love for one another before he seeks revenge?

Review
imagefrom Carolyn on  Goodreads:

I love this book! I read the first one in the series and didn't think it was possible to top that one. This is really different. I'm going to read the first one again! Anyone who wants something fresh really should read Scarlett Rains stories.         

A Personal Message from Scarlett

I am grateful for every instant of my life...good and bad. Each moment was a lesson that moved me in the direction intended for me and made me who I am. I breathe in and say, "Thank you, Lord".  I breathe out and say, "Please, guide and direct me." And, here I am.

I will never forget the day I rang the radiation bell after my last radiation treatment. This inscription was on the card my treatment team gave me:
"Ring this bell, three times well to celebrate this day.
My course is run, my work is done and I'm on my way."
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, may God bless you and give you the courage and strength for your battle. When you reach that point where you can accept the reality of your diagnosis, I say face it, take it in and know that you have the strength and courage to conquer it ...in your way. You may be surprised at how profoundly you will change.

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Anatomy of a Half-Hour

Anatomy of a Half-Hour





W
hat bearing does a half-hour have on us when there are so many hours, day, weeks, and years in our lifetime? Thirty minutes, eighteen hundred seconds, one forty-eighth of a day, one sixteen thousand five hundred twentieth of a year. That is not to say that time is unimportant or unfair, but there are many of us who have a slanted perception of how time ultimately affects us. You definitely aren’t going to be cooking a turkey dinner, but you could go for a jog.
So why the lack of time?
As if some were given more time than others?
The answer is simple. Perception is the key to life, some see only what they cannot have and others see what they already do. That perception leads us to see that responsibility of our own choices is what frames our lives.
The elderly reflect back on their years of worry and realize that there was more around them than they believed. They once saw life as a race too which you could never beat the clock. Now, they experience life anew, returning to place and participating in things long forgotten. As adults, we are often faced with the overwhelming certainty that we will not finish what we have started; that there is a distinct possibility that our IN box will be much fuller than our OUT box. We race through life as though each precious second was wasted if we stopped for a moment. But, it is this life that we race through that we are truly missing. The elderly see life as it was: the simplicities that make it great and the complexities that often leave adults confused and bewildered as to how they survive.
Children are beset with such wonder of the world that they are fundamentally unburdened with a need to categorize time. They are free of this because they simply wander about simply experiencing the world around them. Their choices and their consequences are simple to them because they are seeing them for the first time; they will not slant them and pervert them. A child will not be heard saying that they don’t have enough time to finish playing in the woods. They understand the simplicities that we often take for granted.
Imagine if you devoted a half an hour a day to reading to your child at night instead of plopping them in front of the television because you believe that “you don’t have time.” How many times have you sat on the couch and watched sitcoms endlessly? What if this was used for something constructive instead? You could learn to speak a language in a half an hour each day.

Most waste time, but there are those who find a focus for their lives: a purpose. Whatever walls you have erected in your life have been placed there by you and the choices that you have made. Time is not the culprit of your ills, but human action (or inaction for that matter). Focus on what you want and stop complaining because, honestly, everyone else is too preoccupied to listen.


Dan O’Brien, founder and editor-in-chief of Amalgam Publishing, has written 15 novels (all before the age of 30) including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine located here in the North State. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com. Contact him today to order copies of the book or have them stocked at your local bookstore. He can he reached by email at amalgamconsulting@gmail.com


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Promises of the Heart Book Blast!! Enter the Giveaway!



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Promises of the Heart
(Sisters of the Heart Series, Book One)
[Kindle Edition]
Scarlett Rains (Author)
December 25, 2013
Book Description
 
Fate Plays a Hand!
When Amelia Fitzailwyn, Duchess of Kensington, is orphaned at a very young age, she must leave home and travel to her new guardian's estate. She embarks on the journey with her beloved governess, Rachel: wishing all the while that her Uncle William would somehow rescue her. To her delight, he does! Uncle William is her new guardian...and he has two sons! Amelia happily settles in to life at Havenwood Manor with her new family.
 
 
The Stage is Set!
What are the servants whispering about? Have they noticed all those heated looks between Uncle and Rachel? Amelia sees mysteries everywhere...and would solve them all if her cousins would leave her alone long enough to do her research! She wishes John, the eldest, would keep his nose out of her affairs and poke it back in his theme bookHow to be the Most Boring Personage in the Realm. And Alex, the skirt chasing hypocrite, irritates her even more: going on-and-on about her one little rendezvous with Simon.
 
Time Will Tell!
When it turns out Uncle, is not really her uncle, Amelia begins to see the irksome boys in a new light. In fact, she plans to marry one of them! Will John stop straining his steely grey eyes reading and see her for the woman she is? Or will Alex stop pulling the curl out of her hair long enough to notice the sheen of it as it wraps around his finger? Solve the mystery, dear reader, as you enjoy this delightful tale of a young woman's coming of age in Georgian England.

Review
imagefrom Nancy on  Goodreads:

"Promises of the Heart" is an eighteenth century tale of a young girl’s coming of age. The first thing I really liked about this book was the lovely graphics reflecting the time period in London, England. The reader is also pulled into the story at once with carefully crafted prose appealing to all five senses.

For example: watching the fluffy clouds lazily form shapes that quickly swirled into other shapes in the gentle breeze…a cacophony of sounds bombarded the weary coachman: the hue and cry of merchants and street people rose up above the clopping of the horses hooves in a relentlessly forlorn lament.

Scarlett Rains does a masterful job on style continuity throughout the entire novel. Somewhat like Charles Dickens, but more like the Victoria Holt novels I read profusely at one time in my life, "Promises of the Heart" resonates with cleverly woven intrigue surrounded by authentic characters of the day. Historical novels should inform about the life and times of the era—"Promises of the Heart" did not disappoint! The segue to her second novel "Seduction of a Bluestocking" was a perfect cliffhanger, enticing the reader to find out what happens next. Well done, Scarlett Rains! Five Stars!

About the author:
Scarlett Rains was raised in an orphanage, survived that and breast cancer! She considers all of it a blessing, refuses to let anything stop her; insisting that life is what you make it! Scarlett is a person who will spout optimistic 'truths' with her last breath! She is a busy grandma juggling a hectic schedule to try to balance her family's needs (including her insular cat's hissy-fits and her demanding dog's pathetic begging for belly rubs) and still manage a few minutes to write her stories. She often awakens from a sound sleep, jumps up, snatches a cup of coffee and hides in her office behind locked doors typing 18th century romance novels. Scarlett believes escaping her day-to-day responsibilities by living vicariously in the lives of the characters she creates keeps her out of trouble …and saves the cost of psychotherapy services. The author’s delightful Sisters of the Heart Series books are enjoyed by readers around the world. Scarlett loves receiving feedback and ideas from her readers.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spotlight for Stolen Time by Angela Rae Harris!


Tragedy has made Keaira wise beyond her twenty years. Forced to work for the General, a commanding man who blackmailed his way into her life, she was ordered to study self-defense and master knife throwing. In the hidden community of Shifters, falcons are considered weak, a fact which may ultimately save her life. To escape his cruelty, she will need to call upon her quick-witted falcon side, but the General has other plans – ones which involve his only son, Carson. When unexpected feelings form between Keaira and Carson, the General quickly moves his pieces into place, launching his quest to take over the world. If she wants to survive, Keaira must stay one step ahead in the General’s deadly game and discover his weaknesses. Even if it means risking her life and the lives of those she cares about most. With war on the horizon, sides are being drawn. Deadly secrets must be exposed. Time is running out for Keaira and all of mankind.

About the author: Angela Rae Harris: Stories of Hope ~ Creating Dreams

Angela is an author, a wife, mother of two, and a part-time assistant office manager. She loves nights when her husband cooks. Her two kids keep her hopping and help her tap into her well of creativity and imagination. At thirteen, Angela read Harry Potter and was reacquainted with books. She reads everything from Steven King to Will Hobbs. She started writing after her youngest was born. The characters started to visit and wouldn’t let her sleep until she wrote down their stories. She'd love for people to get lost in her books. Website/Blog / Facebook Fan Page / Twitter / Goodreads Book Links: Amazon / Amazon U.K. / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Goodreads

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Excerpt:

Keaira jumped when her desk phone rang. Cursing, she picked up the phone. “Mr. Scott’s office.” “Hey, it’s Carson.” Keaira felt her face light up. “Oh. Hi. How did you get my work number?” Keaira shook her head at her own stupid question. “Ugh, I think I already knew the answer to that.” “Sorry. I talked to my dad this morning. Just thought I’d warn you that he was asking questions about us.” He sounded a little unsure of himself. “It’s not a big deal. So, what’s up?” Keaira twirled her chair around to stare at the boring white wall behind her. “I was just going to tell you I’d really like to see you again. How does tomorrow night sound?” Keaira pushed her foot lightly against the floor to turn the chair the way around and rested her elbows on her desk. The deep sound of his voice made her feel a little light headed. “I’m free.” Keaira caught herself before she giggled. I will not act like a giddy little school-girl over a guy, even Carson. “Dinner and bowling with my friends all right with you?” He sounded nervous, not at all like the confident, easy-going Carson of the night before. “Sounds like fun.” “Last time you shot down my idea, so I just wanted to make sure. I’ll pick you up after work.” Now he was back to the cocky Carson she had been with last night. “See ya then. Bye.” Keaira turned back around to hang up, but the cord wouldn’t reach the cradle. She untangled it from around the chair and freed the finger that was all wrapped up in the cord from twisting it while she was talking to Carson. Gah, I am acting like a school-girl. Who doesn’t use cordless phones these days anyways. Keaira was so distracted she didn’t see Mr. Scott come into her office. She nearly fell out of her chair when she looked up. She could understand not hearing or seeing him enter, but surely she should have smelled his cologne when he came into the room. I hate that cologne. He tried to smile. To Keaira it just looked like a sneer. She’d love to be the one who wiped it from his face one day. He said, “Sorry, did I interrupt something?” She narrowed her eyes at him. He knew damn well she had just been on the phone with Carson. “Not interrupting, no.” He set a handful of papers on her desk. “New membership information.” Keaira took the papers and started looking through them. Despite her obvious attempt to ignore him, the General didn’t leave. She avoided his gaze as she started transferring bank accounts and phone numbers to the computer. He pulled up a chair to the front of the desk. “So how are things going with Carson?” He unbuttoned his navy-blue suit jacket as he sat down, exposing the crisp white dress shirt underneath. Keaira didn’t look at him. “Considering you are my boss and he is your son, there are two strikes against you. I guess the fact that you hold my life in your hands is the third reason why I will not talk to you about anything having to do with me and Carson.” The General chuckled. “I knew I could trust you to keep secrets.” Keaira tried not to let him affect her, but the tremor, which ran up her spine, couldn’t be stopped. Her fingers clenched into fists, and she figured that while he was in a good mood she would broach the subject that had been nagging at her all day. “Speaking of secrets, why are you keeping your, um, plans from your family?” She held her breath, hoping she would not regret acting on her curiosity. She peered at him out of the corner of her eye. The General sighed and looked at her oddly. Funny, he thinks he can trust me. Keaira inwardly laughed. She met his brown eyes as he stared at her. A minute passed with neither of them moving. He finally leaned back in his chair and closed the door. Keaira relaxed a bit, allowing herself to breathe. “I don’t want to put them in harm’s way any more than I already have. Those who deny the rise of the higher class may try to get information out of them.” He spoke quickly. Keaira had the feeling he wasn’t telling her the whole reason. Not being the best at holding her tongue, Keaira whispered, “You don’t want them to try to stop you.” The General suddenly stood and then returned the chair to its place in the corner. He turned back toward Keaira, and she slumped into her chair as his brown eyes bore into hers. “I love my family. I will not let anything hurt them.” He gave her one last hard glance as he opened the office door and left. Keaira sat there, mouth wide open and watched him leave. She believed the General loved his family but on selfish terms. This man was insane, and he held her life and the lives of many others in his hands. If it were not for the collateral the General had over Keaira, she would want nothing to do with his scheme to rule over the humans. She swallowed the lump in her throat as she reminded herself he had the ability to take any life he wanted. She wasn’t the only one in danger. Right now she was just thankful her big mouth didn’t get her into even bigger trouble.