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Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Tomorrow, December 5th, I’ll be stopping by the blog Entertaining Stories for another turn on Lisa Burton Radio. Author C. S. Boyack hosts these fun “radio shows” where his favorite character, Lisa Burton, interviews characters from other stories.

In my case, Lisa will be chatting with Tisha, one of the two main characters from Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts. Tisha is one of the good guys, unlike Zathi, the character who visited Lisa from The Tower in the Mist. This somewhat balances the scales, and I like that.

But what I’d really like is for you to hop on over this Thursday, December 5th, and join in the fun of the radio show. I’ll be answering everyone’s questions, so I hope to hear from you there.


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I mentioned that I’m into revisions on Ice Witch and the first page isn’t quite right. I’d like share the first few lines, so you can see what I’m working with.

On the deck of the trading ship Cross Current, Meven watched the shore of Eshur glide slowly closer. Gulls screeched overhead, perfectly expressing the dread that congealed within her gut.

Some things I like about this: a) It has the character, Meven, so we know right away who the story is about. b) It has a dual setting, on the trading ship, which is approaching a place, Eshur. I always like when one sentence does the job of two. c) It has a nice image, the gulls screeching, that connects to a powerful emotion, dread.

No matter what else goes on in a story, I believe that authors have to bring in an emotion right away. This will draw readers in more than anything else.

Now, things I don’t like: a) That first sentence seems unwieldy. I could make it more direct, “Meven watched the shore… from the deck of the trading ship Cross Current.” b) The final image, dread congealing in her gut, feels awkward. Meven has ice powers that don’t seem to fit with the verb, congeal. Yet I do want a sense of something solidifying and getting heavy as she approaches a place she dreads. I really need to get the right verb there.

Here is the next paragraph. These hast two weeks at sea had been a blessing and a relief. Born on the water, but for years confined to land, she had forgotten so much. The musky tang of salt water, the constant creak of rigging and slap of waves against the hull. The rhythmic dance of herself and the ship upon the tide. Even the way her clothing was always slightly damp and clung to her legs. She hadn’t felt so safe and content since she was a young girl.

Again, some things I like: a) It gives us a time frame for how long she’s been on the ship. b) It expands on the setting with sensory details. c) The sentence “Born on the water but for years confined to land,” tells some of her back story. d) “She hadn’t felt so safe since she was a young girl” gives more back story while also hinting at her goal, which is to live on or near water.

What I don’t like: a) The sensory details are great, but there are too many of them. Three details would have a better rhythm. b) The first two sentences connect awkwardly. My words need to flow like water (ha ha) and carry the reader along.

Some of you are new writers, and I wanted to share a bit of this process with you so that you’ll know you aren’t alone in trying to make it all fit together. For those of you more experience writers, I could use a few suggestions about that pesky verb in the first paragraph.


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This weekend is a certain major holiday in the U. S. A. I’ll be chilling out with family, and I hope you all can, too. There’s a bit of suspense about when my actual family meal will be this year. Our daughter works Thursday and Friday, while my husband works Friday. I’m sure we’ll “work” it out, ha ha.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished all the blog visits I had arranged for Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts. I’m still open to appearing other places, of course, so recommendations are welcome.

Between days off work for the holiday and having no urgent posts to write, I am free to begin revisions on The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. I’ve made most of the major decisions as far as plot and outcomes. However, the beginning needs work and there is much polishing to be done. This should keep me occupied for a week or two.

I hope you all have pleasant holidays, too.


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My sojourn today is with Alden Loveshade of the Loveshade Family Blog. Our topic is “What if the Good Guys Won?”

For those who have read my Skaythe novellas, you know that part of the setting’s history is that the evil wizard Dar-Gothull succeeded in taking over the world. My characters try to resist his regime without resorting to his own weapons of terror and violence.

I hope you’ll come join the discussion at Loveshade Family Blog.


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Today I’m visiting author Charles E. Yallowitz at his blog, Legends of Windemere. Our topic of discussion is “When a Fellowship Fails.” I hope you’ll come by and check it out.


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Today I’m visiting with David Lee Summers on his blog. The topic is fantastic settings. I hope you’ll join us there!


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Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts continues the Minstrels of Skaythe series. In a world of dark magic, the minstrels seek to restore a forbidden power — hope!

Book cover for Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts

Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts

“He’s dead. He just doesn’t know it yet.”

Mortally wounded, Cylass is abandoned on the battlefield by comrades who would just as soon have him out of the way. But as he waits for death, a strange savior appears. The dancer, Tisha, heals him with her forbidden magic, but also draws the wrath of his cruel former lord.

Soon guardsman and renegade mage are on the run. Will Cylass help Tisha, as she helped him? Or will he do the smart thing, and turn her over to the vicious Count Ar-Dayne?


Now that the book is live, I hope you’ll consider the modest $5 purchase. I am still seeking opportunities to blog about Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts, and or course, all reviews would be much appreciated!


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