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Time For A Change

I started blogging about four years ago, possibly five, I lost count. A lot changes in five years. <– insanely massive understatement. Anyway, I think it’s time I change my blog. I’ve been considering this for months, maybe more than a year.  I’m not sure, but a very long time. When I started Musings from the Slush Pile, I was a new writer navigating a strange new land of buzz words and advice traps. I worked full time trying to figure out which way was up and how to get through the rabbit hole. The process made me insane and I needed to vent. It made sense to blog about my writing journey, my pitfalls and my successes. (More pitfalls than successes). I shared everything I learned with other writers through blogging. It was perfect. For a while. Over time, I wrote less about the writing process and more about my books, promotion, personal process etc. The whole thing became very awkward and forced because I set it up to be about writing, but I don’t always have an amazing epiphany on writing. Sometimes I just had a good hair day, but I couldn’t write about that. It was a writing blog. And soon, I blogged less. I dreaded it. I hated fitting into the mold I created so long ago because I’m not a newbie writer anymore. I’m in that awkward class picture stage where I have front teeth missing and a mullet. I’ve shared and reshared “tips and tricks” for staying out of the slush. I’ve got nothing else to add. I’m cashed. And here we are. At the end.

So, what will I write about? Uh, everything. All the things. And stuff.

*Nods* Things and Stuff. Things I like. Things I loathe. What I’m watching. Who I’m shipping. I think it will be fun to talk about other things for a while. Girl stuff. Geek stuff. Book stuff. Maybe I’ll retitle the blog Things and Stuff. I don’t know. We’ll see.

So, that’s it for today. It’s a farewell post. An end-of-an-era post. An historic…. just kidding.

See you later.

Maybe we can talk about my television obsession. I seriously have a problem. I need an intervention.

Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Bethany Masone Harar!!!

Why Every Good Writer Should Have an Unpublished Manuscript

I won’t mince words.  I think every author should have an unpublished manuscript hidden away.  It might be stashed in your closet.  It might be hidden under the bed.  It could even be in an envelope next to your computer because you don’t have the heart to destroy it.  (I may speak from personal experience on this last one)

But regardless of its location, it needs to exist.

Why?  Because writing manuscripts which will never be published is the equivalent of job training for authors.

Think about it.  Every job requires training, and becoming an author is no exception.  Educators have to complete student teaching, where other teachers, administrators and supervisors evaluate them.  Military recruits experience boot camp, where officers push them to the brink physically and mentally.

Many (if not most) authors, however, start off on their own, without any experience and without anyone to guide them.

Unpublished manuscripts are important for our “training” because they teach us how to craft a story.  They help us learn the importance of organizing character development.  We realize how hard it is to stick with a writing schedule, and how difficult it can be when our minds go blank.  We look back at our manuscripts a month, and then two months, and then four months after they are finished and wonder what the hell we were thinking when our main character decided to do something stupid, like trust an obviously evil character who lured them to a white van by offering them a puppy.

We must, in a sense, train ourselves.   This is hard, however, because very few people actually want to push themselves to the brink.  We don’t want put the finishing touches on that lesson plan, or do those extra three push-ups.  We don’t want to go through the stumbling blocks alone, learning the hard way, discovering and accepting our mistakes without anyone there to validate our worthiness when we complete the arduous task at hand.

But we must, if we want to be experts at our craft.  And I’ll even go so far as to say we should do this a minimum of two times if we want to be good at our jobs.

I have two unpublished manuscripts lurking in my basement, and I’m proud to admit it.  And the best part of having an unpublished manuscript is that when we have worked on developing our craft, and spent time learning the trade, there is always the possibility that those embarrassing manuscripts can emerge from the envelope beside the computer desk and become something better.

**Comment for your chance to win a print copy of Voices of the Sea by Bethany Masone Harar **

BethanyCoverVoices of the Sea by Bethany Masone Harar

The Sirens of Pacific Grove are being exterminated, and seventeen-year-old Lora is their next target.

Loralei Reines may look like a normal teenager, but her voice can enchant and hypnotize men. Like the other Sirens in her clan, however, she keeps her true identity a secret to protect their species.  But now, the Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult fated to kill all Sirens on Earth, have found them.

 Lora is determined to gain control of her powers over the ocean in order to use them as a weapon and a tool to help her clan, but she feels her skills are developing too slowly. Her only chance seems to lie with a human boy named Ryan. When he’s near her, Lora’s abilities strengthen. She knows she shouldn’t be with him because he is human; yet, she can’t resist her attraction to him, or the surge in her powers, whenever they’re together.

The Sirens of Pacific Grove are running out of time. If Lora can’t unlock the power to defeat the Sons of Orpheus, she, along with everyone she loves, will be annihilated.

 

beth signing 9About Bethany

Bethany Masone Harar graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University and a Masters in Secondary English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has enjoyed teaching high school English ever since. As a teacher, Bethany is able to connect with the very audience for whom she writes, and this connection gives her insight into their interests. As a writer, she wants to make her readers gasp out loud, sigh with longing and identify with her characters. Bethany also enjoys posting on her blog, bethsbemusings.blogspot.com, is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is an avid follower of literary-driven social media. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, two beautiful children, and her miniature poodle, Annie.

Find Bethany Online:                

Bethany Harar’s website:

www.bethanymasoneharar.com

Bethany Harar’s blog:

http://bethsbemusings.blogspot.com

Twitter: @bethhararwrites

Join the tour! You can find Bethany dazzling the web all month long on her WoW! Blog tour. Stop by and check her  out again. She’s a blast and you can find her here:

July 28

The Muffin

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Interview + Giveaway

July 30

Musings from the Slushpile

http://blog.juliealindsey.com/

Post: Why Every Writer should have an unpublished Manuscript OR Why Sirens are Misunderstood

Review + Giveaway

July 31

Book Talk

www.barbarabarthbookblog.blogspot.com/

Author showcase (you don’t have to do anything for this one)

August 1

Bibliotica

http://www.bibliotica.com/

Review

August 5

Chapter by Chapter

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/

Post:  Top Favs

Giveaway

August 6

Writer with Dogs

http://writerwithdogs.blogspot.com/

Post: dog themed

August 7

Escaping Reality within Pages

http://escapingrealitywithinpages.blogspot.com/

Post: Balancing Family and Work

Giveaway + Review

August  12

Me and Reading

http://www.ingasilberg.com/

Post: Why Dreams are so Important

Review

August  14

Words by Webb

http://jodiwebb.com

Interview: I do an interview called 5Ws (who, what, where, when, why –five questions) Would you be interested in that?

Review

August 19

The Lit Ladies

http://www.thelitladies.com

Interview: Do  you want me to ask if they can get you the questions before your trip or just wait?

Giveaway + Review

August 21

All Things Girl

http://allthingsgirl.com/blog

Post:  Life Doesn’t End at 35

 

Feature Friday: Watershed by CD Brennan

WATERSHED_NAWATERSHED by CD Brennan

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Maggie isn’t looking for love on her backpacking trip through Australia. She’s got enough man troubles back in Ireland. Australia is her escape, a place of adventure where she can create memories to last a lifetime.

But some memories won’t be left behind.

Gray is ready to quit hiring backpackers to help with the work on his remote Queensland cattle station when Maggie turns up. She’s just passing through, but the connection they forge during the long nights herding cattle won’t be so easily cast aside.

CONTENT WARNING: A strong-willed Irish heroine, a stubborn Australian hero, and oceans of difference to bridge for love.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

 

 

Excerpt – Long

She couldn’t figure him, and this was the first chance they’d had to be alone since that night. She put on her best teasing smile. “How did a seasoned bushman like you let a bull get the best of ya?”

As soon as it came out of her mouth, she knew it was the wrong thing to say.

His brow furrowed, anger lighting his eyes. “It happens to the best of us.” He ripped another piece of bark from the tree and turned to go.

“Did you have a good time last night?” Maggie hurried on. “I mean, other than the incident with the bull.”

He shrugged. “It was all right. Did you?”

“It was brilliant. I had a fantastic time.”

“Yeah, it looked like you were having a good time with ol’ mate there.”

Maggie raised an eyebrow. “Jason?”

“Yeah, that skeg.”

He had noticed.

“What does that mean? Skeg?”

Gray shook his head. “It’s nothin’, forget it.”

Maggie’s temper flared. “I might not be an Aussie, oi-oi-oi,” she mimicked, “to know that it’s rude.”

Gray shrugged. “Anyway, looked like you guys were getting pretty close. Are you going to stay with him next?”

Now her temper kicked in. She pumped harder on the swing. If he would only step a few feet closer, she’d be able to get him with her legs. That’s what he needed, a kick in the bum.

“Maybe I will.” She raised her chin in defiance. “With Lizzy here, you don’t need my help anymore.”

Gray narrowed his eyes at her. “Who told you that you were any help?”

Her mouth fell open. How rude! He was treating her like he had when she first arrived.

Suddenly, a loud crack sounded, and then snap! The next thing Maggie knew, she was lying on the ground on her back, the rope in her hands.

Gray squatted down over her. “Are you okay?” He appeared genuinely concerned.

She let go of the ropes and let her head fall onto the grass. “I’m grand, just need to catch my breath a moment.” There she was lying on her back again, looking up at him, wondering what the hell had happened. This was twice now. Was it divine intervention? Maggie wasn’t superstitious like most of the Irish, but she was smart enough to know not to push her luck if things looked grim.

He hovered over her, and she could feel the energy building between them like it always did when they were close. He smelled of earthy oats. His eyes were darker in the shade, not the usual golden reflection from the sun. She gazed into them, feeling herself being pulled deeper into everything that was Gray. “Thank you for bringing my journal and phone to me at the hospital.”

His features softened. “No worries.”

She dropped her eyes away to play at the blades of grass, pinching individual stems and running them through her fingers. “You came like you promised.”

He grabbed her hand with both of his, forcing Maggie to return her gaze to him. He gently rubbed the outside of her hand with his thumb. “We ride out early tomorrow. Be saddled up by first light.”

He dropped her hand suddenly and stood to go.

Maggie yanked a bunch of grass from the ground and threw it at his retreating figure, letting her head thump onto the ground. God, was she in love with him.


About CD

CdBrennan_picHaving traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com

 Media Links

www.cdbrennan.com

https://www.facebook.com/CdBrennanauthor

www.twitter.com/CdBrennanauthor

www.goodreads.com/CdBrennan

www.pinterest.com/cdbrennan2012

Buy Links

AMAZON    AMAZON UK   AMAZON AUSTRALIA   iTUNES   EASONS   KOBO  BOOKWIRE

Writer Wednesday Welcomes: CD Brennan & Her New NA Romance: A World Apart

AWORLDAPART_NAA WORLD APART

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Lizzy travels to Scotland to track down her roots, hoping where she comes from will help her figure out where she needs to go. An Aussie girl through and through, tough as nuts and a bit wild, she believes there’s nothing so wonderful as a world seen through wine-tinted glasses…

…until she meets Hottie Hamish, Bridge of Allan’s most eligible bachelor.

Hamish is Lizzy’s polar opposite in every way. He’s serious, driven, and motivated, focused on becoming the youngest associate professor at the Glasgow School of Art. But he’s hiding a social phobia behind his gruff exterior that makes it almost impossible to connect with people…

…until he meets Lost Lizzy, all sunshine and lightness, an Australian beauty with the proverbial heart of gold.

Where they come from may be worlds apart, but atop a Scottish Munro, they begin to realize where they’re going is best traveled side by side.

CONTENT WARNING: Graphic descriptions of haggis ingredients.

A Lyrical Press New Adult Romance

 

Teaser Excerpt:

Just as Lizzy had determined that she would be brave and take his hand, Hamish leaned into her. “This song they are playing is called Flower of Scotland.

“It’s beautiful.”

“Aye…it’s our song.”

Lizzy leaned in closer, her eyes buried deep into the Scotsman’s, mere inches away. “Ours?” It came out a whisper.

His eyebrow rose in question. “For all the Scots…for you, too. It’s one of our unofficial national anthems.”

“Oh…righto.”

Embarrassed, Lizzy looked away from him to the dance floor. She was surprised no one was dancing, only a few remained at the edge in small groups, laughing and talking animatedly. That’s where Hamish should be.

The lights in the room had finally been dimmed to get ready for dinner, and servers went from table to table lighting the candles.

“Will you dance with me?”

“The ceilidh doesn’t start until after the dinner.”

“Who says we have to dance when everyone else dances?”

Buy links

AMAZON   AMAZON UK   AMAZON AUSTRALIA  iTUNES   B&N   KOBO   BOOKWIRE

 

Author Bio

CdBrennan_picHaving traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word NO.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com

The One That Got Away – Love Triangles & A Mystery Series

A couple years ago, Katy Perry’s song, The One That Got Away, was on every radio station, all day, every day. Unlike most overplayed songs, this one haunted my wondering-mind. I wanted to know what happened if “the one who got away” came back around.

Immediately my heart soared to ninth grade. My first love. My first heartbreak. We dated off-and-on throughout high school. For years after, when we’d run into one another, it was awkward. We’d been as close as any two people can be in every way and yet, the years changed us, separated us. The chemistry remained, though. To this day, his name ignites a spark of excitement and thoughts of being young and recklessly in love.

I haven’t seen him in fifteen years now, and if I did, I’m not sure what I’d think. I have a different life than I’d ever imagined as a teen. I’m satisfied and complete in ways a teenage mind couldn’t understand. Of course, I’m also happily married with three children and a dream career, so that helps.

But what if…

What if things were different and I was young and single and we wound up as neighbors? Well, I’m guessing that would be all kinds of uncomfortable with a side dish of temptation. This is where my idea for The Patience Price Mysteries began. Inside a Katy Perry song. I guess ideas really can come from anywhere.

I set out to write a fun mystery with lots of laughs, action and romance. I knew I needed a strong alpha male, but I couldn’t reconcile the alpha character with my boy-next-door experience, so I had no choice. I needed two romantic interests. There was no other choice, really. They’re both too incredible. Personally, I couldn’t choose, so I put the burden on my heroine. A perk of being the author. In this case, I created a heroine for my heroes instead of the other way around. She needed a personality that would give her the most possible trouble deciding between the one who broke her heart and a road untraveled.

My heroine, Patience, lives on the tiny island where she grew up; Chincoteague, Virginia. Chincoteague is a small coastal community (the island is only 3×7 miles big. Or…little, I guess.) and her ex-soul mate, Adrian, is running for mayor. No way to avoid him. Plus, he doesn’t want to avoid her. In fact, he’d really like to make up and she’d really like to jump headlong into the Atlantic because she just started dating her long time crush, Special Agent Sebastian Clark. – I told you there was an alpha in this scenario.

Writing the mystery was a thrill for me, but if I’m being honest, the real fun came in the form of these to heroes. I love the complicated dynamic of this love triangle. Who can’t relate to the power of a first love? When Patience is with Adrian, I feel my toes curl as I write. I can sense the sparks and tension in the air. She hates the hold he still has on her heart. After all, a lifetime of memories with the boy next door takes a while to erase, if it ever really goes away.

On the flip side, when her new boyfriend, the confident, no-nonsense Sebastian walks in, my jaw goes slack. And so does hers. Who can’t relate to the power of new love? The Butterflies and anticipation are like a drug. *fans face* You know?

Hang on. I need a sip of water…

So, yes, I did write a cute mystery with lots of fun things to (hopefully) make a reader smile, but I also stirred in a heap of chemistry and romance because, honestly, where’s the fun without a good romance? I’m two books into the three book series and I’m still not sure I’ve answered my question thoroughly.

What will happen to the one who got away – now that he’s back? Anyone have an idea?

How about your real life story of lost and maybe rekindled love? Want to share?

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