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NaNoWriMo? Nooooooooooooooooo. I’m going to ship Olicity instead.

UntitledMy brain is squish. I finished writing the final installment of my cozy series for Carina Press this week. Book one in the series released last week and I finished edits on the second in the series the week before that. Sound like a lot of juggling? It was. And Deceived released a week before the other things and there was a blog tour and promo and things and stuff and ohmygoodness there were tears and crying and coffee and wine and no sleeping and I am DONE.

I’ve sworn off writing so my brain can recuperate. I’m never-ever-never writing again! Ever! Never!

This resolution lasted about as long as it took me to type the words because I’m a writer and writers write. We can’t help it. Our brains don’t care what writing does to our bodies or sanity. The brains keep making up all the things and dragging our curiosity back into What If???? mode and the next thing you know, we have a 20 page detailed outline….but that’s totally NOT writing. That’s only harmless plotting and pretending and wondering. Right?

Well, I took a stand against writing until after Christmas so I can be available for mommy things with my family. I’m now a room mom for two classrooms and a volunteer for other child things. ‘veI made mass amounts of Minecraft decorations and costumes and games for Halloween parties….it took me a few days, but now I’m back to wondering about that outline….

Except. Nope. No writing.

But… NaNoWriMo is coming. *chews nails* EVERYONE will be writing! and online talking about th writing and congratulating themselves and one another for writing and I’ll be over here not doing that and I don’t now how to deal with my life without writing.

So. I have a compromise. I’m going to write –  Jeez. Not noveling. I’m going to write some fanfiction that has been burning in my brain for a year.  I haven’t had a chance to write any fanfic because I had all these other deadlines happening, but now I have time. Lots of time and a ship in need of sailing, if you know what I mean? Eh? Fanfiction? Ship? Get it? If you don’t, it’s okay. Nevermind.

All I need is an amazing name for myself over at fanfiction.net and then I can stop lurking and begin seeing my dreams come true. The television writers aren’t giving me the hot romance I crave, so I shall write it for myself and be all excited these two finally got together. Yeah. *lives in fantasy world* *doesn’t care* *likes it there*

My fandom for fanfic is ARROW and I ship Olicity. While the world is Nanoing, I will be exploring the world of fanfiction and planting hot ideas into Oliver Queen’s head about his brilliant and beautiful IT woman, Felicity Smoak.

*dreamy sigh*

So, I’m not noveling this year for Nano. I’m not noveling at all until after Christmas. I’m taking a hiatus for my sanity and exploring fun things that remind me why I started writing to begin with. Somewhere along the line this year, writing became stressful and demanding and lost it’s happiness. I’m taking the happiness back. *hands on hips* *cape flies behind me*

Do you guys do fanfic? What’s your ship?

Happy Release Day! Murder by the Seaside

Art by Harlequin 2013

Art by Harlequin 2013

Armed with a new counseling degree, Patience Price is eager to move back home to Chincoteague Island to help folks with their problems. But she finds the streets awash in more than East Coast charm. There’s been a murder, and Adrian Davis, the town golden boy who once stomped her heart into a zillion pieces, is the main suspect. Now he’s on the run, claiming he’s innocent. Patience finds this…poetic. Not that she holds a grudge.

Adrian’s mom is sure that with her FBI background Patience can find the truth. Yes, she was at the FBI—in human resources. Still, she looks into it, but not everyone is happy with her snooping. Either that, or the welcome wagon has some bold new policies involving drive-by shootings.

Things really heat up when a hunky former coworker, an actual FBI agent, arrives to help. But he may be too late; the quaint island harbors deadly secrets—and Patience is running out of time.

Advance Praise:

“I loved every minute of this delicious whodunit! Murder by the Seaside is one of those mysteries that grabs hold of you and won’t let go. From the sparkling landscape to the brilliantly drawn characters, Julie Anne Lindsey has created something very special! Plan ahead. You will want to devour this book in one sitting!”

-Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson Series

Read An Excerpt:

A whistle slipped through Claire’s glossy red lips, and I followed her gaze. A man made of abs and handsomeness jogged across the street. Hoodie up, he looked our way. I smiled. He didn’t. Despite the short distance and a decade between us, I knew him. There would never be another set of eyes that shade of gray. None that made me drop my keys at the sight of them.

“Oops.” I dipped down to scoop the keys into my palm. When I stood, he was gone, but the strange look he’d given me seared into my brain. Not how I’d imagined our reunion. In my version, the ten years since high school would melt away and he’d be mine.

If I wasn’t still mad. Which I was.

“I’d move here just for that,” Claire said. “Do you think he jogs by at this time every day?”

“I hope not. That was Adrian.”

Eyes wide, Claire turned her head in the direction where Adrian had jogged away. “Well, he can’t go far around here. According to the brochure, this island is smaller than my closet.”

“Your closet is ridiculous. It’s the second bedroom at your apartment. For your information, Chincoteague is a full seven miles long and three miles wide.”

“Excellent.”

Across the street, laughter bubbled out of the Tasty Cream. A group of teens stumbled from the crowded ice cream parlor. Smiles on lips. Not a care in the world. Couples moving hand-in-hand. Nostalgia hit me like a sack of bricks. The giant neon twisty cone sign transported me back to track meets and prom scandals.

“No one will bother the boxes,” I told Claire. “How about I buy you some ice cream for being wonderful?”

“Honey, if that was Adrian, I’m thinking you could use the ice cream more than me.” Claire raised an eyebrow. “Show me the way.”

Wide brown eyes followed my finger toward the Tasty Cream, their curved lashes nearly brushing her brows. Before we met, Claire had a stint playing a princess at Disneyland. She didn’t like to talk about it, but I bet she fooled her share of kids. I enjoyed reminding her she was immortalized in ten thousand family scrapbooks around the world.

“Adrian didn’t look happy to see me.” I said as we walked. Of course he wouldn’t be. “The last time we talked, I smashed a giant twist cone into his face. And shirt. And car.” I used to have a temper. Plus Adrian made me crazy.

The fact that he didn’t seem glad to see me bothered me and it shouldn’t have. My jaw tightened. He shouldn’t get under my skin anymore—I’d had a decade to detox.

Claire pushed huge, white sunglasses over her eyes and stepped off the curb. “He deserved—”

The bark of a siren cut her off. She jumped back into me and we toppled, knocking heads and dropping purses. What on earth? The sheriff’s cruiser tore past, lights blazing, siren screaming. Two dozen locals appeared from thin air before the car was out of sight.

“What the hell?” Claire hoisted herself up, dusting her backside and gawking at the flash mob gathered on the corner. “I thought you said nothing ever happens around here.” She collected her shiny yellow clutch and offered me a hand.

“Nothing does. Why do you think everyone’s outside staring?” I picked stray hairs out of my lip gloss. The wind blew dust over the pavement. A storm was coming. On an island the size of Chincoteague, even the small storms could be dangerous. I blinked into the sky. Still blue. A few lazy white puffballs lingered overhead, refusing to leave their post.

“I almost got mowed down by a sheriff.” Claire examined her manicure. “There’s grass under my nails. I’m going to need some fries to go with that ice cream.”

Available now:

Amazon

Carina Press

Barnes & Noble

Writing The Terror Scenes

imagesYou know the saying, write what you know? I missed the meaning of that for years. I thought, Who wants to read about a rural Ohio mother of three and her child toting shenanigans? Not me. For sure. So, I tried my hand at different genres and then I realized while I don’t have any specific hobbies like rodeo or synchronized trampolining to write about, I do have something deeply rooted in my soul that others enjoy. Fear. Cue epiphany moment. Light the proverbial bulb. *Taps chin* Many readers love to be scared. I live in fear. Ding! Ding! Winning! This changed everything.

Now I write stories of suspense and give myself nightmares. Often. Living in fear of my own shadow helps me. I know fear. I live fear.

But how do you write fear?

I’m sure there are multiple answers to this and it’s probably subjective, but I begin with the understanding that fear is an autonomic response. Fear triggers our internal fight-or-flight. In other words, when I see a monkey and my heart rate spikes, my muscles tense to spring while my brain makes the decision how to spring. Do I spring into flight ie: away from the danger, or spring into a fighting stance and beat the sucker down? In this scenario I flee. I feel it imperative to tell you monkeys are deadly dangerous despite their little furry facades and at the top of my irrational fear list. Monkeys are killers who want to kill me and when presented with a monkey you should run. If you think that’s ridiculous, don’t get me started on horses.

Unfortunately for suspense writers, not every reader is like this girl. On the upside, no matter who the reader is, fear has some universal attributes, and it’s a biological given everyone identifies with. Every reader might not run when faced with a monkey (but they should!), but if I can describe the physical and emotional responses well enough, any reader can easily put themselves in my heroine’s head. This is what matters. Lock into the emotions, mental stress, physical sensations and other responses incited by fear and use those to illicit the same in your reader. This is the key to writing suspense.

If you’re brave, or an adrenaline junky, this is probably more difficult for you as the author. For that, I’m sorry. Maybe pretend the Kraken has come for you because, you know, it’s the Kaken and no one wants on that thing’s list. If you aren’t afraid of the Kraken, I don’t know where to go from here.

For everyone else, I suggest finding a methodical process that works for you. Devise a system for identifying the things I mentioned and check them off as they are added into your text. Then, run some experiments. I love experiments. Experiments are like little warm ups for writing the scary stuff. I enlist the help of my husband and children, but you could do some of it yourself.

Want to know what it feels like to be grabbed from behind and dragged away? Ask someone to please attack you at some point this week, but ask them not to warn you first. Ever wonder what it feels like to rip duct tape from your lips? Strap some on and give it a yank. I have. It hurts. I’ve had my kids blindfold me, stuff socks in my mouth, tie me to chairs and leave me places….attic, basement, garage etc.

Run your experiments with your scene in mind. Start with what’s happening to your hero or heroine.

  • Is she abducted?
  • Where are they keeping her?
  • How does she know where she’s being held?
  • Can she see?
  • What does she see?

If she’s blindfolded, what can she hear, feel or smell.

  • Does the old root cellar smell dank and earthy?
  • Is the air cool and moist?
  • Are the walls dry and crumbly?
  • Or wet and slick?

My attic smells like old paper and ashes. My basement smelled like wet dirt until we finished it. Now it smells like new carpet, paint and butter lingers in the air from too many movie nights. (Like that’s even possible).

What does your heroine hear?

  • Can she hear distant traffic?
  • Coyotes?
  • Children playing?
  • Crickets?

Begin in her head and work your way down her body including the physical responses to her situation. Start with thoughts. First, the obvious ones

  • “What’s happening?”
  • “Why is this happening?”
  • “What will happen to me now?”

Elaborate of course to fit your character’s personality and circumstance. For example: Who or what does she think of in this dire situation?  Hint: This is a great opportunity to give insight into her soul. At gunpoint, does she think of her deceased father, hoping to be with him again?

  • Does she wonder if there’s a heaven?
  • Wish she ate more cake? Etc.
  • Then, think about her eyes.
  • Misty or dry?
  • Her mouth, dry.
  • Are her ears ringing?
  • Heart pounding is so assumed, I will skip that one.
  • Are her hands, fingers, knees, trembling?
  • Is she cold with the knowledge of what’s to come?
  • Burning with desire for revenge?
  • Hey, is she gassy?

Some people have that response to fear and stress. I’m just saying. That might add another layer all together.

Consider all the details and layer them in nice and thick, build the scene, increase the stress, bring the reader into her heart and mind. Create the richest scene possible by saturating the text with deep emotional and physical responses. Your reader will thank you.

And in your real lives, please avoid monkeys, horses, strangers, the dark, alleys, stray dogs, oompa loompas and spiders whenever possible. Then, I won’t need to worry about you. Trust me. I have enough to worry about.

**This first posted on September 17, 2013 as a guest post here: The Other Side of the Story

DECEIVED’S YA Bound Blog Tour and FIVE Amazing giveaways!

Deceived Banner new (1)

You guys. It’s HERE. The DECEIVED blog tour is underway! Join me around the interwebs all week as I talk reading, writing, YA love and things that scare the coffee out of me (spoiler: everything). There are reviews, excerpts, and more….Come  enter to win all the awesome books and things and swag and stuff!

Prize Pack #1              Prize Pack #2                 Prize Pack #3                Prize Pack #4                    Prize Pack #5

Prize 1

Prize 2Prize 3Prize 4Prize 5

***Blog Tour Schedule***

September 16:
Kelly P’s Blog - http://kellyatx.blogspot.com/ - Promo Post
Bookworm Lisa - http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com - Review
Into the Worm’s Hole - www.intothewormshole.blogspot.com – Review
Turning Pages - www.turningpages94.blogspot.com - Promo Post
My Books, My Shelves and I - http://thepageturner-blog.blogspot.com/ - Promo Post
Shawna’s Survey - http://shawnasurvey.blogspot.com – Review
Kindle and Me - www.kindleandme.com - Promo Post

Kassie’s Book Thoughts - http://kassiesthoughts30.blogspot.com/ - Review
September 17:
Heather Hearts Books - http://www.heatherheartsbooks.com/ - Review
Imagine a World - http://www.thegoldenruleof666.blogspot.com - Promo Post
Books & Sweet Epiphany - www.booksandsweetepiphany.blogspot.com – Review
Living in a Bookworld - http://livinginabookworld.blogspot.com – Review
Rose & Beps Blog - http://rosebeps.blogspot.it/ - Promo Post
Mom With a Kindle - http://momwithakindle.blogspot.com - Promo Post

September 18:
Once Upon a YA Book - http://onceuponayabook.blogspot.com/ - Review
Curling Up With A Good Book - http://curling-up-with-a-good-book.blogspot.com/ - Promo Post
Sweet treat reading reviews - http://strreviews.blogspot.com/ - Review
Alwaysjoart - http://alwaysjoart.blogspot.com/ - Promo Post
Jesus Freak Reader – www.jesusfreakreader.blogspot.com – Review
Mommasez – www.ccclubbs.com – Review
Meredith’s Musings - http://www.meredithraemusings.blogspot.com/ - Review
September 19:
Leeanna.me - www.leeanna.me - Review

Nightly Reading - http://nightlyreading.wordpress.com – Review
Turning Pages - www.turningpages2011.blogspot.com - Review
Buried Under Books - http://cncbooksblog.wordpress.com/ - Review
Seeing Night Reviews - http://seeingnight.blogspot.com - Review
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club - http://theunofficialaddictionbookfanclub.blogspot.com – Review
The Society – www.The-society.net - Review
September 20:
A Diary Of A Book Addict - http://adiaryofabookaddict.blogspot.com/ - Review

Krista’s Dust Jacket - http://kristasdustjacket.blogspot.com - Review
Starry-eyed Heart Book Blog – www.seh-bookblog.blogspot.com – Review
The Book Rogue - http://the-book-rogue.de/ - Review
Jany’s Book Blog - http://janysbookblog.wordpress.com/ - Review
Paulette’s Papers - http://paulettespapers.com - Promo Post
Christian Chick’s Thoughts - http://christianchicksthoughts.blogspot.com - Review
September 21:
Word to Dreams - http://wordtodreams.blogspot.com – Review
As the page turns - http://asthepageturn.blogspot.com/ - Promo Post
Read Your Bookcase - http://readyourbookcase.blogspot.com/ - Promo Post
Incandescent Enchantments - http://incandescentenchantments.blogspot.com - Review
Queekie Girl Reads - http://thequeekiegirl.blogspot.sg/ - Promo Post

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My Phobias. A List – Ramble – Rant.

Do I have any phobias????

Why, yes. I am afraid of everything. Let me list a few things that freak me out. Are you ready? *clears throat* My shadow. Not a joke. Abduction. I also hate bugs, especially things that fly and spiders. All spiders. I don’t like the dark. I avoid stranger danger and new experiences in general. I dislike crowds, they make me panicky and insecure. I am terrified to the point of tears of monkeys. They can be on television or in photos. Doesn’t matter and I will not go anywhere near them at a zoo. I believe with all my soul they want to kill me in grotesque and animalistic ways. Moving on…..I also fear horses. Have you seen how fast they run? Have you seen the size of their teeth?? They kick, like really hard. They can kill you. I don’t like stray dogs or random loose animals because they want to bite me. I’m not a fan of driving and I detest highway travel. When I’m at the wheel, I will go thirty minutes out of my way to take back roads. I never watch or read scary stories and I hate when they show previews for scary things during the Today Show, my only non-recorded television viewing because then I have to cover my eyes and listen for it to be over. I fear Oompa Loompas, rightly so, because earlier this year there was an Oompa Loompa attack in London. I’m not joking. After twenty years of telling my mom they were dangerous, I had my proof. The dentist freaks me out, too and I sing old jingles in my head during every checkup and cleaning. I worry I will get lice in a theatre or bed bugs in hotels. I bring my own bowling shoes and roller skates. Rent shoes? Um, no. Attics and unfinished basements bother me. I don’t answer the door for deliveries. You will need to leave that junk on the doormat. I watch television. I know things. I also worry about killers posing as policemen, and something evil lurking at fairs, festivals and inside funhouses. Are you wondering how I survive? So am I.

I think I’ve been writing more suspense and mystery lately as an outlet for my multiple anxieties. It’s nice to see my characters survive. It gives me hope.

So, what bout you? Do you have any phobias?

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