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Category Archives: Writing Craft

Scene Song Saturday–Nice Flirt

I’m always looking for new tunes that get my heart pounding and push me deeper into my characters’ emotional end. I fell in love with this song from first play.

“She Said” by Plan B. I find it so flirty and with “Soul Search” set in 1930, it gives me a full visual of a smoke-filled speakeasy and the pull between Grant and Leigh growing too strong to resist any longer.

The video itself is a ton of fun, too. I’ll be shimmying my hips and humming this song all month long.

What’s your favorite new tune this week?

:}Amber Scott

Blog Tour de Troops: Free ebooks for you & a troop!!

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Welcome to STOP 1 in the Indie Book Collective’s Blog Tour de Troops, (ALL WEEKEND LONG) where authors give back to the men and women who safeguard our freedom. What is being indie if not being free, right?

To celebrate, read, comment and instantly win a FREE ebook–“Play Fling,” then click onward along the daisy chain of over 35 authors each giving an ebook to every commenter. Next stop–Stacy Wallace Benefiel and ANOTHER free ebook!

Oh, and did I mention a troop gets one, too?

Yep, each commenter gets an ebook for them AND one for a troop!
Today, Kelli McCracken joins me and we are talking gratitude and indie and rock n roll…

A: Kelli, what does gratitude mean to you this Memorial Day?

K: Well, Amber, gratitude means many things to me this Memorial Day. I’m grateful that I have met all the wonderful members of the Indie Book Collective. They have made the last six months as an indie author less confusing and frightening; I’m grateful for the support I have received. More importantly, I’m grateful for a country in which I have the freedom to express my creativity. That I have the right to write whatever comes to my mind. That would not be possible without the men and women of the military, who risk their lives everyday to give me these liberties and more. I’m grateful I’m an American.

K: What about you, Amber? What does gratitude mean to you this Memorial Day?

A: It means a lot of the same to me. I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors who struggled and fought to bring a better life to their children. My uncles fought in world wars. My grandparents settled wild lands. I get to live a better life every day thanks to their sacrifices and hard work. As a woman, I get to dress as I please, speak as I please, even write as I please all because I was born American. I sleep safe at night thanks to those braver than me who live by a call to duty.

A: And what does being Indie mean to you, Kelli?

K: Being Indie means the world to me. I see it as a blessing. I have an opportunity to share my stories with people. It means I have a chance to get know my fans on a more personal level. I can get my work to them without the delays of traditional publishing.
I get to meet amazing people on my journey. I’ve developed friendships with other writers who I don’t think I would have met had I stuck with the persuit of traditional publishing.
Being indie also makes me appreciate my freedom. I have no restraints holding me back; no one to tell me I’m not good enough. I have people encouraging me to keep going when I feel like quiting. I can pay it forward to others who share my stuggles and give them the encouragement they need to write another day.
Being indie means being true to my characters; to my story; to my heart.
K: What does being indie mean to you, Amber?

A: It means when, where, and how my stories are shared is up to me. Not subject to someone else’s timeline, or deadline, or opinion on its sales potential. I get to be 100% a part of the sales and fan equation.
It means getting to connect with readers and peers and share all that I’ve learned. It means grabbing a trend by the neck hairs and climbing on for each ride today, not tomorrow.
A: Can you tell us about your coming Indie release, Kelli?
K: Thank you, I’d love to! “What the Heart Wants” is a paranormal romance that takes place in Los Angeles, California. Heaven Lewis is invited to LA by her childhood best friend. Once there,  Heaven learns exactly why her BFF invited her and her life changes in ways she never expected. She meets Mr. Tall, dark, and yummy, Dylan McBride.
Dylan is the mysterious lead singer for the rock band, Sliders. When Dylan sees Heaven for the first time, he is blown away, mainly because he has been dreaming about her for the last six months. He is drawn to her by an unexplainable connection. This connection is so powerful that Dylan can sense Heaven’s emotions. He knows there is a reason why he dreamed of her and why they’re connected, but he doesn’t know how to find the answers. Dylan wants to tell Heaven about their connection, but fears any explanation would sound neurotic. He can’t afford to lose her after months of searching for her.
As Dylan pursues Heaven’s heart, they not only have to fight off insecurities, but nosy paparazzi, jealous friends, meddling family, and a deranged associate. If that isn’t enough, a misunderstanding leads to a horrific event that threatens to tear apart the budding relationship. “What the Heart Wants” is the first book in my Soulmate Series.
K: How about you, Amber? Fierce Dawn was so amazing, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book. What indie project do you have in the works?
A: Yummy is right! This sounds like a great debut! A romance we can sink our teeth into. What is it about putting a guy in a band that ups his hot quotient SO much? I love the turmoil of fame you referenced and can’t wait to see how these two deal with it.
I’m so glad you enjoyed “Fierce Dawn.”
My next release is “Soul Search.” Set in early 1930’s, Thomas Grayson blames himself for his nephew’s disappearance and will do whatever it takes to find him, including embracing the wolf soul residing inside him. When a witness to his nephew’s disappearance surfaces, Thomas harbors serious doubts which only increase when Leigh Chaney’s secret is exposed. All her life, she has been in contact with the other side and what she learns there will test every belief Cash holds dear.
Then I have three sequels on deck, one of which follows, “Play Fling,” in the Stupid Cupid series. SPEAKING OF, every commenter today scores an ebook of “Play Fling.” I figure our troops could use a good laugh and Millie’s antics are always great for that as she stumbles through her matchmaking life sentence. But don’t believe me, just ask I Smell Sheep! Their review of “Play Fling” is HERE.
Since your book has a rock star hero, and the troops are our heroes, how about if everyone comments what their favorite all American rock song is? (Don’t forget to include your email address!)
A: Mine has GOT to be “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers! How about you, Kelli?
K: My favorite all American rock song is “Miss America” by Saving Abel. The song gives me chills every time I hear it.
Okay, readers! All you have to do to get your instant free ebook, “Play Fling,” is comment what your fave all American song is and include your email. You’ll also be entered to win a brand, new KINDLE for you. Plus the Indie Book Collective, our tour host, will give multiple KINDLES to the troops!

Motivational Mondays is now Manic…

…Month! Today, National Novel Writing Month, the 50,000 word sprint, commences and I am in it to win! That means the next 30 days will be a craze of busy chaos. i shall neglect laundry, ditch the dishes and scrape together 1667 words a day.

I have my soundtrack nailed down for Drowning Lust, the 2nd in the Lust series. Liv Starr began the series with her quest to cure her succubus lust. Now, her best friend finds herself on her own and tempted beyond belief to return to their incubus maker.

Will she? I don’t know. Paula Morrison is a volatile and often self-destructive temptress who has never been in love.

Temper Trap, Muse, Massive Attack and more are playing on my iPod but I’m looking for more. If you know of any dark and sexy songs, please let me know what they are. Milla, my muse, feeds off of great lyrics and a killer beat. So, I need to feed her well all month long.

I haven’t completed the 50,000 word sprint in two years. This year, I will. And each day, I’ll report on my progress along with Paula’s. I’m letting Milla run free and have locked Charles, bound and gagged, in my mental closet. All those niggling not supposed to’s are gone. I

I’ll return to regularly programmed posts in December. November, though, belongs to Nano. Stay tuned for the wild ride. It will either be really, crazy fun or just plain crazy. Either way, you only live once, so why not go for it?!

Alright then, let the race begin!

:}Amber Scott

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Hot Flash by Clare Austin

I am so happy to welcome back Clare Austin and to share her answers to my nosy questions! Let’s dive in….

AS:  Welcome back, Clare! Can you believe it’s been a year since your novel, Butterfly, debuted? How has your writing life changed in the last year?

CA:  It’s great to be back. The year has been wild. I have had two books release since ButterflyAngel’s Share in March and then in July, Hot Flash. The hardest thing of all is keeping the new material coming while trying to promote the three books that are out. I’ve got the third book in the Fadό Trilogy, Selkie’s Song, more than half done, but it is going much more slowly than I ever imagined.  I also have a romantic comedy, Rosy Again, about a third finished. It has been a fun project with a quirky heroine.

I need to remind myself often that I’ve accomplished much and to give myself         breaks from time to time. That is a challenge for me. I’m most comfortable going Mach 10 with knickers on fire!

AS: Well, you are juggling nicely. Hot Flash is a story about second chances that proves it’s never too late for love. What was your biggest ‘hot flash’ while writing this steamy novel?

CA:  Hot Flash was my third novel, written the first year of my fiction career. I submitted it around while I was writing Butterfly but was told my heroine was “too old.”  Like, what? She had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel? Hogwash!  Then Butterfly sold and Angel’s Share. My publisher asked if I had any other work to submit and I sold Hot Flash to them as well. I felt a strong need to write a story about an older woman who, due to circumstances, had to re-build her life, take charge of her destiny and get strong, physically and emotionally. She decides to learn to ride a horse and, just like life, she discovers it’s not a sport for wimps. The fact that she falls in love is a bonus.

AS: I’m with you. Hogwash! Now, please, fill in some blanks for us:

CA:  Happiness is loving yourself enough to love someone else unconditionally.

To ride horses is to fall… sometimes!

If you can’t be perfect, then be persistent.

All sunshine, and no rain, makes Clare know she’s not in Ireland.

AS:  If casting for the big screen were up to you, who would play Kate and Brandon?

CA:  That is a great question and one I’ve avoided in the case of my books. But, now that I’m forced to answer, I’ll give it a try. Brandon…well, how about Patrick Dempsey? He would need a dialect coach to pull off the Irish, but I’m pretty sure he would look grand in riding breeches. For Kate, maybe Sandra Bullock…she’d be spot on with the comedic parts and still believable in the serious parts. And she looks like she could be Italian-American.

AS:  Love your choices! Growing up, you were a big Nancy Drew fan. Who do you love to read now?

CA:  I’m a very eclectic reader. I love Maeve Binchy and have read almost every novel of hers. I often take a chance on a new author and find a gem. That was certainly true in the case of Erin Hart (Lake of Sorrows, Haunted Ground) and this summer discovering Pauline McLynn (The Woman on the Bus). I also read quite a bit of narrative non-fiction, history and science. I believe strongly that all writers will benefit by reading outside the genre in which they write.

AS:  Maeve Binchy has such a nice, lyrical voice. So, what is your favorite scene in Hot Flash and why?

CA:  One of my favorites is where Brandon explains to Kate how he can love the memory of his wife and love Kate as well. When I wrote the scene of Bran saying “goodbye” to his wife at her grave and removing the wedding ring, I cried. It was as though someone else was telling me the story and it tore at my heart.

I also love the scene where Brandon meets Kate’s family. Two of her brothers are cops, one is a priest and her mother can’t utter the word “divorce” without crossing herself. They are a force to be reckoned with and Bran pulls it off without breaking a sweat. It always makes me laugh.

AS:  Thank you Clare for coming by my blog again. I wish you huge success. Please let readers know where they can find more you!

CA:  All my books are available in trade paperback and digital versions. If anyone would like an autographed copy of any of my novels they can go to my website buy link  www.clareaustin.com/books.html and use PayPal or contact me at  Authorclare@gmail.com.

I have started a blog at www.clareaustin.wordpress.com where I post little bits of my journey and upcoming projects.

My books are published by The Wild Rose Press, so are easy to find on the many internet sites for book distribution in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, and as far away as Australia and India.

AS:  How cool is that?! So, reader, what say you? How old is too old for a hot romance?

***

Hot Flash…

Kate Aiello has spent her entire life trying to please others—her three brothers, her Italian mamma and her husband of twenty-five years. It isn’t insult enough she is turning fifty, and left at the side of life’s road by her philandering husband. Now she has to contend with her body’s betrayal…hot flashes!

The plain truth hits her with each thermostatic aberration—she has never been first in anyone’s life, including her own.

Brandon Sullivan has been on a downward spiral since the death of his beloved wife. Now he is a man desperate to save himself from impending financial ruin, loss of his farm and his life’s dream. He needs to get into the winner’s circle by spring or he’ll be just another poor, landless Irishmen downing his pints and bragging about the good ol’ days.

Sparks fly when Italian attitude meets Irish temper. Add two big crazy families, a barn full of horses and one woman’s menopausal hot flashes and the probability for combustion increases exponentially.

What will Kate and Brandon  risk for a second chance at love?

***

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Motivational Mondays: Follow That Geek!

I’m hoping that, internal editor and muse aside, I’m not the only one out there walking around with an inner geek. But, hey, maybe I am. Yes, that adds yet another personality for my therapist to integrate. My geek”s the one I blame for my wackier ideas you all occasionally get to read about here. So-ahem- geek alert!

Alright, here’s the challenge:

Ever see the movie Something’s Gotta Give? In particular, do you recall the scene where Diane Keaton’s character is madly typing at her laptop, a view of the ocean before her, surrounded in gorgeous white Hampton home perfection? Or, how about Hamlet 2? The scene where the hero finally breaks through his writers block? NO?! Get the to a video store then view one or both and get the back here! Okay?

So, those scenes? That’s what we’re doing today. And every day this week. Only you can keep your undies on and the ocean will be in our heads. It’s called visual motor rehearsal and if athletes and NASA can use it to train for success, why not us?

Today, take ten minutes. Set the timer! Sit in the chair you typically write in, keyboard at hand, and close your eyes…. Imagine yourself madly typing, feeling the story flow out of you in one of those rare, wonderful surges of beauty you know deep down is some of your best. Now, eyes closed, do it. Type, toss your hair, smile. Feel the keyboard, feel the triumph, feel the bone deep satisfaction only an amazing day of writing can bring. For all ten minutes.

Did you know that even pretending to do something in this manner creates the same physiological reactions as when you do it for real? Whoa. Cool! So, this week, we shall write, but not until we have rehearsed being brilliant, confident, free and creative. Let’s see how it effects doing the real thing!

Yes, we’ll feel like geeks, but I am happy to say for years now, I follow that geek! Will you?

:}Amber Scott, also over at Erin Quinn’s blog today! Come say hi?

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Hump Day Updates: Seeing Red!

First off, I hope you’ll come check out today’s Plot Mamas post, “Mama Bear Grrr….” Just click here.

And, while the dates are not yet set in stone, I’m thrilled to report my workshop, “Red Carpet Writing: Screenwriting Steals for Novelists,” will be offered as a fun, interactive online class through both the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers (May) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapter RWA (Oct)!!!

:}Amber Scott

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Motivational Monday: Distance

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” -Da Vinci

My ‘work’ is my writing. It is the story I’m immersed in at the moment. It is the step I’ve climbed up to on my career ladder. I long for success.

A key element of the Law of Attraction is detachment. Once you decide what it is you want to attract, the sooner you can be neither desperate nor excited for the thing, the quicker it gets here. In fact, the longing acts as an energetic repellent for it.

But, how do I not long for something I clearly want? How do I get distance? To a great extent it is by giving the longing over to trust and then making a daily practice of pursuing the goal or thing you decide you want. And, it is allowing yourself to enjoy the now, this moment, the process. Have faith your heart’s desire is on its way and then enjoy the moments you spend preparing for its arrival.

While your level of immersion in your goal and work is a reflection of your commitment to it, don’t forget to come up for air and walk away for a spell. This will help create emotional distance. Letting yourself not worry doesn’t mean your goal doesn’t matter. It simply means you are confident in the outcome.

What are you immersed in? What is the thing you long for?

:}Amber Scott

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