Sunday, October 19, 2014

5 Ways to boost your word count…. Without cheating

Let's talk about 5 ways to boost your word count.... Without cheating. The daily word count needed to reach is 1,667 words. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount of words to write in an entire day. (Are they crazy? )  But there are days that life will interfere with our lofty noveling goals. Try one of these when your fingers start to slow.

1. Sprinting
Meet up with the other Wrimos in person or online and see who can write the most words in a set amount of time. Most sprints are 10-20 minutes long. This is great for a tweet-up. You'll be amazed at how many words you can get down with a couple hours of sprinting. Not to mention the fun! 

2. Long Lost Friend /Relative
If you feel your scene is dragging or you just can't get those words out. Try having your character run into an old friend or relative while they're out and about. Or even a phone call from them. You can add tons of words as they reminisce about old times or that Thanksgiving when Aunt Mable's cat ate the stuffing. Even if it's something you may edit out in the next draft, it will breathe some new life into your muse and pad that count! 

3. Disaster Strikes
A hurricane heading in, a freak F5 tornado, earthquake, flood, a 3-10 car pile up. Any one of these can add at least a couple of pages worth of wordiness. You have the before, during, and effects after that might even bring out some qualities you didn't know your characters had

4. Kill'em Kill'em All!
Let's face it. Death is wordy. Not matter how or who gets bumped off you've gotten at least 4 scenes from a corpse turning up. The death itself, the discovery, the aftermath, and the funeral, lots and lots of words. 

5. Use Your Senses
You have 5 senses taste, touch, scent, sight, sound. Every single environment your characters walk into, or crash into in some cases, holds each of these elements just waiting for you to detail them. A car crash could have the scent of smoke and gasoline in the air. They would see broken glass, dented and crushed cars, hear someone crying for help or a siren approaching, maybe a car horn. Taste blood from a gash, or if gas is thick in the air it will leave a taste on your tongue. They may feel the ache of injury or the rough edges or the broken plastic of the dash. Talk about filling the pages, just let your nose guide you.... Literally. 

Okay there you have it 5 ways to get wordy and pad that word count. Now who's ready to meet up in the 50k Winner’s Circle?  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Music to write by

Music can be a powerful tool for a writer. No, we can’t put it in the pages of our books, (unless it’s an audio book :) but, we can use it as a guide for how we write.

Some writers use music to help them keep focused and avoid some of the distractions that occur around us. It can also be used to set the writer’s mental mood as they write a scene or maybe as a pacing tool. Play some upbeat tunes and start typing a short paragraph or two. You’ll find that your fingers move to the rhythm of the music. A good upbeat playlist can really help the words fly onto paper.

It’s a combination of those things for me, but mostly a key to helping me set the scene. Soundtracks are fantastic for settings. Some of my favorites for action are the 3:10 to Yuma Soundtrack and the Tokyo Drift Soundtrack. There aren’t any lyrics to distract and plenty of intense tracks to help build tension and burst into the action of a scene.

I have a strange, eclectic collection of music from movie soundtracks, opera, oldies, big band, strings, flamenco, rock, pop, blues, jazz… you name it it’s probably in my collection somewhere. A wide musical taste just like a wide variety of genres in reading can be beneficial to a writer. Each musical genre brings a different picture to mind as much as any other sense.

If your ears have never had the experience of listening to Cajun zydeco, big band, Irish pipes and drums, or even a mix of country and rap. Head over to Youtube, Pandora or Spotify and try them out. A new kind of music can inspire the muse.

I’m jumping into my 8th NaNoWriMo in November writing a paranormal noir. I love the dark settings and the intensity of some noir scenes. I’ve got some music set aside to help the mood of those pages along. Tokyo Drift of course, but also Apocalyptica: Worlds Collide, Nickleback: Dark Horse, and some Korn.

Since this novel is also going to be set in 1940s Florida, I’ve created some oldies playlists. Songs by Glenn Miller, Dean Martin, Patti Page, Dave Pell, Duke Ellington and other fantastic musicians and performers of the time.

Music is a tool for us just as our favorite writing program or pen and notebook. It can inspire us and the characters we write adding a bit more life to them and their story.

Do you have a favorite playlist or album to write to? Do you tailor a music list just for the novel your writing or make just a general set that will get your muse dancing? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Old Lady Creeper's Meat Pies

“What do we do now? You told me nothing could go wrong and look what’s happened.” Kurt pushed and
shook the basement doors again. “We’ll just go in and get the ball, he said, nothing will happen, he said, the old lady isn’t even home, he said.”

Pete gave his friend a shove. “Shut up! It’s not my fault the wind blew the doors shut.” He gave the other boy another shove to the side. “Stop acting like a baby, they probably just need a good shot of elbow grease.”

Kurt scoffed, “Yeah, my sister can bench press more than you in weight class.”

Pete gave him an evil eye, then rubbed his hands together and pushed on the cellar doors. When they didn’t give he put his back into it, added a grunt or two for good measure. The doors rattled a bit but didn’t budge.

Pete looked to Kurt panic started to rise in both the boys. “Holy crap, Kurt! We’re gonna die down here!”

Kurt swallowed, then stomped his foot. He wasn’t going to end up in one of Old Lady Creeper’s meat pies. “Shut up, Pete.”

After a few panted breaths of musty basement air, Kurt squinted as he tried to see in the dark. “There’s got to be another way out of here. We never see the old hag leave ‘cept to go to the Piggly Wiggly.”

Pete started to search with him, both boys took a tentative step further into the dark room. He swallowed. “Do you think this is where she stores the bodies? You know… the ones for the pies.”

Kurt gulped hard and elbowed his pal in the side. “Don’t be stupid, that stuff is just stories to scare kids like us.”

They took a few more steps into the dark, Kurt squinted again and peered into the dark corner. “Hey, it’s the ball.” He ran over and picked it up. “Pete, here’s stairs. We can get out of here before Old Lady Creeper gets home.”

Pete yelped when his hand hit the edge of a worktable. His hands crept along the surface. “Yeah, I’m too young to be a pie.”

He took another few steps, his hands felt along the table for guidance. A box turned over onto his hands and he froze in place. “K..kKurt…. “

Kurt was done with this freaky place, the old lady would be home soon. She’d call his parents, he would get grounded and miss the carnival this weekend. “Come on, stop being a baby.”

He walked over to Pete and grabbed at the items that lay over his friend’s hands. It felt…. No, it couldn’t be…

The sun had started to shift and shine into the tiny filth smudged window. Kurt held up one of the things. He swallowed hard and started to tremble as his gaze fell on a skeletal hand. Kurt dropped the hand as Pete joined him in a high-pitched girly scream.

They ran full steam to the basement doors the force unjammed them. When the double doors flew open, they ran for the closest house, the boys emitted that girly scream all the way.

Mrs. Caraway walked down the stairs taking care with her bad hip. When she reached the bottom, the old dear gave out a long breath of relief. She set her Piggly Wiggly woven market bag by the deep freeze and looked over at the worktable.

There were skeletal remains scattered over the surface. With a deep sigh, she walked over and started to clean up the mess. She dropped a skull into the box on top of a witch’s hat and pumpkin tablecloth. “Damn kids, always getting in here and making a mess of my holiday decorations. Maybe I should start putting more mince pies on the window sill.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall into Romance with paranormal thriller Half

Welcome to the next stop on the Fall into Romance Blog Hop! Sponsored by Romance Blog Hops Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy a taste of romance from my paranormal thriller, Half. Would you like to win an ebook copy? Just leave a comment and one lucky winner will be chosen and announced on the 23rd of September. Don't forget to enter the Fall into Romance Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card. Now pour a cuppa and relax as you get aquatinted with Valeska and Alex of Half.

About Half
Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose... Literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which half will win?
Purchase links:

Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of
what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him farther away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No, I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing, caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor, she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”

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Fall into romance and visit these other fantastic blogs on the hop for more chances to win great books and prizes!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Briton and the Dane: Second Edition gets Audible

Historical fiction author MarryAnn Bernal's epic tale The Briton and the Dane is now available in audio-book.

About The Briton and the Dane
King Alfred the Great has thwarted the Viking threat against his kingdom of Wessex. Signing a treaty with the formidable Danish King Guthrum, he succeeds in pushing the heathen army back to the rolling fens of East Anglia.

An uneasy peace holds sway: The King establishes a standing army under Lord Richard, who takes command of the citadel at Wareham.

Richard and his army are accompanied by his daughter, Gwyneth, an impetuous and reckless young woman - at once striking, intellectually gifted, but dangerously vain and imprudent.

While Richard broods on the Viking threat, Gwyneth falls in love with an enemy prince - only to discover that she has been betrothed to a Saxon warrior twice her age.

Refusing to countenance her grim fate, she flees the fortress, but is soon kidnapped by a Viking warrior and taken to the camp of King Guthrum while Saxon search parties scour the land.

In captivity, a hostage to fortune, and the focus of political intrigue, Gwyneth is submerged in a world of expediency, betrayal, and black treachery. Slowly, she realizes the truth is suspect, nothing is what it appears and her reality cannot be trusted.

And all the time, against this background, she desires nothing more than to be reunited with her dashing Danish prince.

Where to get The Britton and the Dane audio-book

About Author MaryAnn Bernal
Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane novels, is an avid history buff whose area of interest
focuses on Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain during the Viking Age. While pursuing a degree in business administration, she managed to fit creative writing classes and workshops into her busy schedule to learn the craft, but it would take decades before her “Erik the Viking” novel was ultimately published.

Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm. She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work. She has also been a featured author on Triangle Variety Radio, The Phil Naessens Show, and The Writers Showcase, and has been interviewed extensively by American and European bloggers.

Follow MaryAnn around the web

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Those Off Kilter Days

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in. I feel like I’ve been off planet part of the time. There has been so much activity going on in my house and life that my poor blog has been suffering from neglect.

My writing has been the same a bit. Usually I write every day, but lately it has been sporadic and short bursts. I feel very off kilter when I don’t write at least a few paragraphs in a day. I feel like I’ve forgotten something very important all day long. 

Though some of the distractions have been super exciting things that could lead to rising up another rung or two on the ladder of success. I was honored to give a workshop at the Fall Conference for Florida Authors and Publishers Association. What a fantastic experience that was!

I was inspired and thrilled to meet wonderful authors and publishers from all over the state. If you aren’t a
How to energize your platform
with technology workshop at FAPA's
Fall Conference
member of FAPA I do encourage it. They are a fantastic group of people who strive to help authors and publishers succeed. It was a hugely positive experience that I hope to have again next year!

My next big distraction was the primary elections. I’m not a very political person and I keep my views to myself. (most of the time *wink*) I do pride myself on being an election poll worker. I am Clerk of Precinct 3500, Marion County, FL. This is my 20th Year as clerk there. I absolutely love working elections.

Yes, it can be stressful and tedious when things go wrong or very few voters show up at the polls. The day is a long one about 16hrs long for a clerk, but, it is also very rewarding to know I’ve been a small part of history being made.

Now, though those distractions are past and it’s time to buckle down and set some goals that will get my muse back on track and stories moving again.

Goals for the week of 9/7 thru 9/13
1) Write at least 1000 words daily
2) Get 2 articles finished for Orlando Destinations
3) Get one part 1 of special project completed.
4) Go someplace that will inspire the muse.
5) Post one more blog for this week at least.

I think that should get the muse moving and back in kilter… I hope! When big distractions loom or events take place that knock everything off kilter, it can be difficult to set it right again. Getting back into a grove can feel very disjointed until that smooth rhythm can be found again.

Now it’s your turn to set some goals and follow where your muse leads you this week. How do you battle those off kilter times that spring up? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Ben Mason of Outlaw Born

I was invited to participate in the Meet Your Character Blog Tour by fellow author Juneta Key. After you meet the handsome and deadly Ben Mason be sure to visit her blog and meet her character Heiden Grim.

Now let me introduce you to Ben Mason main character of Outlaw Born.

What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person?
Ben Mason is a historical fictional character. Yet he is based on the story of two brothers who came home from fighting in the Civil War only to find their family hanged and the homestead burned. The family had refused the railroad's offer to buy their land. The rail company wouldn't give in, bullying the family, in the end they took measures to destroy them and took the land by force. The brothers were good men, but they vowed to avenge their loved ones and turned outlaw to do so.

When and where is the story set? 
The story is set at the end of the Civil War, a historical western. The story begins getting to know Ben as he leads a regiment of men for the North. Then we head for the wild west, New Mexico/Arizona, where Ben's home and family are. 

What should we know about him?
Ben Mason is haunted by his father's legacy. A legacy of crime, murder, and hate. Outlaw blood runs through Ben's veins and he's faught the tendencies he learned as a child to become a good man. Yet he must face those dark needs on his journey in Outlaw Born. 

What is the personal goal of the character?
Ben's goal in the beginning is simple. To come home to his wife and son, build his ranch and live as a good man should. That all changes when he discovers the deaths of his family. He embraces that darnkess to get the justice they deserved. 

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Outlaw Born is the true title for the novel. You can read a rough draft of the first two chapters on my Wattpad  And be sure to follow my blog for tidbits through Weekend Writing Warriors posts. 

When can we expect the book to be published?
My goal is early 2015 Jan/Feb, though it may be more into spring if LIFE jumps in. 

Outlaw Born Blurb: 
Orphaned at 8 years old and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all, wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

My vision of Ben Mason

Ben woke with a gasp; it had felt more like a vision instead of a dream. His wife and son trapped in fire. He could feel the heat of the flames as he reached out to them. “Ellen… Joseph…” 

Sarah sat up in the chair next to him. “Lieutenant Mason, just lay back, your fever broke, you’ll be alright now.”

It ached to take a breath, recognition set in and so did the ache of his heart. It had just been a dream, but he woke back to the nightmare of war.  “How long have I been here?” 

The nurse gave him a gentle grin as she checked the wound. “Four days, not so long.” 

Ben sighed as he took the offered sips of cool water. Not so long, but it felt like an eternity. He couldn’t shake the nightmare, it had been a long time since he’d gotten a letter from home. 

The nurse left him to assist another. The soldier next to him rose from his cot and took the nurse’s chair. The older man clutched his arm to his chest, careful of it as he sat. Something about the old man put Ben on edge

The man grinned and offered his only hand. “Jorge Wilson, Boston.” 

Ben shook the hand, “Ben Mason, New Mexico.” 

Jorge looked at him for a moment as if he seemed familiar. “New Mexico… I knew you had a familiarity. Benjamin Alexander Mason, Johnny’s boy?” 

Ben’s expression went blank almost cold. “No. No John’s on the tree.” 

Jorge chuckled. “No sense denyin’. You got your ma’s eyes. I remember you hidin behind her skirts in the saloon.” 

Ben glared at him and forced his weak body upright. He reached out and gripped the man’s wounded stump. “You remember nothing old man. The laudanum has you seein things not there. No, John Mason in my tree.” 

The old man’s eyes widened with the sharp pain as he gave a brief nod. Ben let go and leaned back, his breath came in pants with the effort. He didn’t want to hurt the old man but the past needed to stay as dead as his father. 

I hope you enjoyed this peek into Ben Mason and Outlaw Born. Do stop by for more about Ben and his journey, writing news, and a bit of fun on Gladiator's Pen. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pompano or Bust Heading for the FAPA Fall Conference

One of the possible meeting rooms for the FAPA workshops 
Camp NaNo filled July with lots of words and a good hunk of a novel written. Writing is always a thrilling adventure, but on August 8th and 9th I’ll be taking on a different kind of adventure.

I will be traveling to Ft. Laurderdale/ Pompano Beach with JLB Creatives Publishing CEO, Janet Beasley. We have the honor of teaching workshops during the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) Fall Conference.

This isn’t my first endeavor into teaching a workshop, but it will be my first at a writer’s conference. My workshop is titled Energizing Your Author Platform Using Technology. The purpose of the course is to teach authors to utilize tools to not only energize their platform, but, tame the marketing monster into a manageable, easy to use form that will give the writer more time for noveling.

Janet will be teaching a class on Book Trailer Basics. She will be teaching authors how to use book trailers for marketing and how to build one themselves. You won’t want to miss either of these classes!

I will also be representing JLB Creatives Publishing as their Media Director. We’ll be talking to authors and fellow industry professionals about our company and what we can do for their manuscript.

What our room could be like at the hotel.
Wow! Oceanview, gorgeous, I feel like a queen for a weekend :) 
There are going to be some other fabulous speakers and exhibitors at the event. There’s still time to register if you want to come down and join us. Just visit the FAPA site for all the information.

Not only is it exciting to be going to the conference and staying at the beautiful Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, I get to show my son a bit of where I grew up. Bonus! We head for southern Florida a week from today. I can’t wait for this adventure begin.

Pompano Beach or Bust! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

WeWriWa & Camp NaNo

This is the first week of Camp NaNoWrimo! For those who don't know what that is, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, participants race to write a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days.  The main NaNo event takes place in the month of November but Camp NaNo takes place in April and July. It's kind of a NaNo Light, you can choose your word count starting at 10,000 words.

Yes, it's probably a little nuts to try and write 50k words in just 30 days. Yet it is also exhilarating, inspiring, and just plain fun! It forces your brain to shut off that inner editor and inner voice that says that might not be good enough, that sentence doesn't sound right, and lets you just fill the page with your story.

This week for Weekend Writing Warriors I'm going to share 8 sentences from my Camp NaNo WIP, Worth. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this new thriller.

Dean Cross waited impatiently for his estranged wife to step off her flight. He has hope that after three years of separation they can put their marriage back together again. The last passenger disembarked, no Lucinda. Had she missed the flight, changed her mind?

Kidnapping isn’t just a crime; it’s a multimillion dollar business. Most believe only rich kids or missionaries in a foreign country are held for ransom. The Cross’ find out anyone can be taken, it only matters what you're worth.

8 Sentence Excerpt
The stranger stepped over to the sink next to Lucinda. She glanced over with a friendly grin. “Anxious about flying?”

Lucinda gave her back a slight grin back in an attempt to be polite. “No, anxious about the destination.” She pulled a couple of towels from the machine, the crinkle of the rough paper echoed in the empty bathroom she rubbed her hands dry.

Lucinda turned from the woman to drop the towels in the trash, when a cloth covered her nose and mouth. She tried to move away, but was trapped by the woman's body and the sinks. Lucinda struggled to pull the hand from her face, but that only made her feel more woozy.

Lucinda tried to scream, but the deep breath she took to belt one out made the room spin. The next second the room turned grayish and hazy as she felt her body go limp in the stranger’s arms.

To read other great Weekend Writing Warrior excerpts go HERE

Stalk me on the web and find my other published novels here... 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

WeWriWa 8 sentences from Outlaw Born

Welcome to my second post as a Weekend Writing Warrior. *swings nunchucks. Goes well until, smack... rubs nose as she tosses nunchucks over her shoulder* Maybe I should stick to the pen as my weapon of choice. 

Anywhoo... My focus was totally blown this week and didn't get much writing done on WIPs, but it was still a good week. Finished bullet points for my Camp NaNo project and while rereading the first part of this WIP I fell in love with Ben Mason all over again. I remembered how strong, fearless and sometimes utterly ruthless he could be and how much fun he is to write. I hope you enjoy the next snippet of Outlaw Born.

Orphaned young and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all, wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

8 Sentence Excerpt: 
The twelve-pound Napoleon cannons would settle the odds in favor of the blue. The Federals were out of range for the Rebs artillery, one fact of the day Ben was more than thankful.

The enemy still approached, but no volley had begun. Ben looked back toward the large artillery. The two cannons were unmanned. His heart fell. He knew this battle would be over quickly if they couldn’t thin out that line.

Ben turned to the trenches as Confederate fire began to rain down. “Charlie, Dawson with me.”

To read other great Weekend Writing Warrior excerpts go HERE

Stalk me on the web and find my other published novels here... 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Outlaw Born 8 Sunday Weekend Writing Warriors

This week I’m going to join other writers who battle through the pages. The rules for Weekend Writing Warriors are simple. Sign up on the week’s linky list then post 8 sentences from your current WIP to your blog the next Sunday.

This week I’m working on Outlaw Born.
Orphaned young and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all, wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

8 Sentence Excerpt
The sound of gunfire and men’s shouts began to fill air as they moved closer. Soon the sound of the wounded could be heard, the thump of some of them falling to the hard earth. One of the mounted officers near Ben took a shot in the throat.

Ben dismounted to blend with his men. Officers were always the first picked off if Johnny Reb could manage it. His pistols in hand he ordered the men to take positions in the trenches and fire at will.

Several fell before they could get to the lower ground. They cried out as lead tore into their flesh. Ben felt something hot burn through his coat into his shoulder. Then his shirt being soaked with blood.

He pressed his bandana to it as he continued to call orders down the line. He looked out into the wheat field in which they fought.

He could hear Confederate officers shout orders to their troops as they took more of the field. Ben could see them fully now. They were in a greater number than when he had last met them. He waited for the volley to begin.

Be sure to visit other Weekend Writing Warriors by clicking HERE.

Stalk me on the web and find my other published books on the web here:

Elise VanCise's Paying It Forward hop

Thank you to Juneta Key a fellow scribe who invited me to participate in this hop. This blog hop was created by F.C. Etier, author and photographer. Be sure to stop by their blogs for more great posts. 

For this hop we’re asked four questions about our latest projects and writing process. I hope you’ll enjoy this little peek into my write life.

What am I working on?
I’m working on a few things actually. One I’m working on reoutlining a story that I’ve chosen to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo that begins July 1st.

The WIP I am presently working on is Outlaw Born, a historical western.
Orphaned young and raised by a preacher's family Benjamin Mason became a good man. He wanted to forget and erase his real father's legacy of blood and violence from their name for his own son.

Then tragedy struck. The law wouldn’t give him justice, so he would take it. After all wasn’t he born to be this kind of man, an outlaw filled with hell and vengeance in his blood? Ben Mason is outlaw born.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think Outlaw Born is different in its storyline and the way it’s written. Sure, there are stories of good men going bad or bad men becoming good ones. But with Ben Mason you’ll find a man who’s fought a legacy of darkness his entire life, even denied it in himself.

There’s a great twist into how all the events in his life are connected from the time he wins his first real poker match as a young rancher, through his service during the Civil War and… well I can’t tell you any more now, it would spoil the book :o)

Why do I write what I write?
I write in multiple genres. Paranormal, romance, horror, western, thriller/mystery. I think I chose Outlaw Born in particular because of my love for westerns and history. I’ve always had a fascination with the Civil War. As a matter of fact the war also placed an iatrical part in my first novel In the Dark.

I write what sends my imagination running like a herd of wild horses stampeding across the plains. :o)

How does my writing process work?
When getting ready to start a book/story I try to research any events or points that I need to. Then create a bullet point outline. A bullet point outline helps me keep on track with the story but it also allows that flexibility needed when say a character goes off on a tangent of their own. :o)

The outline consists of about 60-80 bullets some including snips of dialog or a reminder of an object, location or event that needs to be included in that segment of the book.

Once the outline is complete it’s time to stock up on chocolate and Arizona green tea with ginseng and honey. Once the goodie drawer is stocked it’s time to open that shiny new document and type Chapter One…. 

From there I try to write every day with a goal of 1500 words minimum. That goal isn’t always met, but having in place encourages me to make time in even the busiest of days to write something. Even if it’s just a couple of paragraphs, words are on the page.

That’s all that’s fit to print for this post. :o)  Three lucky writers will be getting an invitation to join in this hop. If you would like to participate, just comment with your email or FB link where I can message you with an invitation.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

One Word 60 Seconds: Cornered

This was a fine mess he'd gotten himself into. He could hear the sirens blaring as they came down the street.
The sound of tires squealing as the coppers skidded to a stop right out front of his hiding place.

They must have spotted the getaway car out front. "Damn it!" he swore half under his breath. He should have held onto that dame for a hostage, he might have had a way out of this. He looked down at the bag of money on the floor next to him. Maybe all those greenbacks weren't worth this kind of trouble.

Hushed voices came from the back of the abandoned shop Blue and red lights flashed as silhouettes of men with raised guns passed by the painted over glass of the storefront. There was no place to go… he was cornered and on his way back to the big house. is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires.This is my entry for today's One Word. What's yours? For more of my past One Word entries, check out my One Word Profile EliseV.
Your turn, 60 seconds. Go!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Could author Keith Rommel be the next Stephen King?

Could author be the next Stephen King?

 Port St. Lucie writer Keith Rommel’s horror novel is being made into a motion picture! 
Special to Florida Weekly

The next Stephen King could surface in sunny South Florida.

With troubling titles such as “The Lurking Man,” “The Sinful Man” and “The Cursed Man” now in production as a motion-picture thriller author Keith Rommel has taken on the tendencies of horror’s highness.

Wrote a reviewer at United Kingdom based BookLore of “The Cursed Man”: “This is a very well-written book, with a little bit of Stephen Kinglike horror. It will keep the reader interested, and it is a gem of a story.”

“I’m a fan of Stephen King, and to even be compared to somebody like that is very humbling,” Mr. Rommel said. “You’re your own worst critic, so I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I’ll take the compliment.”

While the 43-year-old Port St. Lucie resident has read a lot of King’s bestsellers, other authors have influenced the writing style of the hobbyist-turned hopeful.

ROMMEL “Iris Johansen, she’s a good writer,” Mr. Rommel said. “I really liked ‘The Search.’”

He also admits the “Left Behind” apocalyptic-fiction series has made as much of an impression on him as his collection of comic books.
“I am a comic book nerd nerd, nerd, nerd, through and through,” Mr. Rommel said.

He started buying comic books in elementary school after a teacher told him he had a reading-comprehension problem and prescribed “pictures with words.”

“I couldn’t put the pieces together when you asked me what happened in the story, and my teacher said to start reading books that had pictures in them,” Mr. Rommel said. “And here I am at the age of 43, and I still buy comic books, much to my wife’s dismay.”

By day, the father of two works at Rocky’s Ace Hardware in Tequesta. By night, he pens passages filled with crime, suspense and psychological fiction.

“I grew up working in retail and started to write as a hobby,” Mr. Rommel said. “It has been a fine balance being able to maintain the demands of running a store, raising a family and writing. The majority of my writing is done at night when the house goes quiet.

Q: Can you describe “The Cursed Man”?

A: “The Cursed Man” is based off of a family friend’s young-adult life. His mother is living inside his head, and he’s just trying to escape her. The whole book, you’re trying to figure out whether this guy is nuts or not. It’s about abuse.

Maritza Brikisak plays Death in “The Cursed Man.” COURTESY PHOTOS

Q: How did you land a motion-picture deal?

A: I realized I had no PR, so I looked for reviewers to review the book. I mailed out 15 books and got nine reviews one who compared my writing to Stephen King. Who knew when I licked that stamp and put it on the envelope and sent it to the United Kingdom that this would ever get the attention of a producer?

Q: When is the movie coming out?

A: Production started in February, and it’s supposed to wrap at the end of September. Intergalaxy Entertainment and James Perry are producing the movie in Pasadena, Calif.
 Q: You say your movie has something in common with Star Wars. What is it? Jim Tavaré as Terry in
“The Cursed Man.”

A: The moco [motion-control] crane that was used to film the Death Star!
Q: How did your father serve as an inspiration for your work?

A: My father was a big advocate of my writing and often encouraged me to try and get published. When he passed away from cancer, I was compelled to pursue publication and found a home for “The Cursed Man” at Sunbury Press. The first thing you see slapped in your face is my dedication to my father.

Q: Where can readers buy your novels?

A: They can be purchased through any major bookseller, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Q: What is your goal as a writer?

A: My ultimate goal is to share my work with people in hopes of removing them out of their everyday stress and immerse them into a world of intrigue. If I was able to do my hobby as a living, I would love to be able to write books full-time.

Q: Are you going to be rich and famous someday?

A: I can tell you right now if “The Cursed Man” is successful, “The Lurking Man” is going to be a movie. They have the book already.