Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Tip: Overused Words

Tuesday Tip
When writing, you can do yourself, and your editor, a favor by eliminating some overused words. There are some that are universally overused, and these should be replaced with fresher ideas. Here are some to avoid when possible:

wonderful                                               amazing
it                                                             literally
really                                                      very
exactly                                                    actually
stuff                                                       things
whatever                                                 seriously
bad                                                         fine
suddenly                                                 probably
good                                                       happy

Every writer has key words that they fall back on at times. Look back over your writing and see if you can identify other words to add to this list. In the long run, your readers will thank you. And so will your editor.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February Featured Book #2

Before sharing my review, here's a bit of information from Lisa.

A Word from Lisa...

     In MANHUNT, Eric has been transferred to a team of US Marshals who catch wanted fugitives, which is a far cry from his ‘calling’ as a WITSEC handler. He’s unhappy, and questioning if this can be God’s will for him. Hailey is his partner on the Marshals’ team, a single mom determined to keep her work and home lives separate. It was so much fun to throw all kinds of crazy situations—a devastating flood, an escaped fugitive and an unsolved theft from years ago—at Eric and Hailey, just to keep them guessing about how they were going to get out of it!
     My next LIS book EASY PREY features Jonah Rivers, Eric and Hailey’s team leader. Easy Prey is coming fall 2015!
My Review...

MANHUNT by Lisa Phillips: After a felon they are transporting escapes, US Marshals Eric Hanning and Hailey Shelder are on high alert. The duo has butted heads in the past, but this time they must work together. Eric has recently been transferred out of WITSEC, and he is not impressed to be sent to a small town in Oregon to apprehend a fugitive. As a single mother, Hailey has no time for romance. When her 12 year old daughter is almost kidnapped, Eric and Hailey find their bond strengthening. It is likely that the escaped felon is linked to stolen jewels, and that Hailey’s ex-husband is somehow involved. It appears that someone believes Hailey is involved, too. When the felon vows to seek revenge, many people will be placed in danger, including her daughter. Can they trust the members of their own team to help keep them safe?  An escaped fugitive, a flood, dirty cops, an ex-husband, and an unsolved theft combine to create intense action that begins early on in this page turner. Hailey is a strong, determined character. Eric will be familiar for readers of other books in the series. The romance and faith elements do not overwhelm. There is a good buildup of suspense, vivid imagery, and lots of close calls to engage the reader.

To Connect with Lisa...

You can find me at www.authorlisaphillips.com where you can sign up for my mailing list, and find out what’s Coming Next.

You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter @lisaphillipsbks and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LisaPhillipsNataliaGortova

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Tip: Inspiration

Tuesday Tip

Inspiration can hit when you least expect it, so be sure to carry a notepad (or have a note-taking app on your cell phone). Inspiration could strike while standing in line or sitting in a doctor's office. These are perfect opportunities for you to take note of your environment. However, if you are looking for more ideas on how to find inspiration for your next story, here are a few suggestions:
  1. Read: Try branching out from what you typically read. It may inspire you to try something new in your own writing.
  2. Conversation: Sometimes you just can't help overhear conversations. You may find an interesting snippet that could be the basis for your next story.
  3. Movies:  There are numerous songs and stories based off of a line or scene from a movie.
  4. Writing Groups: Brainstorming with other writers could lead to new ideas.
  5. Nature: Stepping outside and enjoying God's creation can be extremely inspiring.
  6. Dreams: Keep a notebook beside your bed and jot down what you remember.Perhaps these can be worked into your next story.
  7. The Dictionary:  Randomly open it up and choose a word.Do some free associating and see what you come up with.
  8. Free writing:For five minutes, sit and write about anything and everything that pops into your mind.Don't try to edit it, just let the words flow.
  9. Change Your Scenery or Routine:  Something as simple as changing your location can give you a different perspective and possibly fresh ideas.
  10. Try Different Creative Outlets: For instance, paint, sing, or dance. Doing something different, yet also creative, could inspire you in a new way.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Featured Book #1

I was fortunate enough to interview Shelley at the ACFW convention in St. Louis, MO on September 26, 2014. You can read our interview at http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/81657/author-qa-shelley-shepard-gray-talks-amish-fiction-self-publishing-and-more

Before sharing my review, here's a bit of information from Shelley.

A Word from Shelley…

     I'm so excited about this year's series, "The Amish Brides of Pinecraft"! Ever since I discovered that Pinecraft was an Amish snowbird and vacation community located in the heart of Sarasota, I yearned to set a series of novels there.
     Last year, after my editor approved the location, my husband and I took a trip down south to Sarasota. We went at the end of February, and I have to admit that I was as anxious to go on a research trip as I was to get warm! Everything had been gray and snowy here in Southern Ohio for months.
     One fun coincidence that happened was that my Amish friends from Sugarcreek just happened to be vacationing in Pinecraft at the same time. My husband and I spent an afternoon with them one day. They were so gracious! They took time to show us all of the sites. Before long, I was completely charmed by the area. The buildings are quaint and lined by sidewalks. Palm trees and flowers were everywhere, many Amish and Mennonites rode red bicycles, and everyone seemed to be in a happy, relaxed frame of mind.
     I couldn't wait to begin writing the series!
     I decided to make up the Orange Blossom Inn and have it serve as the home base for all four books in the series. I created the character of Beverly Overholt. She owns the inn and hosts most of the main characters in the books. After that, I got to work on plots for each book.
     The series begins with The Promise of Palm Grove. In this book, Leona Weaver must decide whether to hold tight to past choices she's made or take a chance on the promise of what could be. I hope everyone enjoys her story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

My Review…

THE PROMISE OF PALM GROVE by Shelley Shepard Gray: Amish friends Leona, Sara, and Mattie arrive at a B&B in Florida for a two-week vacation before Leona’s marriage to Edmund. While Leona believes Edmund to be a “gut” man, she has doubts about spending the rest of her life with him. As a result, their relationship has been strained recently. She is concerned about sharing this revelation with her friends for fear of their reaction. Local Amish man Zachary Kaufman is the opposite of Edmund. After spending a brief period of time with Zachary, Leona remembers the feelings of joy that have been missing in her life. She begins to experience a sense of peace. Will Leona follow her heart or her sense of duty, as she has committed herself to Edmund? This is the first installment in the "Amish Brides of Pinecraft" series. There are a number of intriguing secondary characters who will hopefully be featured in upcoming sequels. The flow is even and doesn’t feel rushed, giving the reader time to really enjoy the characters. Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal. In fact, the reader may find themselves wanting to book their own trip to Pinecraft.

To Connect with Shelley…

Readers can find me at: http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/
Or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ShelleyShepardGray
Or follow me on Twitter @ShelleySGray