Saturday, 22 April 2017

Cover and Trailer Reveal for DIADEM OF DEATH

On April 25th DIADEM OF DEATH, the second installment of the Nefertari Hughes Mystery series, will be released into the wild! The wonderfully talented Emma Dolan who designed ASP OF ASCENSION, once again exceeded my expectations for the cover. the end of this post is the spectacular book trailer made by the multitalented and all around cool guy, Tom Ryan.

What would you do for immortality?

Terry Hughes is looking forward to spending the summer with her boyfriend Zach before he goes to college in the fall, but when her archaeologist father announces he’s working on a project that will take him back to Egypt, all hopes of a romantic vacation are buried.

With her friend Maude’s company for consolation, Terry accompanies her father as they join his colleagues in Alexandria, where she’s reunited with her first crush, Awad — all grown up and an expert in translating hieroglyphics. He confides that the team is in a race to find Cleopatra’s lost tomb before a secret band of rebels steals Egypt’s last pharaoh and her diadem, a golden crown believed to possess powers of immortality.

But sabotage puts everyone on high alert, and Terry isn’t sure who to trust. As the line between ally and enemy begins to blur, Terry has to keep her wits about her and figure out who wants the diadem badly enough to kill — because one wrong step could mean the difference between discovering a tomb or being buried in one.

Available to pre-order from Chapters/Indigo.

Check out the Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

And now enjoy the official book trailer!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Most Common Characterization Mistake Writers Make and How To Fix It

ˈˌself əˈwernəs/
  1. conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
    "the process can be painful but it leads to greater self-awareness"

One of the most common characterization mistakes writers are guilty of is making their characters too self-aware. Inner monologue is a great tool, it lets the reader in on secrets, gives the character dimension, but it can also be the biggest stumbling block to the story.

There's nothing less satisfying than a character who analyses every decision, weighs the pros and cons, and keeps coming back to the same inner struggle over and over again. The reader gets it, there's a theme, but repetition kills the tension.

The good news is that this can be easily fixed!

Beware of using inner dialogue to provide an ongoing narration rather than what it really is, a response to immediate events. Keep it authentic!

And just like over analysing the decision, your character should be a little clueless about their faults, strengths, dreams/goals. These are qualities the character is supposed to discover through their struggle as the story progresses. By the end these traits will come to the surface and that's when the wonderful self-awareness happens in the hero's journey.

Okay, so how can you fix this?

Here are things your character should NOT do:

1. While in the middle of a crisis, they shouldn't be providing a narration as if they're an outside source watching with an emotional detachment.

2. They shouldn't label their emotions. Instead of your character thinking, "I'm so angry!" The anger should manifest itself in your character's actions and choices (without them realizing it).

3. The shouldn't analyse all the possible reasons behind all their emotions. "I'm angry because my boyfriend doesn't love me anymore." No, look at reason number 2. The analysing shouldn't come until they've made choices that lead to disaster. No one in real life figures it out that quickly so why should your character?

4. When your character is in a highly emotional scene, their self-awareness should be negligible. This is why when you're angry you shouldn't send that email right away. You wait until you're less emotional and thinking more clearly. Your character shouldn't use calm logic when they're being dumped by their lover. The place for this growth can begin during the following scene to provide a few subtle sparks of self-awareness (this hints at the coming revelation and is more enticing to the reader). 

Remember it's not just their flaws, their strengths should be waiting to be discovered as well.

Now go make your character clueless!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Weather Blues in Halifax

In all, the winter hasn't been that bad in Eastern Canada...and then March came along and ruined everything. Although, if we didn't have the weather I don't know what would talk about.

"Isn't this awful, I'm ready to move."
"Why did our ancestors settle so early?"
"I think I've got scurvy."
"Did you hear the forecast? We're getting more snow!"

March has finally left, but yes, there is another snow storm coming. I don't know about you, but storm chips aren't the happy cure they used to be (probably because I've eaten my weight in storm chips this year and my cholesterol is in the red zone.)

Anyway, since the only way to get to summer is to keep slogging through this weather, here's a list of substitutes for storm chips that will help ease the winter blues—or at least distract you from it.

10 Ways To Beat The Unending Winter Weather Blues

1. Grab yourself a cinnamon roll from The Old Apothecary Bakery.

2. Stroll through the Central Library, then grab a coffee from Pavia and settle into one of the spacious seating areas bathed in sunlight ont he top floor.

3. Go to a movie! Beauty and the Beast will make your heart full enough to melt away any bitter resentment.

4. Read a good murder mystery set in the summer. Okay, any book set in the middle of a sultry summer would be fine.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith

A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet

5. Go outside. Yes, I know this flies in the face of distracting you from the weather, but nature and fresh air do wonders.

6. Hot Yoga! Take a drop in class at Halifax Yoga. "I regret going to yoga," said no one ever. 

7. Do something crafty! Pinterest if full of easy DIY guides. Here are some easy peasy projects to do today.

Remake an old t-shirt into an infinity scarf!

Instantly freshen the air!

Spray glitter paint inside your lamp shade!

8. De-clutter your closet! Oh my nerves, it's time to get rid of all the winter clothes you DIDN'T wear this season.

9. Make a lemon meringue pie. It's sunshine for your mouth. Here's a recipe or just buy the speedy quick from a box version.

10. Buy yourself fresh flowers. Nothing puts a smile on your face faster than a bouquet of blooms.

What are your tips for surviving the winter blues?

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