Friday, January 30, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday #BraveWriting

Okay, so this week's flash fiction challenge was this.

"Write a story in present tense about the girl in the picture below. What is she listening to on the radio? Show how it reflects her mood about where she is going without stating the mood. (this challenges us to write in present tense as well as to work on as well as using elements of the setting to tell us about the character)



So here goes!

Song: Sick Muse – Metric



I can see the city still miles away, but closer than it has ever been. My car slows to a stop on the empty highway as Metric blares from my speakers too loud for sitting still, but just loud enough for driving fast. Fast is the only way I want to drive. Each mile my tires gobble up is another one away from Harvey.
Pssh. Harvey. What kind of stupid name is that? It’s a hipster name that’s what it is—probably not even his real name. His entire persona is an affectation down to his fake glasses, teal shorts, and $90 t-shirt that looks like it comes from Goodwill—but doesn’t. Add a blond straggly beard, shitty music playing in the background on a record player, and a $6 cup of coffee made by a giant corporation he claims to hate but still frequents daily, and that is exactly how he looked when I left.
My head bobs up and down to the music and I sing with the singer about living my life instead of being tied down by Cupid’s plans and those nasty little arrows. He says I’m a sellout because I want to make money doing my art instead of letting my parents support me. How does that even make sense?
Well one thing is for certain, I’m not with stupid anymore. So yeah, Cupid, take your arrows back or I will pluck them out myself. Perhaps money is a sick muse, but this sellout is ready to play the lead.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#CurrentlyReading The Best Man by Kristin Higgans

Let me start with saying I love this book. I love it a lot. This week's read is actually a reread for me. I think it is like the third maybe fourth time I have read it (I do this a lot with books I like). 

Basically the Best Man is your typical sweet contemporary romance. However, what sets it apart from other books is that Higgans voice. Her books are funny and sometimes painfully realistic. She isn't afraid of making you laugh or cry and most often a bit of both. 

In the Best Man we meet Faith Holland and Levi Cooper along with a large cast of quirky and endearing characters who will go on to have their own novels in the Blue Heron series. Faith is just getting back into town at the start of the book. Through bit and pieces of flashbacks we learn why she left to begin with. Faith had the perfect relationship with her high school sweet heart that was going to end in a happily ever after, that was until Levi Cooper (war hero, best man, and not much of a talker) stops the wedding because her fiance is gay. 

The road to these two opposites coming  together and learning to navigate each other's baggage is fun to be a part of. So if you are looking for a great weekend read that is totally addicting check out Kristin Higgans. I have yet to read one that I haven't loved. 

-Liz

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Flash Fiction

I wrote a little flash fiction piece this afternoon as a writing exercise to get the creative juices flowing. This one took a bit of a dark turn, but it was a lot of fun to write. Basically flash fiction is something where you have a picture and/or a challenge for you to write about.

Here is my picture

And here is the challenge: Defying Stereotypes: Take two typically stereotypical characters and make them your own in 500 words or less.

And here is my story (entirely unedited or read by me so don't get judgy)


The technician walked into the room. A young woman with pale hair and skin sat with her chin down on her chest that lifted and sank softly with calm even breaths. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her—the destruction she caused. One had to be removed, but which would the doctor choose?
Two minds waged a war for domination inside of the petite frame. Two voices struggled to be heard without making a sound. One dress, one body, and one chance to choose the correct personality before both were lost forever. The Hyde to the other’s Jekyll lurked beneath the passive exterior. There could be only one though two choices remained.
The woman’s head snapped up when the doctor entered the room as if she had known not to bother with the technician. Her hooded, dull eyes looked straight through him to something beyond before her head jerked to the right.
“Help me. I can’t fight her any longer.”
Her head whipped to the left. “I was here first. She is the abomination.”
“Please,” she begged to the right. “Please help.”
“Don’t listen.” The woman snapped back to the left. “She speaks only lies.”
The woman looked right through the young technician with bright, glossy eyes. “Why is she doing this to me? Please you must help me.”
The technician took a step toward the patient.
“Do not approach the subject,” the doctor said his voice flat and impersonal.
The technician stayed his feet.
The woman’s head rolled to the left. “Destroy her.”
“Please, please help.” She looked down and to the left her lower lip quivering.
“I have seen enough,” the doctor stated, nodding to the technician.
The young man approached her cautiously, though she was restrained, with his cart. She had murdered six people, tore their bodies apart like a wild beast. The leather straps at her thin, pale arms didn’t give him comfort. One by one he place the cold, gooey electrodes on her. She didn’t struggle or speak though her eyes stoically followed his movements. He oh so carefully placed the bite guard in her mouth. When he finished he backed away as far as the cords would allow. The doctor stepped closer.
“I know which one of you are,” he said squatting down in front of her.
Those dark eyes rose to meet his. She blinked and head tilted to the right then it tipped to the left. He gave the signal to the technician and electricity coursed through her body, making her muscles strain and snap and her teeth clench against the guard. His fingers hovered over the button waiting for the single to stop, but the doctor didn’t give it. He shifted and chewed on his lip. His fingers twitched over the button. They’d kill her if they didn’t stop soon.
“Now,” the doctor said.
He flipped the machine off and the woman went limp in the chair. The doctor waited a couple beats before he moved closer and undid the leather straps at her arms, she slumped in the chair. One by one her removed the electrodes then retrieved the mouth guard as well.
Her eyes snapped open and her teeth sank deep before she tore them away and spit out a hunk of flesh. The doctor’s scream gurgled in his throat as his useless hand pawed at the spraying wound.
The woman stood, knocking the doctor out of the way, turning toward the technician. Her white dress and deathly pale skin spatter with blood as her black eyes found him. The doctor had chosen the wrong.
A slow crimson smile spread on her face. “I want to tell you a secret.”
The technician blinked.
“There is no Dr. Jekyll.”

His screams echoed down the empty hallways.  

-Liz

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What To Expect When Editing

Guess what? I got Vestige back from my editor today. So I catalogued the emotional roller coaster that comes with editing a book for all of you.


This post is two-fold. First, I will share entertaining bits of the edit I just received back from Ev Bishop on Vestige for my lovely readers. Second, I am doing this for the new and aspiring authors to give you an idea of what to expect from your first edit.

I remember what it was like the first time I sent a book to Ev. I was fairly certain she was going to email me back that my book was terrible and I wasn’t allowed to write anymore. Ever. No exception. Thirteen plus books in and guess what, I am still waiting for that day to happen. The idea of sending a book off that is a product of imagination to someone else and asking them to tear it apart in a kind and respectful, but honest way is scary as hell—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Now down to the actual edit.



Step 1: Receive the edit back. Spend the next 10-30 minutes staring at the title page afraid to look further in the document while distracting yourself with social media. You’ve been meaning to take one or ten Buzzfeed quizzes. Posting pictures of the editing you are about to do is almost like doing it, right?

Step 2: Enough is enough. You have to look at the damn document. You know you do. It’s like a bandaid. Rip the sucker off…but not before you have the internal debate of whether you should start with the opening comments or the comments at the end. It would make more sense if you read them in order, but so long as you knew that the editor didn’t want to burn the book on your lawn, you can take anything. (For those of you who follow me regularly can probably guess which I will choose. I always have this debate yet every single time I skip to the end. I hate suspense.)

Step 3: Watch the red fly by at warp speed as you try to make it to the end of the document without reading any of it. Breath gushes out as you read the words and emotions soar. "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE it, Liz—and it leaves the world wide open for more Abyss tales with other characters, but is an absolutely awesome ending for Holden and Olivia. I was on the edge of my seat, anxious ‘til literally the last page that it wouldn’t work out—but then it did. So lovely, so fun, SO SATISFYING. Great job!)”

Step 4: Go back to the beginning and dive in. Laughing at comments along the way, killing your darlings, and of course shedding a few tears along the way.

(Well, at least Holden is his psychotically jealous ol’ self—a good clue she hasn’t totally lost him yet. LOL.)

(Noooooooo, sniffing. NOOOOOO. You’d better not, Liz, YOU HAD BETTER NOT!!!)

LIZ SCHULTE I WILL RAIN DOWN A STORM OF TEARS AND ANGST AND EDITORIAL UNHAPPINESS ON YOUR ASS!!



Step 5: Finish and save with a happy sense of finality. Then try to move on but go back to the document several more times throughout the evening and tweak things then change them back then change them back again.

Step 6: Give it another read.

And that’s it. That’s the editing process for me. The point of this is that editing is always scary, but chances are your book isn't as bad as you think it is. The doubt and anxiety it normal. In fact it is good. It means you want to get better. You want to do better. You will learn something with each edit. Keep an open mind and find an editor you trust.

Don’t worry about proofreading round, you will be much more confident in your book by the time it comes to that. .

And for my readers, Vestige will be here so, so soon. 
-Liz

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#BookReview The First Rule of Scoundrel Series by Sarah MacLean

Since Valentine's day is barreling toward us, I thought I would give a nice romance recommendation today. The book my Facebook book club is discussing this week is Sarah MacLean's A Rogue By Any Other Name.

I want to preface this with I don't really read historical romance. I have read Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series (because my friend Cait talked me into it) but that is all. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this series. I read the first book until the wee hours of the morning (aka I was up until 5am). The second book, I was up until 6am. Needless to say I planned better for the third and fourth book. 

Anyway, I went in with a certain expectation. I find with most genre books there tends to be pattern that they all follow. The first thing about this book that tipped me off that I was going to like this author a lot was it went in a different direction than where I thought it would go right from the start. I am not saying there aren't predictable elements like the HEA (but honestly who wants to read a romance without an HEA?). 

Each book in the series follows a different owner of a gaming hell named the Fallen Angel. True to the club's name, each owner in their own way has fallen from society's grace and found their own freedom and success through the club making them four of the most powerful people in London. Thus is the setting for all of the books. 

There is romance, angst, humor, and compelling story lines. So even if it isn't your genre, I recommend giving a scoundrel a chance

Liz

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#BookRecommendation Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop

Hello lovelies,

Today I have the great pleasure of sharing with you a new book written by my editor and friend Ev Bishop. I have read two of her books and absolutely loved them. I can't wait to dive into this one as well. So it you are madly scouring the internet for something new to read, this might just be the ticket!

Liz

Wedding Bands, Book 1 in the River's Sigh B & B series.


Ditched by her high school sweetheart, Callum Archer, on the night they’re supposed to elope, Jo Kendall casts out on her own, brokenhearted. Over the years, Jo reels in a life she loves, centered on the outdoors, fishing (favoring a lucky wedding band lure), and her fine dining restaurant—a life that crashes away when her husband and business partner cheats her, leaving her bankrupt and alone. Then her uncle dies, bequeathing Jo and her sister, Samantha, his rural property. Jo returns to Greenridge, determined to build a new business and permanent home—without the help of a man. Unfortunately Samantha wants her inheritance in cold, hard cash and hires a lawyer to get it for her, a lawyer who turns out to be none other than Jo’s long-lost love, Callum. Jo’s fledgling plans—and her heart—are at risk once more. If Jo can fight her insecurities, she might end up with a wedding band that doesn’t come with a sharp hook. But should she risk everything she’s worked for, yet again? Before she can decide, she needs to know: can a lost love truly be reclaimed?
You can buy Wedding Bands in eBook here: Amazon.com ~ Amazon.ca ~ Amazon.co.uk KOBO ~ For your NOOK at Barnes & Noble ~ Apple/iBooks ~ Page Foundry ~ Scribd

 Don't have an eReader and/or prefer print books? Wedding Bands will be out in paperback at the end of the month, available for order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore.

 A bit about Ev Bishop . . . She's a longtime columnist with the Terrace Standard, and her other non-fiction articles and essays have been published across North America. Her true love, however, is fiction, and she writes in a variety of lengths and genres. If you’re a short story lover or read other genres alongside Romance, visit www.evbishop.com to learn more.

 Some short story publications include: “Not All Magic is Nice,” Pulp Literature (forthcoming), “The Picture Book,” Every Day Fiction Magazine, “Riddles,” 100 Stories for Queensland, “On the Wall,” Every Day Fiction Magazine, “My Mom is a Freak,” Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls, “HVS,” “Red Bird,” and “Wishful,” (available through Ether Books). Women’s Fiction novels include Bigger Things (Winding Path Books 2014), which is available in digital or paperback wherever books are sold, and Mosaic (forthcoming).

She also writes romance under the pen name Toni Sheridan (The Present, Pelican Book Group, 2012, and Drummer Boy, Pelican Book Group, 2014). Ev loves to connect with other readers and writers, so please consider subscribing to her newsletter and/or visiting her on Facebook and Twitter.

Vote for me!

I need your help. 



I don't normally do this sort of thing (asking people to vote for anything) because I know it is annoying, but this one is close to my heart. I have been nominated and made it to the last round of voting for the competition in my hometown for best author. 

So if you have the time to drop me a vote I would greatly appreciate it as I appreciate all of you!!

http://icm.secondstreetapp.com/l/Best-of-Columbia-2015-Ballot

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Liz
 
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