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The New Cover for Last Shot Revealed!

Happy New Year!  Today is the day! Last Shot at Justice has its new cover, and is now up for pre-order on Amazon. That's right, ALL th...

Monday, February 29, 2016

Review of Carter, by SJ McCoy (Remington Ranch #3)

This latest installment of the Remington Ranch series continues the trend of feel-good romances from SJ McCoy. Carter and Summer's romance is both hopeful and bittersweet, with a perfect happy ending. I could see what needed to happen to solve the lover's dilemma, but the way it happened was a bit of a surprise. If anything, though, I contemplated knocking off half a star for the few and--hmmm--rather lackluster sex scenes. They were, to me, far less steamy than the other books. I didn't mind so much--I know I may be in the minority, but I get tired of sex scenes. So maybe it was me more than the writing.

I have to say, though, I think I know what's going to happen in Beau's story. Or at least, WHO is going to happen to Beau. Should be fun. I predict seeing much more of a precocious little child named Ruth. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different....

Did you know I have written a Young Adult Historical Fantasy trilogy? Since it is so different from my other works, I've been trying to decide how to proceed. I think I've landed on serializing the story before a summer publication. As a result, the Prologue and Chapter One are up on Goodreads right now. Not sure if I'll publish one chapter per week, or two. I can probably do two, and get them all up before a June 1 release date.

Does this even make sense? I don't know. You don't have to have a Goodreads account to read them, but if you do have one, you can comment on the chapters, let me know what you think, ask questions, and ask for more. Once all three books are out, I will release them together, and put them out as a paperback.

Read the Prologue and Chapter One of A True Prince, the first book in the Bonnie Isles Trilogy on Goodreads.

Here is the working blurb:

Aslynn and Sebastian have been friends nearly since birth. A friendship cemented by a tragic common thread: Aslynn's mother died giving birth to her, and Sebastian had been found floating in a sea chest after a storm. Though a magic spell had protected him, there was no clue as to his identity or his origins. Aslynn's father, King Isaiah, took the boy in to be raised by his swordmaster, and the two motherless children had shared a wet nurse, and a great deal of time over 15 years.
But now the forces of Change are moving, converging on the small island kingdom they call their home.

In a storm to rival the one that brought Sebastian ashore, a Stranger is shipwrecked, and rescued by Sebastian and Aslynn. In his gratitude, the traveling mystic offers to try to solve Sebastian's Mystery. In the course of his investigation the stranger uncovers clues, but events surrounding his arrival stir up more than just the past.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review of Bait, by Kasi Blake

This wasn't a perfect 5 ***** for me, but it was pretty darn close. The first 3/4 was amazing. I was especially impressed with the opening scene. Then somewhere in there things got a little fuzzy. Not a lot, and I can't out my finger on what, exactly. Just stopped being amazing for a minute and became just really good. Then the unexpected happened - and that felt a little contrived - but things got back on track. I am definitely curious to know what happens in the second book, so it goes on my TBR, although I don't know when I'll get to it. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Writer’s Conference = Productivity!

It’s a beautiful day outside the window of my writing cave. I wish I had gone for a bike ride instead of driving to the gym to work out, but let’s face it. It wasn’t this nice when my schedule dictated I head to the gym. 

What? you say. Kristi with a schedule? How bizarre. Tell me about it.

Last weekend I went to the 21st Annual South Coast Writer’s Conference in Gold Beach. As usual. (I’ve only missed 5 of the 21, I think.) This year I got a lot of bang for my buck. Not that I don’t normally, but this year they had some great speakers on topics I really needed to hear about if I am going to take a proper crack at writing full time.
Managed to get SOME time on the beach!

I spent Friday in an all-day intensive workshop about the serious business of writing, facilitated by Jason Brick. One of many things he taught that really resonated with me is, “The more you don’t want to have a schedule, the more you need one.”

Sigh. So, here I am. Writing a blog post because it is on my newly developed schedule. But you know what, instead of resenting it and fighting it, I’m actually enjoying the process. This is coming off as more “stream of consciousness” writing, but that is part of the plan, too. 

Another presenter, Eric Witchey, taught that there are no wrong ideas. Or more precisely, the only wrong idea in writing is the one that never gets written down.

I came away with so many wonderful tools. Like how to use a Pomodoro timer to focus on my writing. To me it is comparable to what I learned in a 12 Step program: You can do for 30 minutes what you can’t imagine doing all day. Then you take a break and start the timer again. In this way you train yourself to focus and cut out the distractions.

Another tool is also courtesy of Mr. Witchey. Use a metronome to trigger ideas. Train yourself that with every tock of the metronome you come up with one idea – this is great for the brainstorming stage of writing. Each idea may be more wild and outrageous than the last, but something in that maelstrom of ideas will be the perfect torture to put my characters through. 

I anticipate not spending quite so long pondering plot points, but rather coming up with more gut wrenching plots for your entertainment. My goal for the future is to not just entertain you with my stories, but really affect you with them. It’s time to move beyond the fluff, the mind-candy, and make some seriously memorable fiction you’ll want to read again and again.

Part of my new schedule is a promise to myself, and to anyone who does me the honor of following me, to faithfully write a blog post every Wednesday, and to post a newsletter on the first Saturday of each month. I tend to worry about producing content that people will find interesting, but with these new tools, I’m confident I can entertain you. Yes. Confident. Really.

And what do you knownow it's raining! This is all I have for today, but I will surely expand on it for the Newsletter, so keep your eyes open for it. You can sign up on my website - or visit the page to see it posted. I will also post a link to it here in the Bounded in a Nutshell blog.

Until then... Thrive, my friends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review of Brilliant Secrets, by Dawna Raver

Quite an exciting story. A bit of a stretch at times, but what suspense story isn't?

I understand the work has undergone a new edit since I got my copy, so I won't comment on the challenges I encountered. 

I had my usual issues with first person - not much to do with the story, more my personal preference, although to me this highlighted one of the reasons I'm not a fan: I found the two character's "voices" to be very similar. If I stopped in the middle of a chapter for any reason, when I came back, it was hard to tell whose POV I was in until an external clue was given.

Other than that, it was exciting and quite well constructed - although I was a bit confused as to what, exactly, the villain's goals really were.