Monthly Archives: February 2014

Balancing Life

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Working on the balancing act of trying to figure out my life.

Waiting is the hardest part.

Happy photo Friday!

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Photo Inspiration

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Since I’ve had a tough couple weeks I wanted to post a photo to help inspire us to write!

Happy photo writing!


Guest Blog Caitlin Ricci: The Time I Almost Quit

The Time I Almost Quit

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I had a book come out that didn’t go quite as planned. When I write I put so much of myself into my work that its hard not to be attached to the finished product and so when the book got positive reviews from blogging sites in its first week out I broke my biggest rule and read the reviews. I was excited as it seemed like people loved this new book. That is an amazing high and I should have stopped there. But then the negative reviews started coming in and I couldn’t look away. Like a train wreck I watched as something I loved was torn apart. Negative reviews aren’t new to most authors and I’ve had my fair share. You have to develop a thick skin to be able to handle this business.

I followed my own advice and went back to work, finding a way to ignore the reviews and instead focusing on the kind words and the edits that my publishers were giving me. I always have deadlines and it was easy to get lost back into them and forget that reviews are opinions and I didn’t have to listen. But then I started getting messages and these weren’t so easy to ignore. My friend told me that sometimes readers seem to forget that there are people behind the books instead of unfeeling machines. The notes I was getting would not be something someone would have said to my face and yet they were coming in over email and facebook. I wanted to argue and its hard to stay silent when someone is blatantly wrong about something in a book that you love.

Fans argue over books all the time. Who should Bella have ended up with? Why did Snape have to die? These are questions that fans of these series go back and forth over. But when an author speaks up and says something of that nature it is seen as wrong and bitchy. Fine, I stayed silent. We authors need readers and reviewers. I understand the relationship and the line that authors walk. We write the stories, readers hopefully read them, and reviewers give the readers honest opinions of our work to help the readers make their buying decisions. It is a system that often works perfectly well.

But after so much negativity I considered not doing this anymore. I didn’t see the point of it when I put so much of myself into a book and got only pain in response. I quit my job and stopped going to college for my books. I wasn’t sure if it was worth it anymore.

My guy then sat down next to me as I lay crying on the bed with our dogs around me and told me that I couldn’t quit. I had to stop looking at reviews but I couldn’t quit. He had a lot of reasons and though they all made sense, there were a few things that really stuck with me. Writing keeps me sane. I need to do this and I’m lucky that I have something that I love to do and that makes me happy. I also need to be home for the dogs. They are much happier with someone at home with them. By working at home I don’t have to go out when there are eight inches of snow on the ground and I’m expected to still get to work. I get to wear lounge clothes and make big dinners all while making imaginary people fall in love.

Sometimes opening yourself up is hard. It can come with a backlash of hatred. But if its something you love to do then maybe its worth it. I had to remember to stay away from reviews. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re toxic. But remembering to protect myself so that I can focus on what I love to do is the most important thing for me being able to continue writing. And in the end I write for myself. I think its wonderful when someone connects to my work. That is a great feeling and one of the highs of being an author. But I do this for me and for my family and because I have this need to get characters out of my mind to make room for new ones.


Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs Essay by Chuck Palahniuk

Heart Book on DeskOriginal Chuck Palahniuk’s “Thought” Verb Article Here

I fell in love with this article. I found it very challenging and wanted to share the thoughts with you.

Chuck Palahniuk has writers looking at the thought verbs and instead of telling your readers what they think or feel, you lay it out in detail and have the readers see what the character sees. I found this a unique way of getting into the characters head and pulling the readers into the story.

In the article he challenges writers to get rid of the “thought” verbs and change the writing to sensory details. Get rid of the knows, thinks, hates, and loves and start giving the detail of what the characters hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

There are great examples in the article so please check them out.

I think this goes deeper than looking at just the show don’t tell but he actually has writers looking at why characters know, think, feel, believe…you get the idea. Not only does this help in developing your writing skills but also helps get your readers into the depths of why they feel the way they feel.

There are many writers who don’t agree with the theory, after all no writer has the same voice but this is definitely an article to take to heart. Even if you don’t agree it is still a tool to add to the writing belt.

Remember how important it is to improve ourselves and keep writing!

 


Rescuing Jack by Caitlin Ricci

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Title: Rescuing Jack

Author: Caitlin Ricci

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Copyright: 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62798-3737-0

Format: eBook

Genre: M/M, Gay, Paranormal, Werewolf

Series: Book One in A Forever Home

Rating: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Romance Level: ♥♥

Buy Link: Click Here

Description: Werewolves are real. Marius enjoys the irony that everyone calls him a dog whisperer, not just because he’s a werewolf, but for his work at the local animal shelter. He has a unique talent for pairing families with their perfect pets upon first meeting them. But he’s still looking for acceptance and a forever family of his own. Then Jack comes into the rescue looking for a big, mean dog. To prevent Jack from making the wrong choice, Marius convinces him to adopt a needy spaniel mix instead. But when Marius learns Jack is tormented by horrible memories while at his apartment, he opens his home to the sweet, scared man. As their relationship grows, Jack feels comfortable telling Marius about the horrors he suffered. Marius hopes his steady presence, protection, and love can help Jack reclaim the pieces of himself broken on that terrible night.

Review: Marius is a werewolf who co-owns a pet rescue shelter with tough-as-nails Clare. Jack is a shell of a man who is trying to get his life back together. They meet when Jack comes in to the rescue shelter in hopes of finding a guard dog for his apartment. Jack ends up adopting a shy and frightened dog named Missy. Not the guard dog he was looking for but one that will aid him in mending. I loved reading the parallel story of Missy getting better with Jack while Jack is recovering with Marius. Each needing hope, gaining strength, and deserving of love.

From the beginning of the story I knew that this book was going to be dark. This book looks at a very tough subject and one of the hardest topics to write about, rape. This story is about a man who can’t find support in a small town and still raw from a recent attack. I could tell that the author reached into forbidden places to come up with such a broken character like Jack. But that is why I really liked this book, the characters are not afraid to look into the worst parts of themselves.

Caitlin Ricci isn’t afraid to take her characters into the shadows and face their fears. She writes not only amazing main characters but builds up side characters that don’t fall into typical stereotypes. My favorite was Seth, but I always have a place in my heart for talkative, geeky characters like him. I also loved Clare with her stubborn nature and big heart. Caitlin Ricci’s writing improves with every book I read and I cannot wait to see what story she comes out with next.

I found the ending came too fast, I wanted to spend more time in the world of Marius and Jack, watch them grow even more. This is why I can’t wait to read the rest of the series not only in hopes to see if Seth, Peter, or Jeremy end up finding the loves of their lives but also to see how Jack is growing and healing with the help of his loving werewolf.

If you like darker stories with two men working to become stronger with healing and a little revenge, I recommend this book for you.


Come Join Caitlin Ricci on February 20th

Come join author Caitlin Ricci on February 20th here at my M/M Paranormal Romance blog. She will be guest blogging on Thursday, showing off her new book Rescuing Jack and talking about the time she almost stopped writing.

Also, come check out my review of her book, Rescuing Jack, on Tuesday, February 18th here at M/M Paranormal Romance.

Don't forget to check out Caitlin's webpage for more of her books and upcoming releases at: Caitlinricci.com

 


Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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