Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Amanda Lee on Coping With Deadlines & Pressure @GayleTrent #AmWriting #AmReading #Mystery

It sounds contradictory, but the best way to handle pressure is to relax. I’ve been reading articles and books on how you can be more creative when you’re in a relaxed state.  When you’re overwhelmed, you have a tendency to freeze up and become unproductive.
If you’re stressing over writing deadlines, the best—albeit hardest—thing to do is to lie down, consciously relax your muscles, and tell yourself to relax. If you’re unable to relax in this way, hit the gym. A workout on the treadmill or the elliptical trainer will get your heart pumping and flood your system with endorphins.
Some writers claim that their best ideas hit them when they’re washing dishes, taking a shower, walking, or driving. This is because even though you aren’t consciously thinking about your book and your writing at that moment, your subconscious is still working on those plot points that you were trying to figure out during your last writing session.
Many writers—especially when deadlines are looming—stick to a strict daily minimum word count. I asked one such writer how she dealt with writers’ block. She said she doesn’t have it that often, but that when she does, she simply writes through it. “Even if it’s total garbage, I write anything in order to keep my writing flowing,” she said. “I know I can always come back and fix it when I get my story going back in the right direction.”
Another writer cautioned me against editing as I write. As a perfectionist, I find it difficult not to get my facts straight as I’m writing. For example, the new Fontaine book is set in Las Vegas. I couldn’t write the first draft saying to myself that I’d go back and fill in the details later. For me personally, I have to have the descriptions and facts in place as I write.  I have come to realize, however, that the books don’t have to be written in a linear form.  If I’m writing a relaxed restaurant scene and something dramatic is supposed to happen next, I can insert [ARGUMENT WITH COWORKER] or whatever scene that might be upcoming and then write something else if I’m not ready to write the heavier scene.
However you choose to do it, relaxation is key when writing under pressure: hug your dog, take a walk, watch cute animal videos, workout, take a nap…. And remember, in a true emergency, you can always request an extension for your writing deadline.

Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to have the rug pulled out from under her….

Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.

The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Amanda Lee on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY by @VicBernadine #Excerpt #ChickLit #Contemporary

Leah watched with amusement as Zeke paced around her boardroom.
“I’m telling you, she won’t last a week! A more…prudish, repressed woman I have yet to meet! I doubt she’s done anything just for fun in her life!”
“Doesn’t mean she won’t go the full six months,” Leah replied mildly.
“Oh, please! She wears her hair in a bun! A bun! And if her face has seen makeup in the last ten years, I’ll eat my socks! She’ll get scared at the first loud noise and skitter home to safety.” He shook his head. “This is a non-story. Trust me.”
“Well, I think you should still take the trip. You can write this blog you’re currently working on if you want to–but you’ll probably be wrong.” She frowned thoughtfully. “You know…I wonder if she’d be interested in writing a guest blog.”
Zeke stopped in his tracks. “What?
“Sure,” Leah said, gaining enthusiasm. “That’s not a bad plan B. She could write updates of her journey–I mean, my subscribers are absolutely rabid about this–and absolutely passionate about you going with her if the poll results and the comments are anything to go by. Half want you to expose her as pathetic; the other half want you to be surprised and humbled and knocked off your high horse.”
“Hey!”
“Some love you; some love to hate you–but they all want you to document this woman’s adventure–no matter how long it lasts, or what you learn.”
“Well, it’s a non-story–I’m telling you. She probably won’t even make it out of town. I doubt she’s ever been anywhere!”
“That’s…actually kinda sad.”
Zeke shrugged. “Yeah, well–those were the choices she made.”
Leah frowned at him. “You don’t know what she’s faced in her life. You shouldn’t be so judgmental.”
Zeke grinned at her. “Hey, that’s why you pay me the big bucks, you know–because I’m so judgmental.”
“You know, if I didn’t know that sometimes you can actually be a really nice, understanding guy, I’d think you were the biggest jerk that ever walked the planet.”
He shrugged again. “People don’t want to read the blog of a nice guy.”
“But they would love to see you taken down a peg or two.”
“Oh, like any tightly wound old lady could do that!” he scoffed.
Leah gave him a reproving look as she stood and walked over to him, a hand cupped around her ear. “Do you hear that? That’s the sound of fate taking aim right–” she poked him hard in the middle of the forehead–“there.”

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter