Adventures in Audible

To all the listeners out there. Check out our post on Take Five Authors this week:)

Take Five Authors

I love audiobooks. With all that’s going on in our busy lives, sometimes it’s hard to take the time out to sit down to read. So, mucking out horse corrals, cleaning the kitchen, driving the car, I’m usually found, with earphones attached, listening to novels.

Often Amabloody jackzon’s Audible reviewers or an exceptional narrator send me on an unexpected journey, far beyond the obvious bestsellers such as Girl On A Train, Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl. I’ve found myself gallivanting about the high seas with the YA bestselling series, Bloody Jack, about a young orphan lass who joins the British Royal Navy disguised as a cabin boy. I’ve schemed and battled my way through Game of Thrones, sweated through the tumultuous backstreets of Bombay with Shantaram, corralled wild brumbies and fallen in love in the Australian Outback with our own Janet Gwild oneover’s The Wild…

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Characters in Motion: Behind the Mask of Self-Image by Laurie Boris

Fabulous post by Laurie Boris. Both of these novels sound like great reads!

Layered Pages

Laurie BorrisWhether I’m reading or writing, I’m a sucker for flawed characters trying to do the best they can with what life has dealt them. Maybe I love these people a little too much—my novels are full of them. Sometimes I even throw additional obstacles in their paths. I don’t enjoy torturing my characters—most of the time—but I like to see what they’re made of and how badly they want to redeem themselves. Not only do their flaws and demons make for rich, honest writing material, but it’s also more fun for me to work with someone who isn’t a “perfect” hero.

Even more telling about broken characters is what they choose to tell the world about themselves. In real life, it takes a lot of courage to admit when you’ve screwed up big time, when the path you’re on is no longer working, when you’re in too deep and feel…

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Questioning your hero/heroine to create plot points

Is it love? Asks Sue Moorcroft on Take Five Authors this week. Thanks Sue!

Take Five Authors

Hearts and Flowers_Just as in real life, there are ways to know if  he’s the right one for her; if she’s the one who will change his life. In romantic fiction, every little telltale is something else … it’s a plot point, and therefore of huge value to the writer. A plot point is a place in your story where you have options that will take the story forward. There are possiblies, probablies, ulterior motives and what ifs. As a fun way of illustrating this I’ve adapted an old blog post I wrote where the question was ‘How do you know if you’re in love?

Let’s look at heroes and heroines asking ‘Are you in love?’ and speculate on a few ways each answer can benefit or affect your plot.

1 He puts her happiness high on his list of priorities – Possibly. He could easily be…

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Win up to NINE Cozy Mystery eBooks!

Hi folks,

We have joined up with some fabulous authors this week who are donating 9 cozy mystery novels at Author XP. There are some great books there so check it out below and get clicking.

Free to enter!

Finishes July 3rd

Win up to NINE Cozy Mystery eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL NINE COZY MYSTERIES!

(9) Winners of Individual Books (randomly selected titles)

Plus a special bonus chance to win!

Annual Bloggers’ Bash

Read all about the annual Bloggers Bash. Great post by Mary Smith. on Take Five Authors

Take Five Authors

IMG_5484-600 Early arrivals at the Bloggers’ Bash, greeted by Sacha before registering. Picture courtesy of Hugh Roberts.

I’m starting this post by giving the bloggers among you a very important date – Saturday June 10, 2017. Put in your diary now. This is when the annual Bloggers Bash takes place – and you really don’t want to miss it.

I went to London for this year’s Bash; somewhat nervously it has to be said. Apart from worrying about whether, not having met any of these people before, I would find myself sitting alone in a corner I was concerned about getting lost and never finding the venue. I have no sense of direction, have serious problems in distinguishing left from right and absolutely no idea which way is south – or west or north. And I don’t have a smart phone.

IMG_5486-600 “Then I turned left…no, right, well, whatever, I got here.”…

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Whose story is this anyway?

Great post by Janet Gover on points of view when writing. Might have to look out some coloured pencils.

Take Five Authors

I think I put so many POV character in my first novel because I didn't know it was a bad idea. I think I put so many POV character in my first novel because I didn’t know it was a bad idea.

The people in my books are pretty pushy. Each one likes to make sure they get their story told the way they want it. That’s why I write books with multiple points of view.

If you’re not familiar with the term, point of view (POV) refers to the person through whose eyes the reader is looking into the story. The reader is in that person’s head, seeing what they see; feeling what they feel; and doing what they do.

One review of my first novel, The Farmer Needs A Wife said something like.. “there are about 6 POV characters, but it’s well handled and I didn’t find it confusing”. That was nice to know – but there were actually eight POV characters in that book.

Umm –no. There were nine…

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Welcome to Hug A (Writer’s) Cat Day, June 4th.

Did you remember to hug your cat yesterday?

Take Five Authors

pam and lorraine with picklesActually, as any cat owner knows, cats decide for themselves the day and minute you’re permitted to give them affection, but still we’re honouring them today. Just as witches have their familiars, cats have played an important role as authors’ companions and muses.  Here are a few.


Mark Twain lost his beloved cat Bambino and offered a $5 reward for his return, describing him as “Large and intensely black; thick, velvety fur; has a faint fringe of white hair across his chest; not easy to find in ordinary light.” Immediately there was a stream of people showing up at his house, bearing cats of all colours and sizes, anxious to see the author of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Even when Twain placed another ad announcing the return of his cat, the fans kept coming by, carrying moggies.

Raymond Chandler, master of the…

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And now for something completely … old

Read Jenny Harper’s blog on Take Five Authors. This is particularly interesting to us as we were both raised in Edinburgh. What a great city!

Take Five Authors

256px-Bute_House,_Charlotte_Square_Edinburgh Bute House, Charlotte Square (Edinburgh New Town) via Wikimedia Commons.

I’m enjoying myself. I’m having a go at something completely different. I’m researching an idea for an historical novel.

I’m not telling you what it is, because it’s a great idea (or at least, I think it is!), but I’m surrounded by reference books and I’m having a ball. It’s giving me sanction to read – because after all, it’s research. There’s something in my Calvinist nature that makes me drive myself quite hard, so allowing myself the luxury of spending an entire afternoon turning the pages of a novel, no matter how good, is rare. (For all disappointed fellow novelists reading this, I listen to a great many audio books and if I like them enough, I buy them in paperback also).

My novel will be set in 18th/19th century Edinburgh. It’s a great period – the

Sir_Henry_Raeburn_-_Portrait_of_Sir_Walter_Scott Sir Walter Scott, via Wikimedia Commons

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Tongues will wag

Read all about these fabulous authors working together at Take Five Authors.

Take Five Authors

I’m a bit late in putting up my post this week because instead of writing it last night I went to the launch of JoAnne McKay’s latest poetry pamphlet, You Are Not Here. It was a wonderful evening of poetry, wine, chocolate and chatter.

And now, I need to get my head down to prepare a series of press releases and publicity for a mini two-day literary festival in Castle Douglas. This is being organised – a loose term – by Dumfries & Galloway Writers’ Collective aka WagTongues.

I live in Dumfries & Galloway in the south west of Scotland. It’s a beautiful place with glorious countryside, forests, hills and miles of sandy beaches. It has lots of lovely little towns, many boasting independently-owned shops. It has excellent cafes and restaurants, which offer menus based on fresh local produce: seafood, salmon, beef, venison, game. It has more artists, craft makers…

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Holding out for a hero…

Janet Gover is holding out for a hero preferably with flame coloured hair:)

Take Five Authors

The red haired hero - a much maligned man The red haired hero – a much maligned man

I’ve been thinking about heroes this week. Partly I think it’s due to a new television ad featuring the classic rock ballad ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ by Bonnie Tyler. The ad has slowly crept into my consciousness… despite the fact that I don’t watch much TV.

The other thing that has crept into my consciousness this week are old episodes of CSI Miami –featuring the taciturn –but oh-so-sexy hero – Horatio Caine, played by David Caruso.

Horatio has risen above a great handicap to become a hero. He has intelligence and strength, moral fibre and sexy voice, but that’s nothing compared to the fact that he has….. whisper it please … red hair.

When I first started writing, I was told that heroes don’t have red hair. In fact, some editors have been known to make a writer change the…

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