Book Review: The Lion Tamer

Dahlia Donovan definitely does a great job capturing and conveying each of the MC’s strengths and flaws. I love seeing both the vulnerable, soft side and the strong side of these men. It certainly makes them all the more endearing. Let’s not forget the chemistry between these two….PHEW!! Gray and Scottie have chemistry and it rolls right off the pages.” 4 Stars, Jennifer’s Book Obsession

From straight pantser to ever so slightly plotting along.

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I used to be a straight pantser.  (Someone who writes by the seat of their pants instead of plotting with an outline, etc.)

Never did anything, not even writing down character notes, before starting a novel. My mind liked it, but my manuscripts became a bit of a nightmare to edit. It’s hard to keep track of characters, plots, and timelines when NOTHING is written down.

And your memory is a bit shit.

Now, I do better.

I plot a little. I’ll never be a true plotter. Outlines bore me to tears. So, I’ve found a compromise that works.

Stage One: Faces, Names and Places

Three things I usually do before anything else is to pick the location of a story, the novel title, and visual references for the characters.

I’m not a very visual person, so I definitely need an actual image to picture while I’m writing.

Stage Two: Build out a Book Bible.

I use thin A5 Muji notebooks and fill out little character questionnaires for the main characters along with notes about family/friends. I also jot down a loose timeline. I find this helps keep the novel on track, but also with writing newsletters and blog posts once I’m done with the book.

Stage Three: Media.

Before writing, I build two essential lists. A musical playlist, my current WIP has a mostly country music playlist. I also create a TV/movie list. I find watching shows or movies based around the theme of what I’m writing can really help me get in the mood.

For The Royal Marine, for example, I watched a lot of Bake Off. For the Grasmere trilogy, it watched Poirot, of course.

Stage Four: Let’s Play Pretend

This is the stage where I’m usually supposed to be giving myself a writing break, but I’m chomping at the bit to write.

Stage Five: Write

Self-explanatory that involves a lot of coffee, sobbing, and hitting my head against the keyboard.

If you’re a writer, are you a pantser or a plotter?

 

A brief excerpt from After the Scrum

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~ A brief excerpt from After the Scrum ~

“No, Sherlock, stop it. You uncivilized mongrel!” Francis Keen, interior decorator extraordinaire, tripped over his own feet and his dog’s leash.  He landed in a heap on the walk outside his home. “Damnation, you obstinate creature, heel. Do you even know what the word means?”

“Having trouble, love?”

“No, Gran.” Francis straightened himself up, running his fingers through his now thoroughly mussed-up mass of light brown hair.  He ignored his beloved grandmother’s tittering giggles while attempting to glare balefully at his Shetland sheepdog, Sherlock, his beloved and the bane of his existence. “Have a good day, Gran.”

“Try to stay on your feet, love.” She waved at him with another laugh then headed up the walk to their shared home.

Oh, the humiliation.

He’d gotten a smaller dog to go with his own more slender frame.  He didn’t fancy being dragged off by a monster of a mutt.  Sherlock didn’t appear to understand his purpose in life.  Even for a smaller dog, he managed to yank his owner off his feet quite frequently.

The sheltie served other purposes, besides companion and best friend.  Francis simply didn’t advertise what Sherlock’s training actually entailed.  He didn’t want the sympathetic stares.

“One morning, Sherlock, just one would be nice.  I’d give you the largest beef bone in the world if you could allow me to preserve my dignity once.” Francis fumbled with the keys to his only prized possession—a turquoise Fiat 500 from the seventies that had been painstakingly and lovingly refurbished. He patted the dashboard reverently once he’d situated himself and his insane canine. “Well, Watson, time to take the world by storm.  Are you ready?”

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fYVvHa
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nzCI5Z
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rZW89E
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2GAqClD

99 Problems, but a sale isn’t one.

My latest release is currently on sale ever so briefly for 99c.  In celebration, I thought I’d share it…and a bunch of other books that are currently (as of today when I checked) 99c.AWWABH- 600x400Cover

All other links: books2read.com/at-war


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Twisted Pain by MariaLisa deMora –  https://books2read.com/TwistedPain

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Unbreak Me by Maria Vickers – https://books2read.com/b/bOZ1JE (Pre-Order)

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The Bunny and The Billionaire by Louisa Masters – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0758ZXCMM

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Assassin By Day by Tessa Robertson – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074F1L6L7/

My Travel Bucket List

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As I’m working on my current WIP, Pure Dumb Luck, I’m thinking a lot about travel. Growing up, we travelled a lot. I’ve lived in five countries and visited well over twenty. But, I still have a bucket list of places I’d loved to visit–or revisit in some cases.

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. United Kingdom
  4. France
  5. Norway, to visit my cousin.
  6. Alaska
  7. Singapore, even though I lived there for ten years. I’d love to visit again.
  8. Spain
  9. Canada (Vancouver and Prince Edward Island, especially)
  10. Japan

What’s on your travel bucket list?