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Showing posts from April, 2012

Grammar Police Monday - Which vs. That

Today, I'm going to tackle the proper use of which vs. that . Before we get started, commit this to memory: Which needs a comma(s). That does not. Ex: My first car, which is in the driveway, is red . Ex: The dog that stole my hotdog ran away . Next, you need to understand the difference between a restrictive clause and a nonrestrictive clause. A restrictive clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence. If you took it out, the sentence wouldn't make sense or its meaning would change. A nonrestrictive clause is one that adds additional information, but could be left out without losing anything vital. *Nonrestrictive clauses are set off with commas. Restrictive ones are not. Let's apply this to our examples... Ex: My first car, which is in the driveway , is red . Ex: The dog that stole my hotdog ran away . In the first example, 'which is in the driveway' is additional information. We already know which car—my first car. In the second example, the clause must

Oh, My Hero! Blog Hop

Rules: Post a picture of your hero with a character interview that has at least 5 questions. Then hop around to get to know all the participants' swoon-worthy heroes! I wasn't sure which character I wanted to use. The hero of my first two manuscripts I know very well, but my third manuscript is the one I'll likely debut with sooo, even though I don't know that hero as well, I decided to interview both.  Please bear with the almost-but-not-quite photographs. I got as close as I could, but you'll have to use your imagination a little.  My first hero (second to create, but first to interview) and the be-still-my-heart love interest in my current WIP, Come Back , is Seth Emerson . He's younger than this model, but just as handsome. His typical attire is light brown trousers, a cotton work shirt, boots, hat, and—in winter months—a worn, leather duster stretched across his broad shoulders. His horse's name is Cyrus, and his heroine's name is Rebecca. New Mexic

Just Released - The Light Tamer by Devyn Dawson

Jessie moved from New York to North Carolina one week after school let out for summer break. Her newly single mother and Jessie move in with grandma Gayle. Being a teen in a retirement area, is one more thing to add to her 'this sucks' list. It's bad enough to have to move, but even worse her alcoholic father left them as he went on a quest to be an artist in Greece. Things begin to look up when she is reintroduced to Caleb, the dorky boy that saved her life one summer at the beach. Caleb is no longer scrawny and nerdy, he is now tall, dark and handsome. Caleb is a Light Tamer. Jessie and Amber become fast friends. Amber is a no frills girl, her snarky comments and sassy attitude will raise a few eyebrows and have you laughing out loud. Amber is rough around the edges, a light tamer with only two years left to find the one she is bound to. Her father's surfing accident left her dad paralyzed and her brother dead.  This paranormal romance will ke

Grammar Police Monday - Who, Whom and Other Pesky Pronouns

Who's on first? When to use who vs. whom is a grammar issue that stumps a lot of people, but it's really not that difficult if you know the rule. Use who when you are referring to the subject of a clause and whom when you are referring to the object of a clause. The subject is the one doing the action, and the object is the one having the action done to them.  Ex: Paul hit Allan.   In this sentence, Paul is the subject and Allan is the object. Now that you understand that, I'll give you a short-cut way to figure it out.  He = Who and Him = Whom.  If you would use 'he' in the sentence, then use 'who.' If you would use 'him,' then use 'whom.' Who hit Allan? (He hit Allan.) ...Paul hit whom? (Paul hit him.) While we're on the topic of subjective and objective pronouns , let's touch on some problems with them. First, I'll give you a list of each. Subjective pronouns are used when they are the subject of the sentence. They are I,

Convince Me - Kindle vs. Nook, Amazon vs. Barnes and Noble

Okay. I'll admit it. I'm an Amazon/Kindle snob. I've been shopping at for years, so, naturally, when e-readers got popular, I bought a Kindle. (And, yes. I did compare the various readers before making my choice.) I like the features of my Kindle Keyboard , and I like the user-friendly web design, the reader reviews, and the service at the big A.  When my mom (the little traitor) bought a Nook and asked me for help, I found it difficult to use, and I found Barnes & Noble's website difficult to navigate. Of course, if she had wireless in her house, it might help. *pointed stare at mom* Now before you assemble a torch-carrying mob and head my direction, let me say: I do like B&N for their in-person service, namely helping me order books in the past, and I love their stores. I also like some of the features of Nooks I've seen (such as page numbers), and, if I'd been using their website longer, I might not find it so confusing. But, by and larg

Grammar Police Monday - Irregular Verbs

Today, I'm tackling the subject of conjugating verbs. If you're like me, you write more properly than you speak. The problem is: we often hear things that aren't grammatically correct, and then translate them into our writing without realizing it. Conjugating English verbs is fairly simple. Most verbs add -ed to for the past and past participle tense. Let's take the infinitive 'to play' as an example. Now in sentences: Today, I play.  ~  Yesterday, I played.  ~  In the past, I had played. That was easy, right? Problems usually arise when dealing with the pesky verbs that don't follow the rules. Ex: Swim, swam, swum. Let's start with one that many people — even the fairly grammar-conscious — often get get wrong: properly conjugating the infinitive 'to drag.' The present tense is 'drag.' Ex: Drag that chair over there, would you? The past tense is 'drug,' right? Nope. It's 'dragged.' (And don't worry. I'm not

What Inspires You?

Lots of things can inspire us to write--ranging from the obvious to the unexpected. I've been inspired by books, movies, and stories of real people's lives. I've been inspired by objects, nature, and photographs. I've even drawn the inspiration for an entire scene from a single word. When I'm stuck and the words won't flow, looking at a picture similar to what I see in my head can get me going again--especially if I'm describing setting. When I find myself getting into ruts with my sentence structure, taking a break to read for pleasure or browsing through some randomly-generated sentences can get me thinking outside the box again. Sometimes, I'm just plain exhausted and need to take a break. In that case, I either read or sleep. That's what inspires me. What inspires you? (The photos in this post were purchased from and are royalty-free.)

Grammar Police Monday - New Series

I've decided to add a new series to my blogging schedule called Grammar Police Monday. Each week I'll highlight a grammatical error or two and show you the way to correct them. Let me know what you think. If you like this, I'll keep it going. We all should be forgiving of mistakes in quick, unedited correspondences such as emails and blog comments; but when it comes to professional writing of any sort, authors need to put their best foot forward. If an editor read your WIP right now, for how many grammar crimes could you be ticketed? Grammar faux pas #1 - 'than' versus 'then.' Often it's nothing more then than a typo, but some writers misuse these words. 'Than' is the word you want when making comparisons.  Ex: I'd rather relax on the couch than move furniture. If you are talking about time, choose 'then.' Ex: I'll finish arranging the furniture; then I'm relaxing on the couch. Grammar faux pas #2 (and one of my favorites)

Blurbs - What They Are & How To Write Them

Okay, so I'm a little late with this week's post. What can I say. Wednesday snuck up on me. At some point in your writing career, you will probably have to write a blurb. You know - the paragraph or two on the back of a book that tells a little about the story and, hopefully, entices people to buy it and read it. A good blurb doesn’t tell much of the story, and it shouldn't be a total spoiler.  It introduces your protagonist (or hero and heroine in a romance) and the major conflict. Keep it brief, but make it strong — every word counts.  It should leave the reader wanting more. Here are a few good links on writing blurbs. Enjoy. = ) 5 Tips on How to Write a Blurb For Your Book How to Write a Back Cover Blurb For Your Book Gotcha Blurbs: Easy & Fun to Write

Okay, Okay. I'll Do It! - Lucky 7 Meme

  Recently, I said I wouldn't post parts of my WIPs online, but after thinking about it, I've reconsidered. So go on. Have your fun. Laugh. Scoff. Call me names and say, "I told you so." = P I was tagged by Ashley Barron . You should check out her blog. She's got some great tips and some interesting author interviews. For authors tagged by the Lucky 7 Meme , here's how it works: 1. Go to page 77 of your current WIP (work in progress) 2. Go to line seven 3. Copy down the next seven lines or sentences as written and post them on your blog or website 4. Tag seven other authors 5. Let them know they've been tagged My current WIP doesn't yet have 77 pages, and the one before that would reveal a spoiler, so I chose to use my first WIP titled An Honorable Man. As luck would have it, the random spot came at a major turning point in the plot and made for a perfect teaser. Here goes...  Miles looked at the lovely young lady sitting next to him. The sunlight com

April is...

  Source - Kat's Cafe   - A blog about special needs parenting & advocacy In case you didn't know, April is autism awareness month. As a mother of two children with autism, I'd like to encourage you to take a few minutes and learn about this disorder. It may not be what you think. And, being a spectrum disorder, it's not the same from one affected person to the next. The main thing I want you to take away from this is that individuals with autism are often very productive members of society, but they interpret their world differently and have special needs. And so do their families.  For information, visit Autistic Self Advocacy Network & And here's a great blog post I found:   Autism awareness is not enough: Here's how to change the world " Put fences around parks, or at least part of the park . It’s not that I am too lazy to keep an eye on my son, but really, if I mess up for even a minute, he could end up as a hood orn