Saturday, 18 November 2017

What do I look like?


So, the time is nigh! 
Having kept myself in the shadows, a little like the great Banksy, I am finally about to reveal myself. 

I've been self-published for 4.5 years, and have 7 books out in the world, yet nobody has seen any proper pictures of author me.

I did this firstly as a form of protection. I write under a pseduonym.
This was partly to protect myself, but also those connected with me. 
But this is now less of an issue. 

It has also forced me to use my writing in its own right. 
My words and books have been able to speak for themselves without interference. 

But it has kept me in the shadows.
This was a good thing, but also a bad one. 

So, I'm going to break the chains of my own making. 
But only once I've reached 1,000 followers on Instagram. 
Clever marketing? No, I'm really not that clever. 
I just need the support to take the final plunge. 

Having been secret for so long, it's now weird and scary to reveal my appearance to you all. 
It's strange, but it's true. 
Think what Clark Kent would feel like telling his co-workers/fans that he is in fact Superman.
Or any of the superheroes, for that matter.
Not that I'm a superhero. I'm just a normal person. Actually, you'll probably be really disappointed. 



So, to find out whether I'm a beauty or a beast (or just something in between), please go and follow me on Instagram, spread the news (there's a post on Faceook and Twitter


Thank you for your support. 

Always in love & light,
TL


Friday, 27 October 2017

Book Review - Watermelon is nuts!



Date read: 27th October 2017

My rating: 4.5*

Genre I reckon: Chick-lit

Buy Link: Amazon




Oh dear, I've not read many excellent books this year. Apologies I've been quiet on here. I've been ever so busy.

Anyway, I've finally read a book worthy of a blog post.

I have seen and heard Marian Keyes interviewed, and have recently started stalking...err...following her on Twitter. She comes across as mad as a box of frogs, in a deliciously wonderful sort of way.

This is actually my 1st time reading one of her novels (*insert shocked gasps here*)

And I'm delighted to find she writes as she speaks.
It's very chatty, and liable to rambling, but I love it.

I love how even Claire's internal thoughts and emotions are given life; they talk to each other and jockey for position in her head.

The story is brutally real (no Mills & Boon-ness here!), and tragically funny. The story should be really sad, given poor Claire's fall from grace. But it's dotted with humour which had me giggling like a fool.

btw watermelon refers to Claire's shape when she's pregnant. And I miss its depiction on the cover. It seems to have been given the boot completely now, which is sad.

Is it perfectly written without mistakes? No.
Is it going to appeal to everyone? What person does?
Do I care? Not a jot.

I'm going to be reading a lot more books by this lady.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

M J Collette's Audio Book Blog Tour - 18+ ONLY

Hopefully I've got an 18+ agreement on this account.
But I will double up the warning here. Please do not read on unless you are 18+. Seriously mature content to follow!

So, I've agreed to participate in M Jane Collette's Audio Book Blog Tour.
An excerpt is to follow.
As she's read True's Love by me, she knows I can be very smutty, so think she's reserved the rudest chapter for this very blog post.
So without further ado, here it is...



Welcome to Stop 14 of the Consequences AudioBook BlogTour
CUNT IN A BOARDROOM
from CONSEQUENCES (of defensive adultery)
an EROTIC tragedy with a HAPPY ending
by M. Jane Colette
performed by Elisa Kae

18+ ADVISORY: Consequences is intended for an adult (18+) audience. It deals with mature subject matter, and contains explicit language and sexual content. Listener and reader discretion is advised.
The tour is bringing romance readers and listeners the opportunity to listen to all 48 full, unabridged chapters of Consequences well in advance of the audiobook's Christmas release.
Plus, there are fabulous prizes at every stop, and 48 chances throughout the tour to enter to win a COMPLETE set of M. Jane Colette's paperbacks!

WHAT'S THIS BOOK ABOUT?
An affair. HEARTBREAK. Consequences.  ABSOLUTION, redemption, and LOVE… in the most unexpected places–a steamy second chance romance unlike any you’ve ever experienced… featuring an ALPHA lover-confessor you haven’t DARED dream about.

Elizabeth did not plan to break up his marriage when she had an affair with her law school professor. But she did. Fifteen years later, she’s still coming to terms with the consequences of her youthful infatuation: a stepdaughter who hates her, an ex-wife who will never forgive the betrayal,  a sister-in-law who’s determined to make Elizabeth her confidante. Compelled to reveal the "tragedy of her life" to a nameless lover, Elizabeth finds herself forced to reconsider her definition of love, commitment, and responsibility—a process that finally releases her from the shackles of her past mistakes and shows her the way to her own happily-ever-after.

A NOTE ABOUT STRUCTURE: The story unfolds over the course of one night, as the narrator Elizabeth relates the “tragedy of her life” to her current lover as they, to quote a reviewer “do lover things.” The story Elizabeth tells spans 15 years. The scenes between Elizabeth and her lover are pure dialogue, and interrupt the “story proper.” There is no “he said/I said” in the dialogue between Elizabeth and her lover… a challenge the narrator solved masterfully, but which may give the first-time listener pause. To increase your enjoyment of the story, an opportunity to read, as well as listen to, the chapter, is provided.


Today, we bring you Chapter 14: CUNT IN A BOARDROOM.

"Help! I can't listen--I don't have headphones handy, I'm at work, and when I get home, my children will be underfoot! Plus, I'm more of a reader than a listener, you know?"


PREFER TO READ? We're on it. Here is a passworded-protected link to the written version of this chapter for tour participants' eyes only. Your password is tlclark, and your gateway is here: CHAPTER 14 :C*NT IN A BOARDROOM.

________

Enjoyed what you heard/read? The tour continues on Wed Oct 11 with Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL

________


FIRST STOP: If this blog is your first stop on the tour, you might want to head back to stop number one, hosted by Tome Tender Blog: The Photograph, or to the Tour Home Page, and start from the beginning. There are chances to win prizes at every stop!


TODAY'S PRIZE: 
Click here to follow the link:

CONTEST LIVE UNTIL 12:00 am Nov 29, 2017

(If this link is not working for you, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour to enter)

GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT ENTRY, PART 14: For a chance to win one of two COMPLETE HARD COPY SETS of M. Jane Colette's novels, send an email to TellMe@mjanecolette.com, and:
  1. put  #ConAudioTour Day 14 in the subject heading,
  2. ask to be added to her Rough Draft Confessions newsletter (or tell Jane you're already on her mailing list, and it's awesome, when's the next love letter coming?) and,
  3. answer the question: "Who calls Elizabeth... that word?"
Hint: The answer's contained in today's chapter.

(The small print: Each tour stop offers you one opportunity to enter the GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT DRAW, for a total of 48 entries if you complete the tour. The books that comprise the GRAND PRIZE are the novels Tell Me, Cherry Pie Cure, and Consequences, and the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions, including its controversially titled, available-only-in-Canada, beta reader / limited edition predecessor.) 



CAN'T WAIT? BUY THE E-BOOK NOW:
including  iBooks  Kobo  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Google Play  Inside Romance
Softcovers at all the usual places, including Chapters  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Book Depository  Powell’s Books and your favourite retailer


AUDIOBOOK COMING CHRISTMAS 2017
sign up for M. Jane Colette's Rough Draft Confessions to get advance notice of its release
REMEMBER: The story continues on Wed Oct 11  with Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL hosted by BOOKWORM BRANDEE.

_______

M. Jane Colette writes tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for women and men who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.

Connect with her on Twitter / GoodReads / FaceBook / Instagram and subscribe to her newsletter, Rough Draft Confessions, to stay in the loop on her WIPs, new releases, and fab multi-media, multi-author projects. You can also email her at TellMe@mjanecolette.com.

For more information about the tour & its other hosts, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour or check out the schedule below.

_______

Mon Sept 25 // Chapter 1 // THE PHOTOGRAPH hosted by TOME TENDER BOOK BLOG
Tues Sept 26 // Chapter 2 // PINK PANTIES hosted by KIM KNIGHT
Wed Sept 27 // Chapter 3 // HARD TO OPEN hosted by WICKED COOL FLIGHT
Thurs Sept 28 // Chapter 4 // ENTER THE ADULTERER hosted by MISHA ELLIOTT
Sat Sept 30 // Chapter 5 // THE WOMAN IN RED hosted by ALYSSA LINN PALMER
Sun Oct 1 // Chapter 6 // THE WHORE WHO WORE TURQUOISE hosted by DIRTY BAD BLOGGERS
Mon Oct 2 // Chapter 7 // CARELESS hosted by ELIZA DAVID
Tues Oct 3 // Chapter 8 // REVENGE SEX hosted by CAMERON ALLIE EROTICA
Wed Oct 4 // Chapter 9 // RENAMING DESTINY hosted by SO…WHATCHA READING?
Thurs Oct 5 // Chapter 10 // DREAMING OF SILENCE hosted by THE READING CAT
Fri Oct 6 // Weekly Recap at mjanecolette.com
Sat Oct 7 // Chapter 11 // BABY OIL hosted by JENNA HOWARD
Sun Oct 8 // Chapter 12 // SPERM DONOR hosted by AMAZEBALLS BOOK ADDICTS
Mon Oct 9 // Chapter 13 // ALWAYS THE WOMAN’S FAULT
co-hosted by Teri Hicks & Co’s READING OUT LOUD + SJs BOOK BLOG 
Tues Oct 10 // Chapter 14 // CUNT IN A BOARDROOM hosted by TL CLARK
Wed Oct 11  // Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL hosted by BOOKWORM BRANDEE
Thurs Oct 12 // Chapter 16 // MAGIC CARPET RIDE hosted by SOUTHERN BRED & READ BOOK BLOG
Fri Oct 13 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sat Oct 14 // Chapter 17 // CONDOMS IN A SUITCASE hosted by AMANDA SIEGRIST
Sun Oct 15 // Chapter 18 // COMING OUT hosted by MICHELE FOGAL
Mon Oct 16 // Chapter 19 // PRETTY BOY hosted by REAL TASTY PAGES
Tues Oct 17 // Chapter 20 // PROMISCUOUS POLYAMORY hosted by LOVES GREAT READS BLOG
Wed Oct 18 // Chapter 21 // EDUCATING PHILISTINES hosted by RAMPA PA GROUP
Thurs Oct 19 // Chapter 22 // FUCKING ARTISTS hosted by JENN’S BOOK OBSESSION
Fri Oct 20 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sat Oct 21 // Chapter 23 // GUILT IN A TEA CUP hosted by SULTRY SIRENS
Sun Oct 22 // Chapter 24 // LABELS hosted by TORY RICHARDS
Mon Oct 23 // Chapter 25 // COERCION hosted by ROXANA NASTASE
Tues Oct 24 // Chapter 26 // UNGRATEFUL hosted by CASEY’S CORNER
Wed Oct 25 // Chapter 27 // DUPLICATE hosted by A DREAMER’S BOOK BLOG
Thurs Oct 26 // early weekly  & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Fri Oct 27 // Chapter 28 // SECRETS IN A VELVET BAG hosted by LOVE INDIE ROMANCE
Sat Oct 28 // Chapter 29 // BITTERSWEET COFFEE hosted by THE GENRE MINX BOOK REVIEWS
Sun Oct 29 // Chapter 30 // WORDS ON THE SCREEN hosted by DEELYLAH MULLIN
Mon Oct 30 // Chapter 31 // ADDICTIONS hosted by ANGELICA DAWSON
[no scheduled post on Tuesday, October 31 – Halloween]
Wed Nov 1 // Chapter 32 // ENABLER hosted by 2 CHICKS & A BOOK
Thurs Nov 2 //Chapter 33 // FOOLISH COUGAR hosted by A RISQUÉ BOOK AFFAIR BOOK BLOG
Fri Nov 3 // Chapter 34 // NO MORE hosted by KATE FOREST
Sat Nov 4 // Weekly & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sun Nov 5 // Chapter 35 // CRASH hosted by MISS J MONROE
Mon Nov 6 // Chapter 36 // SUFFERING FOR ART hosted by T&A BOOK BLOG
Nov 7 // Chapter 37 // PLAYING CUPID hosted by MISCHA ELIOT
Wed Nov 8 // Chapter 38 // EMASCULATION hosted by PHOEBE ALEXANDER
Thurs Nov 9 // Chapter 39 // RITUAL hosted by ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEAWAYS
Fri Nov 10 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com 
Sat Nov 11 // no post, in respect of Veterans Day in USA and Remembrance Day in Canada
Sun Nov 12 // Chapter 40 // MUSE hosted by SIP READ LOVE
Mon Nov 13 // 41 // CHRISTMAS DAY hosted by DIRTY GIRL ROMANCE
Tues Nov 14 // Chapter 42 // CAST-OFFS hosted by JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC
Wed Nov 15 // Chapter 43 // VIOLATION hosted by BOOK SNIFFERS ANONYMOUS
Thurs Nov 16 // Chapter 44 // AGAIN WITH THE CONFESSION hosted by WOPSY WOO BOOK BLOG
Fri Nov 17 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sat Nov 18 // Chapter 45 // FETTERED, FREE hosted by CARRIE AUSTIN REVIEWS
Sun Nov 19 // Chapter 46 // ABSOLUTION hosted by READS2LOVE
Mon Nov 20 // Chapter 47 // THRESHOLD hosted by STEPHANIE’S BOOK REPORTS
FINALE: Tues Nov 21 // Chapter 48 //  AN UNSATISFACTORY ENDING hosted by (UN)CONVENTIONAL BOOK VIEWS
Wed Nov 22 // Full Recap on mjanecolette.com + Cyber Champagne Celebration of the Tour’s Success!
Thurs Nov 30 – GRAND PRIZE WINNERS ANNOUNCED on mjanecolette.com


Monday, 11 September 2017

Common Mistakes Writers Make


I am an indie author. I think you know that.
You have probably also noticed I read and review a lot of other indie authors.
What you do not see is all the books I read, and merely send a polite email to the author as they need to remedy some mistakes.

So, today I am sharing some of my "wisdom" with you.
There are two main errors that authors make.
I do not claim to be an expert. This is just my opinion btw.

1) Mixing up past/present/future tense - this has actually become my pet peeve as I see it so often
2) Not punctuating dialogue correctly


Let's start with tenses:
Simply put; keep your past in your past. 

I'm going to keep to the 'simple' tense, as this is most commonly used in novels. 

Past: Rachel bought a book
Present: Rachel is buying a book
Future: Rachel is will buy a book

What I often see is:
Rachel went to the shop and is buying a book. She paid at the till and left with her treasure in her grasp. 

Did you spot it? Rachel isn't looking, as the sentence is in the past tense. It should read:
Rachel went to the shop and bought a book...

You can write dialogue in the present tense, and keep the narrative in the past tense. 
But keep that narrative in the past. 

Of course, you may choose to write your book in the present tense. Absolutely your choice. Just stick to it when you choose one. At least in the same sentence and/or paragraph. 

There is the possibility of mixing tenses, but these need to be carefully done, and split with a scene change and paragraph. 

I know this advice is really basic. I've not really started delving underneath the surface at all.
There's perfect tense (basically using 'has'), progressive, subjunctive, verb forms, passive voice, all sort of things you can bring in. 

But for now, I'm sticking to the basics. You'd be surprised how many people get confused with this. 
It's easily done. But at least now it's hopefully in your mind for you to consider when writing.


Writing Dialogue:
This is something I often see authors getting into a mess with. 
And even I (yes, I'm human and make mistakes) had inadvertently made errors with something which should be very simple. 

Basically, use a comma if you are introducing a "s/he said" type statement (a dialogue tag).
The dialogue tag can be at the start or the end. 

Lowering his voice to a whisper, he told her, "I'm ready to tell you now."
"I'm ready to tell you now," he whispered. 

There is nothing wrong with using "said". It's simple and unobtrusive. Just don't overuse it. Everything in moderation.

Please do not overuse dialogue tags, full stop. Just once in a while to illustrate who is talking, or to emphasise a point. 

"I hate you," he yelled.
This does not require an exclamation mark. You are saying the character is yelling. 
Generally, you should avoid exclamation marks in novels. Your writing should speak for itself. 

You can link two sentences together with a tag, by the way. You use commas for this:
"I feel so stupid," she said with a sigh,"I fell for his charm." 

You can even give them new paragraphs. Do use this sparingly, as dialogue should generally be short and snappy to increase readability. But when the same character is speaking, do not close the quotation marks at the end of the first paragraph. Just open them at the start of the new one.

"Character 1 is saying something, but is going on a  bit. This paragraph comes to a close, but they need to say more.

"A new paragraph has started here, and closes as normal." 

This looks odd, but I'm assured this is the correct way of laying it out.

Remember, dialogue is conversation.
People do not stick to rigid formality when they speak. 

"Hello. It is very nice to meet you. How are you today?"
Do you hear this when you speak to your friends, or when you're people watching? I suspect not. 
Is it more like..?
"Hi, what's up?"
"Hey, how's you?" 

You can use slang and incorrect grammar in dialogue, just as long as it fits the character.
"I dunno."
This should technically read I do not know. But come on, who says this?


Dialect - don't forget to give your characters their own speech patterns and quirks. 
We don't all sound the same. We all have our little nuances when we talk. So your characters should too. 
How do they sound? Which time period do they live in? Do they have any key phrases they use repeatedly? Do they swear? 


There have been great books written entirely in regional dialect.
  • Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles uses a lot of West Country dialect, which can be tricky to follow. This hasn't stopped it being an incredibly popular book though.
  • Irvine Welsh uses Scottish phrases and phonetic spelling of them in Trainspotting. Specifically, the Edinburgh dialect. But again, this has been an incredible success. There's not really much I can politely quote on my blog from that ;-) 

If you choose to do this, just be aware your readers may struggle a bit. 


Be wary of putting in too many hesitations.
"I...umm...I'm not really...err, like, you know, not really happy."
Some hesitations can be useful and paint personality, but when overused they make it difficult to read.

There's a phrase which gets used a lot: "Show don't tell"
You can show points in narrative or speech, by the way. But please don't do both. It can be really tiresome to have a point explained by the narrator and then again by the character.


Phew! I've gone on a bit here. But hopefully this helps with some of the basics. 
I don't claim to be an expert. These are just things I've picked up along the way.
And I accept there's actually a few ways of laying out dialogue, but I just wanted to cover the basics here. 

All of the above is just something for you to bear in mind next time you sit down to create.


Always in love & light,
TL