Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Basket of Hope - Book Review

This is a unique and captivating love story


This was a fabulous read! I was easily caught up in this paranormal historical romance. Each page drew me closer and closer to Kara and Machias, and held me captivated to the end.

Although I’ve read other romances containing a distressed girl pining for a man she can’t have, Basket of Hope isn’t your run-of-the-mill story. It is loaded with interesting twists, and fabulous imagery that draws you in and keeps you invested. A story that can do that is truly unique. (Unique is what paranormal is supposed to be, right? LOL) I love this tale and its vivid characters.

Kara is a beautiful and innocent scullery maid who secretly pines for Machias, heir to the kingdom. She feels lowly and wonders why she even entertains the thought of being with such a man of status, but a small hope still lingers within her heart.

The All Hallows Eve Ball approaches and Machias is to chose a mate from a variety of prominent ladies.  Kara’s hopes wane. Her dreams for love will be gone forever… unless something magical happens.

Basket of Hope
by J.M. Powers


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Don't Be a Man

Today, I received pre-edits from one of my editors. I didn't even know what pre-edits were, and truth be told, it freaked me out. Yes, I could have emailed my editor with the things I didn't understand, but I wanted to figure them out myself. (Okay, I admit it; I didn't want to look stupid.)
Double space manuscript--already done.
Italics for interior thought--Like this
Black text only --Why would anyone use another color?
I checked those off right away. (Made me think I was actually doing something other than avoiding the needed changes.)
I knew I was in trouble when I came upon these:
No singular character ellipses-- Uhh…
No spaces between periods in ellipses--"That makes no sense--without spaces they would be a solid line. Right? " (I actually said this out loud, causing my teenage daughter to look at me weird--well, weirder than usual.)
I slammed on the brakes and started designing a website. Though I never created one, it seemed easier than pre-edits. Then, I remembered my deadline. So, I decided to skip the ellipses issue and move on.
Good or preferred vs. Common usage: refer to CMOS section 5.202
My heart began to ellipse … (do those ellipses have spaces? I'll never look at them the same.)
After regaining sanity, I decided to Google CMOS.
Chicago Manual of Style. Oh. I knew that. I panicked for no apparent reason.   (The M in J.M. Powers now stands for melodramatic.)

Feeling a bit sheepish, I emailed my editor. She graciously explained everything I didn't understand. My sigh of relief was probably audible over cyber space, because she shot me another email while I scanned the list of things to do. She said to break each task down, and resist the urge to look at the next thing on the list. Oh.  Following her lead, I finished everything in one night.
 There are many turns in the road to publication. Today, I learned something new. If I quit acting like a man and ask for directions, it will make this trip a whole lot easier. Oops, I think I just bumped into an ellipse. (Oh, and they do have spaces--just don't put extra ones in there.)

Author note: For those men who do ask--sorry J

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I have some awesome news I couldn't wait to share with my Wenches and our amazing followers :)

After a gruelling search, I found a publisher for my story Escaping Normal

Total-E-Bound Publishing are taking on board my story which is set to release in November.  If you get time, check out their website, they have some amazing authors on board. 

But for now, here is a small tagline for my story that I hope will entice your interest for November ;)

Escaping Normal is about chasing dreams, finding nightmares and combining both to create the ultimate escape from normal.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ARC Review Wanted Series #2 --Vodka shots

ARC Review
Wanted 2-Vodka Shots
Marteeka Karland
Changeling press

                Though Vodka shots is a second in a series, the back-story worked seamlessly into the dialogue and narrative, so I had no trouble following the story. Marteeka Karland did what every author should. She captured me from the first paragraph of this book and sent me reeling into her space fantasy. This book has everything a reader would want: Intrigue, action filled with descriptive scenes, amazing sex, love and most of all, believable characters. Now let me tell you all little about this book.
                Dmitry is furious that his woman, Karri betrayed him, and even upon finding out she did so to save her five-year-old daughter, it doesn’t snuff out his fiery hurt and anger. Upon finding her, Dmitry wants Karri to pay for her deception, and upon finding himself alone with her, they have angry, yet consensual sex. Which by the way, is written tastefully, and so full of emotion, it took me for a ride as well.
                Kari is truly sorry for hurting Dimitry, but she feels justified for what she did. Dmitry has a need, so primal and true when it comes to Karri. Quite an issue with a man who wants to punish and hate the woman who left him without a word. I’ll let you read the book to discover how the two of them deal with all that hot steamy emotion brewing between them.
                The battle scenes were so descriptive I could see the expressions of their faces, feel the heat of the lasers, and gasp when I thought they were at a point of defeat. Even the scene where two vodka shots were upon the bar was imaginative—Marteeka adds a bit of intrigue there when Dmitry sees what’s really in his shot glass… Yeah, your eyebrow rose on that one, didn’t it?
                I hope to see more of Hawk, Dmitry’s partner and friend, in the next of this series. Good god, he is HOT. Like any other reader who delves into the pages of this book, it leaves me wanting to discover the new relationship Hawk is embarking on at the end of this book.
                More than learning more about the characters,  I especially want to read more of this author’s style of writing. Marteeka Karland gets right into the action, taking the reader along on the adventure into space.
                Vodka shots is a fitting name, as its high quality goes down smooth and warms your body. This book is strictly adult content, so be ready to be singed with the heat of the love scenes and reality of the human emotion in this sci-fi read. (Marteeka Karland also created the cgi cover art on this book.)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Perfect Environment

I’m a scatterbrain. I have piles of books all over my house. Empty mugs in the weirdest places. Mounds of ironing. Pens. Notebooks. Highlighters.  Random items in randomer places. But my desk is immaculate. To me, anyway.

For the last few weeks I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. Returning to work after three years has thrown me for an emotional loop and I’m trying once again to find the balance. Today I tried to get back into the swing of things, write a few blog posts and open up my WIP. But first my desk needed a serious sorting out.

In my writing absence, my desk became a dumping ground for ‘I’ll sort out later’ stuff. Correspondence, books, receipts, Lush wrappers…it was a mess. When I’m writing, I need everything just so. No more than one mug at a time, scribble notebook and pen handy, official WIP notebook to the side and a lip balm. Don’t ask, the lip balm helps me focus between writing stints. Plus it’s a chocolate one. Yum.

To anyone apart from me, the before and after shots of my desk don’t look all that different. It is still cluttered, still a few notebooks lying around and open books at points of reference I need to remember. But it’s organised clutter. It’s my clutter.

So I want to know what your writing environment is like. Can you do it anywhere or do you need complete and utter isolation – no music, no people, no nothing? Or does everything have to be absolutely perfect? Whatever it is, I want to know about it. Writers are an incredible species. We all have the same drive but completely different habits.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Show Don't Tell

As writers, we’ve undoubtedly heard “show don’t tell” countless times. Right? So, just how do we show? By describing the scene to the reader, rather than informing them what is there.

Involve the reader’s senses. Informing readers ‘the food is tasty’ or ‘the young rabbit was scared’ is flat writing. Describing the tasty food or the scared rabbit is showing:

1. The ripe, sun-warmed cherry tomatoes exploded in my mouth making my jaws pucker.
2. I found a trembling, injured bunny beneath the dewy morning glories.

This involves the reader and they become part of the scene.

Show things in the scene that aren’t written in the words. I didn’t have to tell you the rabbit was young and scared. I showed you the rabbit was young [bunny] and scared [trembling].

As another example (and for fun creativity) I asked my fellow wenches to join me in re-creating the following flat scene by showing. Please join us in the comments section by putting your own spin on the facts—without changing them.

I climbed the tree and looked over the fence into Neal’s back yard. My suspicions were correct. Molly was there. She was in the pool, swimming naked. Neal was smiling. As my heart broke, they laughed. It was cold outside, but neither seemed affected by the mountain air. Actually, things were getting downright steamy. Just when I thought my night couldn’t get any worse, my spying antics were exposed when my cell phone rang loudly. I was mortified.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: ARC Swim The Fly

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Templar Publishing (1 Jun 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1848774532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848774537

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. But this mission impossible starts to look easy in comparison to Matt's other challenge: to swim the 100-yard butterfly and impress the gorgeous Kelly West.

I was recently given the opportunity to receive an advanced review copy of Swim the Fly by Don Calame. The blurb spoke of a YA novel for boys, full of laughs and surprising heart. I found a lot more in this book; a complex message hidden beneath glib dialogue and teenage drama.

This book is a must for any lover of the genre. It is a sure hit for boys, with characters they will no doubt be able to relate to and situations familiar. For the female persuasion, the book is a unique chance to peer into the inner workings of the teenage boy. And ladies, this is an invaluable opportunity.

The character of Matt is a sweet one, sincere if not a little misguided. With friends, Coop and Sean, Matt goes through a summer of firsts. The first girl he gets seriously interested in, the first strains of a previously unstrained friendship, the realisations that sometimes the truth is the better way, and of course, the determination to spot their first naked girl.

This book was reminiscent of American Pie. Horn-dog teenage boys and a sure-to-be catastrophic pact makes the story comic gold. I laughed out loud numerous times during this read, caught myself wrinkling my nose in disgust and inching closer to the pages as the male psyche had me intrigued.

It answered a lot of the age-old questions about boys: do they really think about sex THAT much? Are they really THAT disgusting? Do they really think THAT’S what it takes to get a girl? The answers are endless, but heed this warning well, not all the answers are ones we want!

What surprised me about this book was the big, beating heart at its centre.  I was warned about the softer side, but being primarily a book about three teenagers determined to get their first glimpse of a naked girl, I figured, hot soft could it be? Turns out, pretty soft. There was no mush, but a softer side nonetheless. It isn’t shoved in your face, more like lies underneath the surface, gently whispering what you realise you actually knew all along.

No matter your age or sex, you will go on a journey of discovery with Matt as he figures out not everyone will react the way you expect them to, and how to look beyond what was in front of you all along.

The hair-brained and disastrous schemes will have you rolling around in your seat, the cringe-worthy moments making you feel so mortified it was as if it was happening to you. But the happy moments will light a little warm fire in your belly that not even a thug like Tony Grillo can put out.  

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