Hartland Series Update

We’ve been real quiet on all our social media websites lately. We apologize for it, but the simple truth is we’re struggling with writing. There have been far too many days where we haven’t written a single word. A part of that is because of the struggle it’s been in finishing Book 5 in the Hartland series. It’s kind of funny to think about. Books 1-4 came oh so easily. Book 5? Nope. Not in the slightest.

Part of the struggle is trying to combine all the pieces and make sense of all the story lines in the books. A lot happened in books 1-4. I have many plans for book 5. We’re over 50k in words, so not too bad of progress, but it’s taken quite a while to get there. Also, things just kind of keep happening to the characters I didn’t plan on. He He. With that said, I have to rework some of the plot because of what happened and probably come up with a new ending. What happened was just too good to remove. Other writers will know what I’m talking about. Characters truly have a mind of their own!

My aim is to finish the first draft by the end of September! Here’s to hoping I can do that and not get snagged on plot holes and plot developments. Characters need to do what they’re supposed to do! Silly people.

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Perseverance

As much as we love writing, we have another writing confession…. We also hate it. We have a love/hate relationship with writing. There are some days we absolutely love writing and can hammer out 5,000 words or more on a project. And then, there are days where we can barely write 50 words. That’s okay though. The thing is as long as you continue to write and plug away at your WIP, even if it’s only 50 words at a time, it will eventually get done. The important thing is that you keep working at it. Never give up, even if sometimes writing is difficult. It took us a while to admit it, even to ourselves, but it’s okay to admit something is difficult, even if it’s your chosen career path. Things are going to be difficult some days. There’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, it’s those difficult days that help us grow as writers.

For us, the best written scenes are the ones we struggle with. We like to think it’s because it’s such a struggle and we have to sit there and think precisely what we want to write. Often times, we delete sentences or paragraphs and start over in these scenes.

We know we’ve written a few posts like this in the past, but it’s something every writer needs a reminder about from time to time. I know we do. Sometimes we get so caught up in the idea “we should be writing” that we forget writing isn’t everything. It’s only a part of who we are. So, if there are days you can only hammer out a few words then there are days like that. It isn’t something we should really, really worry about unless we’re under a deadline because of a contract.

Enjoy life. Enjoy writing. Don’t give up.

Book Review: Rest for the Wicked: The Clair Wiche Chronicles Book 1

Rest For The Wicked - The Claire Wiche Chronicles Book 1 by [Dean, Cate]

4 out of 5 stars

This was a pleasant and quick read. It is paranormal romance. Apparently, despite a few other books I’ve read and haven’t enjoyed, am coming around to the genre. It was about a woman named Claire Wiche who has a deep secret she has kept from those close to her, namely Annie. There is magic involved. And, Claire Wiche, is not a witch. I don’t want to say more than that. It would give away a pretty important piece of the book and I’m not into revealing spoilers.

All you need to know is that the story was a good story, kind of dorky in places, but good nonetheless. The characters in the story were unique, meaning they weren’t the same character with different names. I have read too many novels like that, and in my earlier WIPS have written like this, too. It’s annoying, but not something you have to worry about in this short novel. With that being said, the first book is appropriately priced. The others I feel are a bit pricey for the short read that they are. Be prepared to want to buy the others though as this book does end with a cliffhanger.

A Writing Confession

We haven’t written anything in 3 days! That’s saying something for us. We always write something, even if it’s only a paragraph or just a sentence. But, it’s been 3 days since either of us have wanted to write. Sometimes, although we love to write, we need to take a break from it. While we’ve taken this break, it feels as if we’re a little more refreshed and focused now.

Life is supposed to be enjoyable, and so is writing. But when writing starts to feel like something else, one needs to take a break from it and reflect on why it’s feeling different. Writing, for us, isn’t supposed to feel like a chore, not when we’ve always loved writing and creating new worlds and people. However, writing had started to feel like it was something we HAD to do, and it’s because we lost focus. We were focusing more on the end result than on the enjoyable process of creating and writing. We were starting to write for other people. That’s something neither of us have ever wanted to do. We want to write the stories we want to write, not what we think others want us to. The reason we write for ourselves is because we know not everyone is going to like our stories or the way we write. That’s okay as long as we like it.

On a side note, it’s also nice to know there are people out there who enjoy our stories. We are fortunate enough to have a few fans who absolutely love our stories and we always look forward to hearing from them. We also enjoy hearing from others who have stumbled across one of our novels.

Now that we refocused our priorities again, the pages and stories are coming easier again. Thank goodness! Hopefully, we won’t slip again.  I’m not saying that we won’t. We’re only human. The important thing is we try not to lose our focus and that we continue to enjoy doing what we do.

A note to other writers out there. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Writing is hard enough without the extra harsh criticism coming from ourselves. It’s okay to be critical of your own work, but don’t become so critical of it, you start to hate doing what you do. Chances are, even if you go over your manuscript a thousand times, there’s going to be some mistake in there that someone will point out. It’s okay. I’ve read a few traditionally published books that had several mistakes in them. I’ve read indie books with only one or two. It all depends on the editor. Mistakes happen and are easily overlooked sometimes. Just remember to enjoy yourself. Life is too short for anything less.

 

Book Review: To Catch a Bad Guy

To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series Book 1) by [Astor, Marie]

2 out of 5 stars

Oh my gosh, where to begin? There was so much about this book that I didn’t care for. Too much character background that bogged down the story, not enough of a plot line to even be considered a story, and a whole bunch of boring.

Janet Maple, the main character in this books, seems like all she can do is whine. It was so irritating to keep reading. I’m not even certain why I continued to do so. Dennis Walker, a guy trying to uncover fraud, isn’t any better. He knows he’s good looking and can get girls and blah, blah, blah… Tom Wyman, the lawyer, Bostoff’s securities hires to cover their tracks, also knows this. To me Tom and Dennis are basically the same guy, only one is trying to catch bad buys and the other is a bad guy. That was the only difference in character.  Lisa Foley, supposedly Janet’s friend, is a self-centered, money grubbing lady. Jon Bostoff, is also greedy and decided to go into questionable business just so he can up his social standing. Oh and everyone seems to be on a diet and trim or fit. I felt as if the characters were really one dimensional.

 

 

Book Review: Loss of Reason

Loss Of Reason: A Thriller (State Of Reason Mystery, Book 1) by [Maxwell, Miles A.]

3 out of 5 stars

I wasn’t all the impressed with this book. I kept reading hoping it would get better. It’s supposed to be in the thriller/mystery genre and it just didn’t do it for me. The only mystery there was in this book was who launched the nuclear attack. Everything else was just kind of meh.

The writing wasn’t horrible. That was a big highlight. If the writing hadn’t been as good as it was, I probably wouldn’t have finished this book.

Anyway, the story line follows two brothers, Everon and Franklin, who are only step brothers and are connected through their sister, Cynthia. The two brothers go into New York City, where the attack happened, to look for their sister. As they do this, they end up saving some people from the subway and some people on the road trying to flee. As you continue to read, you see the situation through some random peoples’ eyes as well. For me, this part took me out of the story more than anything else.

The ending wasn’t really an ending. I know it was meant to be a cliffhanger to get you to buy the second book, but there just wasn’t any kind of ending to the book. It just ended and left me dismayed. However, since I did finish it and there was nothing wrong with the writing, I gave it 3 stars. Maybe someone who reads this genre will like it? I can’t honestly say as the book left me disappointed.

The False Gods Release Date

I was to have book 4 of the Hartland, The False Gods, series published already but one of my beta readers was delayed. I still haven’t heard back from them…. So, what I’m going to do since I’ve gotten the green light on the other beta readers is press forward. I shouldn’t have waited this long for them, especially if they don’t have the common courtesy to email me or shoot me a Facebook message telling me something like “life got in the way, sorry I didn’t finish your book”, or “I didn’t like the book and I have no good things to say about it”. That’s two things I cannot stand: lack of courtesy and lack of communication. I know they’re not dead as they’ve been on Facebook posting things. Otherwise, I’d be concerned.

Anyway, we’re aiming for a release date of July 12th! Just 6 days away. I wanted to read through the manuscript one more time, looking for any mistakes I may have missed. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book so I’m coming to it with a fresh set of eyes. I’m so excited to reveal the 4th book in the 5 book series. Book 5 is already halfway through its first draft as well. For those of you who may have forgotten what the cover looks like, here it is. Enjoy your day. I have a busy few days ahead of me!

The False Gods Cover 2