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Monday, January 31, 2011

Contest Day: Marvelously Mysterious Monday

Happy Monday Everyone,

Today (at last!) marks the kick off of Write By Bethany's 25+ Followers Celebration! I've been so excited about this contest, it's been really hard not to tell you all everything that's planned; however, I thought it would be more fun to reveal everything slowly rather than all at once. (FYI:  Make sure you read this WHOLE blog post before you comment!)

As stated in last Friday's post about how the contest week would be run, you will have until 9:30 p.m. Central Time to post your comment in order to enter today's drawing for Monday's fabulous prize. (Those of you on the Pacific Coast, this means you have until 7:30 p.m., those on the Eastern Coast, until 10:30 p.m.). So up until 9:30 p.m. Central Time, you, my dear readers, will have a chance to enter for today's drawing.

Here's how today works:

The prize is supplied by the awesome mystery author, Laura Childs. Here's the most incredible twist about today's prize...it's not even released yet! The prize is her upcoming (March 1, 2011 release) of her newest Tea Shop Mystery novel, Scones & Bones

Since it doesn't release for awhile, you'll have to wait to get it, but I didn't think anyone who enters today's drawing would mind that. (I know I wouldn't!)

A little background on Laura Childs:  I interviewed Laura in April of 2010. She was my second author interview and she has 3 different mystery series out (all with imaginative characters and locations--including: the Midwest, Charleston (Historical District), and New Orleans).

To win today's prize here's what you need to do:

FIRST:  Give me your first name (or nickname, especially if there's someone else who has the same first name as you who already commented).

SECOND:  This is extremely important:  I will need your email address. If you do not supply your email address with your comment and name you will be disqualified from being in the drawing (I hate to disqualify anyone, but email is how I'm getting the mailing information from the winner to give to Laura Childs so she can send the winner the prize, so it's in your best interest to make sure I have your email address).

THIRD:  FOR FUN:  Tell me in your comment what intrigues you about mystery novels?

I will leave the contest open until 9:30 p.m. Central Time. After that, I will throw every one's name (and email addresses) into a container of some sort and draw ONE winner. I will notify that person by email they have one and request their mailing information to give to Laura Childs. I will be emailing from bethany.averie@yahoo.com so be sure you're not blocking that email address. Tomorrow I will announce on here who that winner is and what the contest will be like for Tuesday.

If you have any questions, please email me.

Hope everyone has fun! I can't wait to draw the winner :-)

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just A Little Note About Next Week...

Happy Friday Everyone,


Today is not the beginning of the contest (contest starts MONDAY, January 31, 2011--the last day will be on Friday, February 4, 2011 ), but I wanted to explain how the contest will be run.


Okay, as I’ve been doing all week…I’m going to reveal another/more hint(s) about next week’s contest.


First of all, the title of the contest is: Write By Bethany’s 25+ Followers Celebration.


Second of all, each day is going to have a theme.


Third of all, unless I get a late donor, not every day will have a prize--which means you have to check back each day not only to see if there IS a prize, but to find out what it is and who’s donating it.  ***CORRECTION:  When I originally wrote this, I did NOT have a prize for each day of the contest, but that changed and I just never got around to fixing this until now (edited on 02/05/2011 12:25 a.m.).


The contest will be run this way:


Each day I will request that those entering do the following:


First: I’ll ask for your first name (but please, please, please check the comments and make sure there’s not someone else with the same first name…if there is you can either use a nickname, or put your first name with your middle or last initial).


Second: I’ll need your email address. Without it I have NO way of contacting you to tell you how to claim your prize. So you MUST put in your email address with your comment if you want to enter that day’s drawing (any comment I receive that does NOT have an email address for the person commenting will be disqualified--I'd hate to disqualify anyone, so please be sure to do this each day I announce a drawing).


Then I’ll ask a for a fun comment. For instance, say the theme of the day has something to do with cats (none of the themes have anything to do with cats, so this is just an example). I would say something like:  For Fun: Tell me something funny about cats. Or what do you like about cats?


By the way, I’m only putting each name in ONE time for the drawing, so even if you comment more than once--you’re just entered one time.


Be sure to check the post for each day for theme, information on how to enter, and what the prize is (if there’s a prize). Can’t wait to see everyone’s comments next week!


If you have any questions please either email me or write them in the comment section. I'll be checking back here throughout the weekend as my "real world" obligations allow, so I'll be sure to answer any questions/comments.


Have A Fabulous Friday!

Never A Dull Moment

Happy Thursday All,

Tomorrow's Friday, which means the weekend is almost here. (I think I hear cheering in the background somewhere LOL).

I finished one of the books that I'm going to be reviewing, but I won't be posting the review until sometime in mid-February or something like that. Now I have to read the other book for the other review. I was looking forward to reading both books, which makes it all the more fun.

My offspring has a bit of a cold and last night was hard on everyone 'cause offspring was having trouble staying asleep. Husband took 'em to the doc today and found out we just keep doing what we do and my kid should be better soon. So last night wasn't a lot of sleep, but I did get some napping in today. Which is good. And it doesn't look like the doc expects this to stick around real long.

Tomorrow I'm going to be posting some very important details pertaining to next week's contest (which starts on Monday, January 31, 2011!) so be sure to check up here tomorrow.

In the meantime...

If you could live any book that you love, which story would you want to live?

Have A Thoughtful Thursday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Growing And Growing...

Happy Wednesday All,

Another prize donation came in today. This contest just keeps getting bigger--which is fine...I'm excited and I hope you are, too!

Later this week I will be posting more detailed information about how the contest next week will work. Yes, the contest will be held NEXT WEEK! Starting Monday, January 31, 2011. Also, each day I will have information on how the contest is being done for that particular day (this thing is so big each day has it's own theme).

I've also decided that if I get more than 5 prize donations, I'll extend it out one or two days extra (no more than that because I have a special something planned on one of the days of the 2nd week in February).

Also, I have 2 book reviews coming up for new releases.

So there's a lot happening on here and I want every one of my readers to have a chance to be a part of it.

We've talked heroines and heroines...let's talk side kicks (or "window characters"):

What do you like in a side kick/window character? Do you prefer humorous or serious? Someone who reveals deep dark secrets or someone with compassion? How loyal do those characters have to be or do you like them to be the villains?

Have A Wondrous Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If You Thought Yesterday Was A Hint...

Happy Tuesday Folks,

Oh. My. Gosh. This contest, as I like to say, "rocks my socks". I'm not through putting together details (I'm giving myself and the people involved some space to check up on one part of it). But the prizes that are being donated are gonna be good!

I can't list the prizes (yet), but I'm telling you, those that are donating (and I can't reveal them, yet, either) are really generous beings and they have my most heartfelt gratitude for helping me out in that area.

So far I do know I will be running this contest 3 days--giving away something every day, which is fabulous, because then I can have a new winner and really get this party going.

Other than author interviews, (which I got one scheduled for February, and working on scheduling a March one) I've never done anything this big on my blog before. (LOL, unless you want to count the times I posted parodies that I wrote).

So far it looks like I'll run the contest next week--I'll let you know if that changes. (Yes, when I said soon, I meant it).

Gather your friends, gather all readers, and writers...this is gonna be big. Maybe a little cheesy (because I like cheesy--and besides we have to have a little fluff in our lives) but it's also a really awesome thing.

This week will be preparation week. I hope to run this contest next week.

But be sure to check back here daily for updates and news.

Oh and while you're at it...

Since yesterday was about heroes...let's talk heroines. What makes a good heroine in your eyes? Do you have a favorite, and if so, who?

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hint, Hint, Hint

Happy Monday Folks,

I'm going to drop another hint or two about this year...

I got big plans for a contest to celebrate 25 plus followers on this blog. I can't give out much details at this point, but it would behoove you (another great word, "behoove") to check up here often...for I may be running the contest this week or next week or the week after or we'll-see-when (but it'll be soon)...you just never know. I'm "hammering" out the details at the moment. But trust me, when I say soon, I mean very soon.

I have a date set in February for an author interview (not telling who it is or when, you'll just have to come back and find out *grins*) This author wants to run a contest in conjunction with the interview, so the day of, you'll want to be on here to comment so you might be able to win the prize the author is offering.

I'm working on finishing up a book for a book review (can't tell you who or what, yet). And I was told by another author I should be receiving their book soon to review (can't tell you who or what on that one, yet, either). So I've got a lot of reading to do.

Today I want to kick off the week by talking about heroes. What's one of your favorite heroes (from a book you read) and why? What do you look for in a hero? (please say which book your hero comes from).

Make sure check back here often. As you can see, BIG plans are in process :-)

Have A Monumental Monday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why Romance?

Happy Friday All,

I don't know if you all were ever asked the question about why you write the genre you do. But, it's a good thing to contemplate. (I can't remember if I have been asked that one, myself).

Genres, like anything else in the writing/publishing world, are part of the author's brand. It's how readers identify you (not just by name) among the sea of other authors.

I write Paranormal Romance. Often I have elements of fantasy in them. Why?

Well...

I like the idea of making up my own world and having creatures that don't exist on my plane of reality. I like going beyond the real into the unreal (hence what my blog says). Elements of fantasy are in there because who doesn't like a little magic in their lives mixed in with the shape shifters, witches, vampires?

I write in the Romance genre because I've always been a romantic. I'm one of those "sweet romance" types. I love the whole guy-can't-get-girl-out-of-his-head-because-he's-falling-in-love-with-her and girl-likes-guy-and-falling-for-him. You give me a story about boy-meets-girl and it's sweet I'll treasure it. (I don't know how many times I read Lurlene MacDaniel's Don't Die, My Love despite the fact I found it sad).

Ever since it came out, I've read Debbie Macomber's The Perfect Christmas over again.

Plus, I've gotten my hands on a lot of the versions of Cinderella and Beauty And The Beast. (Not all the versions, but a lot of them).

I even wrote 2 versions of retelling of Beauty And The Beast before I hit my 30's. (One version was in high school--not very good. The second version was early 20's; it was better, but of course, needed some work).

I don't really write retellings anymore, and the ones I did write aren't for the public eye (mostly because I lost them and because I don't think I'd try publishing them anyway).

But the influence is always there. I like dark brooding males (not all my heroes are like that, though). I like the whole damsel-in-distress (sure, she can rescue herself, but sometimes she needs some help...hence the hero jumping in and saving her).

That's why I've chosen the romance genre and paranormal as my writing niche...although, in all honesty, it kinda chose me--because I don't think I'd enjoy writing quite so much if the hero and heroine weren't falling in love.

So, you tell me...why'd you chose the genre you did to write (and/or read)?

Have A Fantastical Friday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Happy Thursday All,

Normally I'd post earlier in the day, but blog post ideas were eluding me (gotta love that word "elude").

My goal this year for the blog is not only to report on author things abounding around us (and my progress/processes) but also to spoil my readers (and myself).

I'm working on lining up something that's a treat, but I'm not going to say what it is--it's a surprise, but I'm practically giddy about it. (Actually there's more than one thing coming in the next couple of months that I'm excited about).

Also, I want to hear from you. Is there something in particular you want me to touch on? If so, please let me know. Is there something I've talked about or done that you want to see again? Include it in the comment section as well.

Have A Thrilling Thursday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Take A Trip Down Memory Lane...

Happy Wednesday All,

Do you remember some of your favorite childhood books? The ones that you read over and over and still could read again?

There's a few that come to mind for me. One such series is the Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Maud based her characters on real life counterparts (and sometimes more than one) and the happenings on things that happened in her life and around her. I didn't know this until they reprinted them and added a history section in the back of the books. All I know is, growing up, I read them over and over and pored over a bunch of the pictures. I didn't get to read the last one, Betsy's Wedding until I was probably in high school because I couldn't find it. There's even a Betsy-Tacy Society, which is also something I didn't know until I was older.

Another book which comes to mind is Cheaper By The Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Cary. There's been movies made based on this book and there's even a sequel to the book called Belles On Their Toes by the same authors. (I've read both books, and I like the first book best). Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt star in movies based off the books, although, not the actual stories from the books (still good movies, though).

So, what are some of your favorite childhood books?

Have A Wandering Wednesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

News & Happenings

Happy Monday All,

Okay first of all...anybody in or near the Houston area who's a writer I have a big scoop for y'all:  The NWHRWA is going to have Alicia Rasley, an author and editor, speak for an all-day workshop. Price is for NWHRWA members: $20 for non-members:  $25. Be sure to check the link for the Program Coordinator for questions. (Please double-check with the Program Coordinator about prices and everything including directions and location).

Now news doesn't end there...


CC Hunter will be debuting her YA series with her first one, Born At Midnight on March 29th.


Author PJ Mellor will have her new erotica, Island Nights come out on March 1st.


Mystery author, Laura Childs has a new Tea Shop Mystery entitled, Scones & Bones coming out in the beginning of March, as well.


Do you have any news you'd like to tell? Please share it in the comment section! I read every comment I see come in and respond to all of them. If I miss your comment for some reason, I'm sorry! You can always email me the comment. Please be sure to put in the subject line: Comment On Write By Bethany or Writing Question For Bethany so I know it's not spam :-)


Have A Marvelous Monday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

How Very Punny!

Happy Friday All,

Well now we're well into 2011. I wish I'd remember to change positions more at night, then I wouldn't wake up so stiff and sore, but oh well.

I don't know how many of you all like jokes (bad/good/punny) or how many of you put them in your writing. (Christie Craig makes her work hysterical without cracking a joke). 

Sometimes during a story they crack a joke to make a point. 

So which are you? Are you the subtle approach? Or do you come right out with a joke? 

Have A Funny Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Big 25!

Happy Thursday Everyone,

Whoo-hoo this blog has recorded 25 followers! I want to celebrate.

So...

I'm trying to come up with something good for a contest or a prize or whatever to mark the occasion.

While I'm working on that (and my manuscripts in the process of being written) perhaps you might share what you're working on that you're excited about?

Have A Thrilling Thursday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did I Miss Something?

Happy Tuesday All,

For some reason someone is sending me spam having to do with "Duct Tape Addicts". I'm not sure why, I can't figure it out.

We don't use Duct Tape that often. In fact, we only use it when we really, really need it--which is probably once or twice per year. If that.

Maybe they're concerned we're not addicts. Maybe it's to encourage us to use more duct tape.

Or maybe it's an underhanded way of trying to inspire me. (Not sure how that's supposed to work).

What sort of spam email do you get that you can't figure out why you're getting it? Have you thought of a creative reason why you might need said email?

Have A Toe-Tapping Tuesday!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Face Off -- Fear Versus Willpower

Happy Monday Everybody,

Every writer has a fear or had a fear they have to face down (or had to face down). Some on a continual basis, and some once or only a few times.

It's okay to be nervous. It's okay to be concerned on whether or not your story is strong enough to withstand the critical eyes of the General Public, but unless you work on your craft, get those critiques, do those edits, and put yourself out there, you're getting nowhere in the business. All you're getting is fear.

Every author has to face down his or her fears. Just because an author has "made it" doesn't mean they weren't nervous/worried/scared/overwhelmed at one point or another. The difference is, they chose not to be debilitated by it. Those authors chose, instead, to say "Hello fear, nice to meet ya. Now, go away, I'm a professional and I got work to do."

You can overcome your fears. But only you can do it. Nobody else can smack that fear over the head with the sword of willpower thus vanquishing it for you. You have to pick up your sword and slay the dragon of fear yourself.

However, you're in good company. Any number of authors will understand. They'll encourage you while you do that 10th edit on the same chapter you were editing last week, simply because it just won't come together just yet. There are those who will offer you support when you get that rejection slip and have to pick up and send off a new query.

Authors do need that support. That's why there's writers' groups, critique partners, critique groups, conferences, workshops and contests and a myriad of other materials for aspiring and published authors.

So no more fears. You get yourself a writer's group, critique partners/groups, attend conferences, read up and do your research because if you're serious about this business you can't let fear take over. You take over fear and crush it under your will power. It doesn't mean you will never be nervous/fearful/apprehensive, it just means it won't prevent you from following your goal of being a writer and being serious about the business.

Have A Monumental Monday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Inner Workings Part 2

Happy Thursday All,

Wow the first whole work week in the year 2011 is almost over. Time loves to fly (I think it uses Continental or American Airlines--my experience with these airlines has been good, by the way, just in case someone's wondering). Bad joke, I know--goofy sense of humor jumps up again.

Over the years I'd ask this one friend "What if?" Questions. Now, these "What if?" Questions are entirely fine for fiction writers--in fact, they're pretty much a must. Like asking "What if I set this story in the future?" "What if vampires were real?" "What if the heroine was a short, stout elderly woman who bashed people over the head with a cane?" (Okay that last one, I don't know of any author who actually asked themselves that one, and I haven't, but I thought it was funny).

Someone I know once told me (years ago, this might have changed by now) they didn't deal with "What if?" questions. Now, we weren't talking in terms of writing--we were talking about impossible things actually happening in the real world--but not for a story--for reality.

However, if fiction writers quit asking themselves "What if?" they and their readers would be in for a real jam.

Part of writing is asking "What if?" For example, when I was writing SURREAL I asked myself:  "What if the hero and heroine meet in the heroine's dreams?" and "What if they thought the rift would close separating them forever?"

We have to ask those impossible questions as if they're possible because fiction isn't always about what's reality--it's about what makes a good story.

I don't know of any witch who lives in the woods in a Gingerbread House and eats little children, but for Hansel And Gretal it works.

We don't know what the year 3020 will be like, but if Sci-Fi writers quit asking "What if in the year 3020 they had these types of space ships?" Their stories wouldn't get written. Shoot, Gene Roddenberry might not have come up with Star Trek if he didn't explore the possibilities of what was currently impossible.

If you're an accountant and you're working on bookkeeping you obviously can't contemplate "What if?" if the "if" isn't a part of the equation. It wouldn't be realistic and it wouldn't make the bookkeeping accurate.

Or Doctors can't contemplate when they're in the middle of an emergency "What if I could duplicate myself 90 times?" Because they have to focus on the task at hand (and nobody wants an unfocused doctor working on them).

However, for writing and careers like that, the "What if?" question is incredibly important. We must ask ourselves "What if?" every story we write. In fact, nearly every scene and word. Because the minute we quit asking "What if?" and quit looking for possibilities in the impossible, that's the minute our stories quit being open to what could happen.

So...what "What if?" questions do you ask when writing your novels?

Have A Thoughtful Thursday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Inner Workings

Happy Tuesday All,

How do you work as an author? Do you like to plan and plot or do you like to just see what comes? Or do you do a bit of both?

I trend towards a bit of both. Some things are planned (like the basic storyline or what a character looks like) other things just happen (like when I'm writing and I discover one idea doesn't work, but a different one does).

What about you?

Happy writing :-)

Have A Top-Notch Tuesday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

They're Taking Over

Happy Monday All,

The manuscripts I'm working on have something to do with another story I wrote. I hadn't meant for this to happen. I thought the other story would be a "stand alone". It didn't morph into a series (so far), however it's got "companion novels" going now. Two characters from the manuscript already have their own stories in the works--and another is lurking in the background.

In other words, my characters are taking over. I'm being sucked into the world I created without too much of a fight, but it's all rather ironic.

I thought, "Okay, get this one done, and work on the other one I really was hoping to fix up."

Instead, I'm back in the world and other characters have bubbled up to say they have a story for me to tell.

Several people have told me this happens and my Critique Partner even requested I write another character's story (so far that isn't going to happen--however, you never know what the future holds).

So, anyone else get invaded and taken over by their stories? I'm not complaining, I'm just feel like laughing--I'm all rather surprised by it.

Sometimes the unexpected is a gift :-)

Have A Marvelous Monday!