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Monday, March 31, 2014

Kickin' Off Classics Week With Guest Patti Korbet...

Happy Monday Everybody,

Welcome to the first ever Classics Week on Write By Bethany. Each day I will feature a different author. The author for the day will talk about which classic author and book they enjoyed and why, plus whether or not it influenced them. At the end of the post, they will feature one of their own publications for your reading pleasure.

To kick off Classics Week, I've got author Patti Korbet. I met Patti through author Marie Hall's Facebook page. As it turns out, we're both avid Once Upon A Time fans (as well as fans of Marie Hall's work) and started chatting. She's got some interesting things to say about JRR Tolkein, so I'll hush up and let Patti take over...

My childhood memories are filled with moments of fantasy and science fiction, from the cartoons that started our Saturday mornings to the films we saw in the movie theater. Many of those stories were classics of childhood for kids of the 70's and 80's – E.T., The Dark Crystal, The Neverending Story, Legend, Labyrinth, Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, Willow and of course, Star Wars, to name a few. The ritual of watching sci-fi and fantasy together binds my family even now.

Of all those movies, the one animated film of the two genres that always stayed with me was The Hobbit (1977). Before special effects and Peter Jackson could do justice to Middle Earth, the animator's hand gave life to this fantastical world. It stuck with me more than any Disney movie I had ever seen at that point.

Note from Bethany:  I think these were the Ozark Mountains
in Arkansas, but look a little Tolkein-ish!
Years later, a college friend gave me his extra copies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy. I didn't read them immediately, but knew I would – I had loved that little Hobbit Bilbo from my childhood cartoon. Then a coworker loaned me his copy of the original BBC broadcast teleplay of LOTR, and let me tell you, if you've never heard it, you should. What Peter Jackson did for the films, that production did for audio. When I played the last CD, I felt compelled to read all four books. I devoured them.

I knew the story of The Hobbit, of course. But I could not have been prepared for the wonder that enveloped me when my eyes directly consumed J.R.R. Tolkien's words. He wove this fantastical tale of dragons, of demons with names like 'goblin' and 'orc', of elves the size of men, dwarves more complex than Snow White's pals, wise wizards and the small, gentle, half-men known as hobbits. It changed forever how I read fantasy and laid the foundation for the amazing series that followed.

In many ways, The Hobbit was not just the pre-quel to the LOTR saga, it was also the pre-quel to all the fantasy stories that came later. Some, like Harry Potter, nod very directly to Tolkien. But many writers and stories – even those outside fantasy and sci-fi – owe The Hobbit for paving the way to creating worlds that do not exist.

What Tolkien teaches us through The Hobbit is that you can create a wholly fictional universe, and as long as you believe in it, your audience will, too. When that world comes directly from your own imagination, however many words you need to carry the reader into the varied and vivid landscapes and to illuminate the characters, those are the words you must use. I don't write fantasy or sci-fi – not yet – but if I do, I know I'll strive to meet the standard set by The Hobbit and Tolkien.

Until then, you can catch my contemporary romance series, Ward Sisters, about an interconnected group of people. The third book, Right Here Waiting, featuring a strong woman and the soldier who steals her heart, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, where you can also find the first two books.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

If You Say His Name...

Happy Thursday  Everybody,

Recently, I struck a deal with author Marie Hall (which it’s kind of funny for me to say
“struck a deal” given the character of this novel). She was kind and generous enough to allow me the opportunity to read and review her upcoming release, Rumpel’s Prize. 

This novel is filled with suspense, adventure, sizzling romance, and mystery…just like Rumpelstiltskin himself.

Rumpel is a cursed man of darkness. His life is made up of deals, contracts, dancing-around-the-truth, secrets, and loneliness.  He knows nothing else, and in many ways, he revels in his life. After all, he's powerful and he's feared. He gets what he wants and nobody can do a darned thing about it.

But he's a man on a mission. A very important mission, so he travels the land of Kingdom, seeking the answer to his problem. To aid him in his quest is his list of names who have contracts with him.

His travels takes him to the home of Gerard and Betty Caron (you can read their story in Gerard’s Beauty) where their nineteen year old daughter, Shareya lives.

Tucked away from all human contact, Shareya harbors a frustrating and horrible secret. And while she loves her family dearly, the secret has made her life very difficult.

When Rumpel visits, and calls in on the contract her father, Gerard, made with him, Shareya is horrified by the terms with which Rumpel decides to fulfill the bargain. To save her beloved father from Rumpel’s terms, Shareya agrees to take her father’s place and travel with Rumpel to his castle. For three months Shareya will remain at Rumpel’s castle. One day out of each month will be the day of the test—the day she plays Rumpel's game.

Three tests/games, three months. Shareya is determined to fulfill her promise, and return home. Rumpel is equally determined to figure out the answer to his troubles. What neither of them bargained on was love.

The question is, will love be strong enough and real enough to withstand Rumpel’s secrets?  Or will the whole thing tear them apart?

Find out in Marie Hall’s newest release, Rumpel’s Prize on April 1, 2014 (Marie assured me it wasn't a joke) in the Alpha’s After Dark Anthology.

Have A Tremendously Thrilling Day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Little Q & A...

Happy Wednesday All,

Lately I've been talking a lot about my New Adult Paranormal Romance Trilogy that is going to start releasing this June. I've gotten several questions about this and the NA genre and about the new story, so I'm going to answer some of those questions:

What is New Adult (NA)?


Based on what I've seen and heard, the genre is exactly as the name suggests:  The characters are new adults. They are typically in the age range of 18 to 25, facing new adult situations.

Why did you write an NA novel?

Well, that's kind of a funny story. My critique partner was the first person to suggest it to me. Originally she suggested YA, but I found my writing ended up being a New Adult.

I also challenged myself to write third person, past tense (the way most novels are written) as opposed to first person, present tense (which is how I wrote All's Fair In Love & Lion). One thing led to another and the Immortal Dreams Trilogy came into being.


Will you write more Romance novels?

I hope to. It's definitely on my list of things to write. I mean I've been talking about wanting to finish Loralyn's story, right? (Loralyn Xavier is a character in All's Fair In Love & Lion). I'm also thinking of another story to take place in the Third Realm. And yes, the plan is for Sasha and Monroe to make cameo appearances--although the stories won't be primarily about them.

What is the Immortal Dreams Trilogy about?

It's about Laney Alberts and Erich Magnus.  Laney is a show tune lover (but don't underestimate her!) and Erich is all about rock n' roll (but he's also full of surprises). Yes, it's set it modern times, although that's not really a big aspect in the novel. 

I loved writing these characters. Their personalities were a lot of fun. I'm really excited about Book 1 coming out this Summer. My publisher said to me "I think it will appeal to a wide range of readers." Which I really do hope is true. I poured my heart into this story and had a lot of fun with it. I got to pull from my love of Greek/Roman Mythology and do some re-imagining, too. I haven't written a novel where I was able to do these things, and so I was excited to be able to.

Was it hard to write in the NA genre?

Writing in the New Adult genre freshened me up as an author. I had to get away from the Third Realm for a bit--my brain needed a break. I also discovered I really enjoy writing this way. I went back to a novel I've been working on for about 5 years and made it over into an New Adult. I can't wait to finish that novel.


As with any story, there have been good days and bad days. It doesn't matter what genre you write. There are going to be times the story works well and times you think it's not working at all. It just depends on the story and the day.

The thing with writing is, you have to take the good and bad together. You can't just think it's all going to be hearts and flowers all the time. There's tough critiques, rejection letters, and tough reviews. But then there are the times the story just seems to pour from you, people who tell you how much they enjoy your work, and times you get awesome feedback that
makes you want to get up and do a happy dance.

Whatever genre I'm writing in, there are days I'm happy with it and days it can be a struggle. However, I'm passionate about writing and reading, so I keep going, which is good. If you're going to be a professional writer you have to have a passion for it. It can't be a hobby. 

Do you have any questions for me? Put them in the comments below and I'll respond in the comment section.

Have A Wonderfully Winsome Wednesday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Events & Updates...

Happy Tuesday All,

The time stamp probably says Monday, but this post is actually meant for Tuesday. 

I'm so excited about next week (well, I'm also excited about something on this blog for THIS week, but I'll explain that later in this post) Why am I excited about next week? Because I've got this huge blog event ON HERE going on!  I'm going to be featuring different authors (many of which I haven't read, yet!) And just wait until you hear the topic. I think this is going to be fun! Be sure to stay tuned to see what's up.


On the writing front, I'm working on edits that I got from a critique on one of my WIPs. (Work In Progress).  It's slow going, but hopefully it'll be done soon. I've made some progress, but I still have several pages left to go. My publisher is expecting this novel to be turned in by May. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get it in on time, and I'm glad that I have a good portion of April to finish up and work on any touch-ups before I send it out.

This week I will have another official blog book review. One (because I have several favorites) of my favorite authors was nice enough to let me have a copy of her upcoming release. I'm very excited to be able to do this. So make sure you also stay tuned this week to see what book I'm reviewing and which author it is! 


As to other things...


The weather down here in Texas is still exhibiting indecisive behavior. However, I do know that eventually it will settle into hot and humid until probably sometime in October. So the cooler weather is a must to enjoy, but at least we don't have to contend with snow, ice, or frozen pipes, so I guess it's a matter of count your blessings!

Have A Tremendously Terrific Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wine, Tea, & Mystery...

Happy Thursday All,


When I wrote yesterday's post I didn't realize I would finish the novel I was reading in time to do a review this week, however, it appears I underestimated myself.  So today, I have a special treat, an official blog book review.

I've been doing official blog book reviews for Laura Childs for sometime now. I've enjoyed reading her novels and telling you
all about them. This time, she sent me the published version of the novel and not the ARC (which is okay) so the novel I'm about to tell you about is already available.

Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop is back in the newest Tea Shop Mystery...

While attending a wine tasting with her friend and shop colleague, Theodosia, Drayton, and the rest of the guests at the Knighthall Winery event, are treated to an unfortunate event. The moment Jordan, the owner of Knighthall Winery, goes to open the barrel of the newest wine, everyone is aghast when Jordan's son, Drew's body pours out of it along with the wine.


What should have been a fun evening turns into an investigation of murder.

Drayton, who is friends with Jordan, joins Knighthall Winery's owner in begging Theodosia to put her sleuthing skills to work to solve the mystery.

However, where does she start? The stepmother, Pandora, who has her eye on a new deal with a Japanese distributor? The manager of
Knighthall who is ready to jump ship? Or the girlfriend, Tanya, a model who didn't have a good relationship with the stepmother?

Aside from those closest to Drew, there's a myriad of other people. There's a number of businesses who have had their eye on the Knighthall Winery property, as well.

The plot thickens the further Theodosia gets involved. The question is, is it possible to solve the mystery or will it become a cold case?

The wine is flowing, the tea is being poured, and everyone has an opinion about everyone else.

The whole thing seems Steeped In Evil.

Fans of Laura Childs will welcome this new addition and enjoy not just mystery, but mouthwatering descriptions of tea, amazing concoctions made by Theodosia's cook/baker, Hailey, town gossip, and more.



Look for Steeped In Evil at Amazon and Barnes & Noble today; or click here for information on availability of the novel in other formats.

Have A Thrillingly Tempting Thursday!

The Writing Career...

Happy Wednesday All,

I hope everyone is doing well this March and enjoyed/enjoying their
Spring Break. We've had some sun and some rain, some cold and some warm weather. Basically, I think our weather has some kind of indecision problem. Either that, or it got into someone's liquor cabinet and is completely drunk. I'll let you decide which scenario best fits.

There's a couple of blog-related things coming up that should be fun, I've got 2 official blog book reviews in the works. One I'm planning to post next week, and one I'm going to post as soon as I can (I'm currently reading the novel).

On the writing front, I got the critiques back on one of my WIPs and I'll be working on that. I'm awaiting first round edits for book 1 in my Immortal Dreams Trilogy. I'm also waiting on cover art (I've already turned in the forms for all 3 books--each book will be released separately, though).

By the way, Immortal Dreams Book 1: Divine Love has a release date!  My publisher and me are looking at June 18th of this year for Book 1 to be released. As with All's Fair In Love & Lion, the novel will first be released to Amazon Kindle, then somewhere around 6-9 months later will go into print form.

As soon as I have a date for the print version of All's Fair In Love & Lion I'll announce that. At the moment, the only thing I know is that my publisher thought it would be sometime in April.  (Several people have asked me about the print version, and I'm looking forward to it being available to those who want--plus it'll be fun to have a "hard copy" of the novel!)

Funny thing I've encountered as a writer is how many people say to me "I could NEVER do what you do."  The thing is, anyone who can string together a coherent sentence can write. The question is, do you have the passion, drive, and determination to do this? Can you face endless hours of editing? What about rejection? Rejection hurts--even when it's a "good" rejection, even when you learn from it, it's hard to hear "This isn't right for us." 

It is a tough job. But it's one of the most fascinating things I've done in my life. There's something so freeing about letting my imagination run where it will. Whether I'm contemplating the next book, or the next scene, or how to fix something, it gives my imagination a chance to do exactly what it likes to do--create and image.


I guess I don't consider it especially difficult (there are difficult days, but the writing career itself is what I mean) because it's something I do every day (even if I'm not physically writing, I'm thinking about it). It's something I've pretty much done most of my life. 

In the end, it's a matter of perspective. What others view as "impossible" I think "Why not?" and the things I think "I don't have the patience for that." other people are like "Oh, it's no big deal." Everything depends on what your talents are and what you're passionate about.

If writing is something you're into, keep the passion brightly lit. Stay determined. And as so many other authors say:  "Don't give up." The minute you give up, is the minute you quit being a writer/author.

Happy reading and writing everybody. :-)

Have A Wonderfully Whimsical Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review Policy

Dear Readers & Fellow Authors:

Based on some current events (where I was asked to do a review and had to say no) I decided it was time to post a review policy. In the right hand margin of my blog (if you arrow down a bit) you will see my review policy, complete with a list of authors I regularly do official blog book reviews for.

I didn't want to do this. I hate making rules and telling people "No, I can't help you." I didn't need rules before because nobody who I couldn't say yes to asked me for a review (in fact, official blog book reviews are generally because I approached the author myself and we worked out an agreement).  But, given what I said in the previous paragraph, it had to be done, especially now. I'm incredibly busy with the Trilogy and other writing projects, and work for critique partner(s), plus my real life.

Hopefully this will clear up confusion I've encountered.

Also, I apologize if you're an author who is not on the list. It's not meant as a personal offense, it's just the list of authors are ones that I've talked to personally and worked out an agreement with.

Thank you for understanding and happy writing/reading.

Sincerely,
Bethany Averie