If you've never attended this FREE event, you simply must this year.
Downtown Glendale on Friday and Saturday January 30 & 31st
I'll be there signing along with dozens of amazing authors. Stop by and see us as you make your way through a maze of chocolate vendors and dancing revelers.
We'll also have free workshops for writers going on all day Saturday. Ig you've been thinking about writing or want to improve your craft, you don't want to miss any of them. The schedule is below.
10 AM Workshop: Isabelle Clayton Bio: Isabella Clayton is a psychic medium, paranormal investigator, writer, artist and speaker. She has seen human spirits, non-human entities and things that go bump in the night since childhood. Her psychic abilities have always been a part of her. At three, she would speak with relatives or friends on her play telephone and tell her Mom when they would be having company. Mom always made sure she scrambled to clean the house. Throughout the years, Isabella has continued to develop her abilities so that she could help people. She has helped people (adults and children) with night terrors, with any kind of haunting, readings or by speaking with friends/family that have passed to the other side. A few years ago she wanted to understand the science side and has since joined several paranormal investigating groups. This has helped her with debunking skills, and has increased her exposure with the spiritual possession. When she’s not traveling around the country with her guy, she’s at home with her cats, friends and family having the time of her life. Workshop: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Paranormal World Avoid the pitfalls when writing about the paranormal world. We'll explore the differences in the entities and explain the latest investigation techniques. 11AM Workshop: Hips Don't Lie by Carolyn Hughey/K.T. Roberts SYLLABUS Communication is at the very heart of everything we do regardless of whether it's verbal or non-verbal. In this inter-active workshop, K. T. Roberts focuses on teaching you how to read signals to help you make your characters jump off the pages of your next novel. BIO Multi-published author Carolyn Hughey aka K. T. Roberts has a varied background where from time-to-time, public speaking played a role. From training cooking classes in her home, to teaching young chefs how to operate their businesses, she enjoyed sharing her knowledge with her students in a fun-filled classroom environment. 12PM (Noon) Workshop: Ethan Erway Biography: Ethan Russell Erway is the author of the ADVENTURES OF MICHAEL BELMONT, a young adult fantasy/adventure series, THE BLEEDING STAR CHRONICLES, a Science Fiction adult novella serial, and BLOWING OFF STEAM, a Western Steampunk adventure series. He has been a #1 amazon bestselling author in several categories, including Young Adult Religious Fiction and Science Fiction- Space Opera. Ethan has been a life-long fan of science fiction and fantasy, and began writing short comedic stories in middle school. He published his first novel in 2011. He is a regular participant in Phoenix Comicon and other sci-fi/fantasy conventions. He is currently the Minister at Agua Fria Christian Church in Humboldt, AZ where he lives with his wife and children.
Blurb Movie Arcs for Novels- How to Write the Best Stories in Your Genre Have you ever been watching your favorite movie and thought, "I wish I could write something this great"? The good news is, you can! Join #1 amazon bestselling author Ethan Russell Erway as he discusses how to extract essential plot points from your favorite works of fiction, whatever the genre. From Romance to Action/Adventure, from Paranormal Romance to Science Fiction, you'll learn how to mix the essential ingredients to form your own best selling work of fiction. 1PM Workshop Cathy McDavid Bio: In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Walter Farley book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary ranch stories for Harlequin American? Much too active in her local Romance Writers of America chapters for her own good, she currently resides in Tempe, AZ, where she gets to pen stories about good looking cowboys riding the range or busting a bronc. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice. Workshop: Riveting dialogue, let's talk about it! They say (no pun intended) that dialogue is one of a writer's best tools to maintain a reader's interest. Dull dialogue, or a lack of it, can slow the story's pacing to a crawl. Learn to make the most of your dialogue in this hands on workshop. SPEAKING OF WHICH... Riveting dialogue, let's talk about it! 2PM Workshop: Tina Gerow BIO: Tina Gerow has always had a passion for romance and anything paranormal. And even in school, was encouraged to put her writing skills to good use, but always with the admonishment to ‘stop writing the weird stuff and tone down the sarcasm.’ But what fun is that?! So, in 2003, she finally decided to try her hand at writing a novel, but still firmly embracing the ‘weird stuff and the sarcasm.’ Her first book, Into a Dangerous Mind, won the award for Romantic Times Best Small Press Contemporary Paranormal for 2006. Since then, Tina has published several more books, including her latest release, Sleeping With Shadows, the popular Maiden series, the Seduction Series for Kensington’s Aphrodisia line as Cassie Ryan, and the Sisters of Darkness series with Berkley, also as Cassie Ryan. Workshop: The Art of Writing Love Scenes Writing love scenes is so much more than describing whose lips are where, doing what. Good love scenes should read smoothly and clearly, and communicate who is doing what to whom as well as when and how, but without sounding like a How-To manual. It should convey emotions and passion, and reveal new insights into the characters as well as advance the plot. Sound like brain surgery or rocket science? Nope - no Doctorate degree required - I promise! So hold on tight for some no-nonsense discussions about how to thread all of this together into love scenes that readers will devour, and you will love to write - regardless of if you write sweet or smokin' hot. 3PM Workshop: Kiki Swanson BIO: Kiki grew up happily, playing the piano, working in a library and close to her church. Near-by Chicago offered enriching opportunities. With degrees from Smith College and San Francisco Theological Seminary she taught high school English and Journalism. The family arrived in Scottsdale in 1959. While Don owned businesses and served on the school board, Kiki traveled as a capital campaign consultant for the national church. Most recently she directed the senior adult ministry in Valley Presbyterian Church living in Scottsdale with her husband and close to three sons and their families. Kiki’s novels revolve around a strong woman who reminds readers of their relatives or neighbors or school friends. Their life stories come out in conversation and their relationships to others. She weaves in historic research, her own love of music, cooking and sewing, and geographic settings from her own life. Workshop: Writing your Memories Start right now to record some of your precious memories for your heirs! You will find ideas and inspiration in this group, guided by hand-outs to keep you writing until next year! There are several approaches to the project, and it is guaranteed to start your creative thinking. You will want to take notes, so bring a pen! However, no tests or grades. 4PM Workshop: Maria Crimi Speth BIO: Maria Crimi Speth, a shareholder in the law firm of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C., practices in the areas of intellectual property, internet law, and commercial litigation, representing clients throughout the United States. She is in the Top Lawyers list published by Arizona Business Magazine and the American Trial Lawyer’s Association. She has been practicing law for 25 years and is admitted in dozens of state and federal courts around the country. Maria is the author of Protect Your Writings: A Legal Guide for Authors and Apple v. Samsung, The Balance Between Patent Rights and the Free Market.. She has numerous published articles and dozens of published court cases. Workshop: Protect Your Writings It's the weekend of the big game, in the host city, surrounded by the delicious taste and aroma of chocolate. What better setting to learn the sweet lessons of legal offense and defense to best protect your manuscripts, articles, blogs and other writings? If you think copyright law is boring, you haven't heard it taught by Maria Crimi Speth, Intellectual Property attorney and author of Protect Your Writings. Join us for a comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand, presentation of applicable laws that affect writers and their creative work. You will learn everything you need to know about the laws relating to writing, including how to AVOID making common, costly legal mistakes. This will be a sure touchdown! 5PM Workshop: Caris Roane BIO: Hi, Everyone! Caris Roane here! I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author and I write super-sexy paranormal romance fiction designed to be as much an adventure as a soul-satisfying experience. With every book I write, I try to give a taste of real life, despite the fact that I’m writing about hunky vampire warriors. You’ll come away engrossed in the lives of my vampires as they wage war, as they make love, and as they answer the tough questions of life in terms of purpose, eternity, and how to raise a family! I began my career with Kensington Publishing writing Regency Romance as Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times Magazine honored me with a career achievement award in Regency Romance. I’ve published fourteen paranormal novels to-date, some self-published and some for St. Martin’s Press! I’ve also branched out into Contemporary Romance with A SEDUCTIVE PROPOSITION! Workshop: The Hero's Journey Ever wonder why the myths of old are still with us today or why STAR WARS became such a hit? Want to know how the answers to these two questions can impact your novel in an amazing way? Come hear my thoughts on the Hero's Journey, what it is, why it will always be relevant to storytelling, and how to apply these concepts to the unfinished novel hiding under your bed.
There comes a time in the life of every book, where the rewriting is done and the only thing left to do is proofread and polish. This is one of my favorite phases of writing. I call it twilight time. Those precious moments before my new book will see the amber light of a reading lamp in a stranger’s living-room.
At this point, my analytic mind is put to task, hunting homonyms and corralling commas, leaving my creative side free to roam. It reminds me of the ring of the final bell in elementary school, and running through the doors, eager to explore the world unfettered.
This is when I get to discover my next book, meet its new characters, and figure out if I like them enough to want to play with them over the next couple of months or even years. I have a chance to explore different worlds, walk new streets and climb higher mountains, will I want to live in this place for a while?
These are the treasured moments, before I've made a commitment, and not one word is on the page. So many ways I can go with this story, there are no limits. I feel like I’m flying.
Over the past two years, I've jotted down ideas for my next book, in my journals, on sticky notes, in my phone, and on napkins. Now, I get to have a little fun with all of them, listen as these strange characters tell me their problems, peer into their souls, and decide who I want to travel with on my next adventure. Like a teenager in a game store, so many possibilities, I want to write them all!
Now that I've done all of that, and the big day is finally here. I'll be hiding out in my new story because I know the terrifying thrill of sending a new book out into the big, bad world, As much as I enjoy twilight time, my absolute favorite part of writing is getting that first glimpse of story. It’s like seeing your new-born baby smile for the first time. If you’d like to connect, I’ll be on Twitter (@AnnaQuesterly), Facebook (Anna Questerly Author), and my website/blog www.annaquesterly.com.I'd love to give you a complimentary ebook of one of my short stories, email me at email@example.com and request to be added to my monthly newsletter, and I'll send it right out. Let me know in your email if you’d prefer me to send The Book People or The Scribe’s Dilemma as your free gift. (By signing up for my newsletter, you’ll receive early notice of new releases, sales, giveaways, author interviews and all kinds of fun stuff. I don’t spam and only send out newsletters twice a month. You can also rest assured, I will NEVER share your information.) This post apperared earlier on Starbound Lovers blog Follow @AnnaQuesterlyTweetTweet to @AnnaQuesterly
Ossani, Morgan of Pangaea, opened her eyes at one minute
past midnight and fought to draw a breath. The burden of the Bidding she had
borne easily for so long, now a crushing weight.
Her long-time attendant and friend, Adelev rushed to her
bedside. “I’ve called the healer.”
Ossani’s chest rose slightly, allowing enough sweet air into
her lungs to force out her command in a whisper. “It is time. Bring my daughter
Adelev adjusted the Morgan’s pillows, blinking back
half-formed tears. “I will see to it at once.”
Ossani found her next breath easier and patted her friend’s
hand. “I’ll be fine. I didn’t expect it to be so painful this soon. Go … Bring
Her eyelids grew heavy, but she struggled to keep them open
long enough to watch Adelev depart. She had the utmost faith in her friend.
Everyone on Pangaea knew the significance of this day. Like the phases of the
moon, the succession of the Morgan never varied. After twenty years, her
daughter’s potential began it’s waxing cycle, and Ossani’s power and life would
begin to wane. There could only be one Morgan.
Had it not been for the Brotherhood, she could have summoned
her daughter sooner. There was barely enough time to prepare Amia for her new
role. Adelev would not let them down.
A moment later, the traditional pale blue of a healer’s gown
appeared next to her bed, and a soft hiss of the med-gun brought instant
relief. She breathed deeply, relishing the vital act, and regaining strength
with each inhalation. “Thank you, Healer Enari.”
The healer bowed her head. “I will remain by your side for
the next month. I’m sorry I cannot stop your decline, Morgan Ossani, but I can
make the pain easier to bear.”
Ossani managed a whispered laugh, “If my daughter is
anything like me, I will need every bit of your assistance.”
Getting drunk wasn’t as
easy as it seemed.
Right away, I could see at
least two problems. First, I had to order. The legal age to purchase alcohol in
Massachusetts is twenty-one. Today was my birthday, but I’d only turned twenty.
Not to worry, determination has always been one of my strengths.
All my life, I’d played by
the rules. After this morning’s disaster, I figure it was time to break a few. Yeah,
underage drinking. You’re a real rebel, Amy.
A girl’s gotta start
somewhere, right? I wrestled the fake ID from within the depths of my bag with unsteady
fingers. I’d never had to use it before, but then I’d always been with my
fiancé, Ken. Everything came easily to Ken: a high-paying job, a great
apartment, and a nice car. Maybe things worked out so well for Ken because he
met every standard set by society. He was a tall, attractive, white man in
Whatever the reason,
Fortune often smiled on him. Me, on the other hand, if something could go wrong.…
Relax. It’s a good fake;
Ken only buys the best.
At the bartender’s
approach, I leaned one hip against the curved edge of the bar, slid my card
across the polished surface, and smiled. The soft lights behind the bar sent
sparkles of light bouncing off of my ring, the stone larger than I would have
chosen, its platinum band in vivid contrast to my dark skin.
“What’ll you have?” he studied
my card for a nanosecond.
All that anxiety for
nothing. I slid onto the worn wooden stool and tucked the card back into my
My second problem, I had
no idea what to order. I don’t drink. I’d been in bars before with my friend,
Liza. We’d grab a quick dinner of burgers and potato skins or maybe a hot bowl
of clam chowder and a soda. Even when Ken and I went out, I ordered iced tea or
water. The only reason I needed the card was to get into the clubs to dance.
Today, I wanted a drink. “Whatever’s on draft.” I answered, parroting Ken and
“Got a new micro-brew in.
Wanna give it a try?” I had no idea what a micro-brew tasted like, but his
smile encouraged me.
“Sure, why not?”
A moment later, he placed
the foaming concoction in front of me. I lifted it and took a deep drink. And
that would be another problem with getting drunk — Eww! Sour, bitter not at all
like I’d imagined. How did people drink this stuff?
Like I said, I’m
determined. I took another long swallow and shivered it down. The many years of
Emma’s ingrained ‘Stranger Danger’ kicked in, reminding me to take note of the
darkened pub – Emma, my guardian since I could remember, and the closest thing
I had to a mother – How was I going to break the news to her? That particular
question called for another deep swig of brew.
It was too early for the
bar to be busy. Soon the lunch crowd would storm the place, but for now there
were only a few patrons. An old man sat at the other end of the bar, apparently
captivated by the bottom of his glass. A guy close to my age tapped away on his
phone. I shifted on my stool to check out the back of the room.
A nice-looking man, alone
in a booth, who looked to be in his late thirties raised his glass in my
direction. I returned the gesture, making sure my shiny new diamond flashed on
my finger when I lifted the glass to my lips, and then turned back to the
Funny what a single
appreciative glance from a man does to a girl’s self-esteem. I’m not used to
being flirted with. I’m not what anyone would consider beautiful. Pretty maybe,
I have that caramel skin tone other women spend hours in tanning salons trying
to achieve, but my hair is too straight, my lips are too full, and I’m too tall.
Besides, I rarely wear makeup or do any more to my hair than tie it back in a
ponytail. Anyway, I didn’t come here to get picked up. I had more important
things on my mind today.
“Birthdays are supposed to
be fun. Good things are supposed to happen on your birthday, right?” I asked
the bartender after I downed the rest of the glass.
“Great things.” He grinned and slid another
foaming micro-brewed wheat beer over to me. “Happy Birthday. This one’s on the
I shot him a half-smile in
He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the
bar. “So, tell me what happened.”
Somehow, it felt weirdly
right to tell this guy I’d never met my problems even before I told my fiancé
or my guardians. “I got kicked out of class. I’ll probably lose my scholarship.”
“Ouch. That hurts.”
I shrugged. “More than you
“Believe me, I know. Why
do you think I’m here tending bar instead of in school?”
“You lost a scholarship, too?”
“And then some.” He raised
a finger signaling he’d return in a minute, moved away with an amber bottle in
hand, and refilled a shot glass for the older man.
“So what happened,” I
asked once he’d returned.
He picked up a glass and
began to polish it with a white bar towel. “I was recruited to play hockey for
the Boston Terriers; full ride.”
“And?” I finished my
second micro-brew. It didn’t taste too bad anymore.
“I tore some ligaments in
my knee.” He shrugged and placed another full glass before me. “The team doc
fixed me up and sent me back out to play. Messed up my knee even worse. Now, I
can’t play, so they don’t pay, and I have to go through life wearing a brace
and dealing with the pain.” He scowled. “I hear it only gets worse with age.”
“That doesn’t sound fair
either. They could’ve at least let you finish school.”
The man at the end of the
bar spoke up. “Life’s not fair, missy. Might as well learn that lesson now.”
I spun to face him. Why
did people seem to think it their duty to inform me of this? I might have to
deal with it when it came from my guardians, but I didn’t need to take it from
this stranger eavesdropping on a private conversation. “Maybe not, but it
I lifted the glass and sipped
at my third brew. I expected a tingly buzz in my head from the beer, but
instead a relaxing warmth infused my legs making them feel as if they were made
of heavy syrup.
The old man slid a few
bills on the bar and stood to leave. “Ah-yep. Should, but it ain’t.”
The bartender scooped up
the money and frowned at his tip. “So what are you going to do now?”
“I don’t know.” I picked up
the glass and upended it. Before I was half through, I slammed it down onto the
bar. “Yes, I do.”
His brow quirked up.
“I’m gonna go have a word
with the dean. I’m not going down without a fight. Here.” I shoved two twenties
into his hand. I had no idea how much beer cost, but life had been unkind to
him. “Keep the change.”
I slid off my stool and
realized the next challenge was to walk on legs made of rubber.
“You okay? I can call you
a cab.” Concern brushed his features, but I shook my head.
“No, thanks. I just need a
minute.” By which I meant, a nap. I shook off the sudden lethargy claiming my
limbs, drew in a deep breath, and stepped to the door, carefully placing one
foot in front of the other.
“Hey, what’s your name —
I was too busy navigating
the weight of the door to answer. Maybe I’d stop back tomorrow and have another
microbrew. The last one tasted pretty good, and I kind of liked this warm,
heavy feeling which had by now spread throughout my body. I certainly
appreciated the new clarity of purpose. Instead of accepting Maestro’s word
about my scholarship, I’d go right to the top – to the dean himself. We’d set
this mistake right, and I’d get back on track.