Monday, February 27, 2012


I'm pleased to welcome my awesome critique partner, Carla Rehse, to the blog today. She agreed to share her inspiration for her wonderful story, WHISPERING HANDS without too much begging on my part.

I am extremely fortunate to have met this amazing woman, and I can't imagine where I would be without her constant support and faith in me.

The blog is yours, Carla:)

Howdy y’all.

Thanks Angie, for giving me the opportunity to explain how my environment shapes my writing. As an Army brat, I moved all around the world when I was young. Thirty years ago, my father retired at Ft. Hood, and I’ve called Texas home since. I’ve lived in East Texas, where the tall Pines whisper in the wind, and in West Texas, with its tumbleweeds that chase you during dust storms.

I currently live in Central Texas, on the edge of Texas Hill Country. I love the rolling hills, covered in crumbling limestone caliche, cedar and mesquite trees, and cacti. Wait. This isn’t an advertisement for Texas tourism, so why am I describing this? Simple.

Show, don’t tell.

When I first started writing, I had a horrible time with telling, instead of showing (and a weird affection for commas, but that’s a different topic.) It took me a while, and endless patience from my crit partners (thanks again Angie!) to learn the difference. Now, I use the environment to help show the attributes of my characters.

Instead of saying my main character has guts, I’ll describe how she wanders the countryside in the dark, regardless of the two-legged and four-legged critters around, to rescue those she loves.Using a blanket in a field of bluebonnets with a warm spring wind brushing the skin is a powerful image. So is the horror of falling in a tangle of sticker vines when the bad guys are close behind.

On a personal note, I’ve found that if I’m stuck on a scene, it helps to disconnect. I love to grab my writing pad and head outdoors. Sitting on a park bench or handy boulder, without any distractions from the internet or family, helps me focus. One of my favorite fight scenes that I’ve written was influenced by watching a squirrel duke it out with a catbird.

Have a great day, y’all.

Carla Rehse

Carla, thank you for sharing a little piece of your soul with us. It took a lot of "guts".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This week I took advantage of my 10 hour day work week. Since I have Wednesdays off, I used a vacation day on Tuesday. This gave me five days to lounge. Since my kids were also out of school, we’ve had some nice bonding time. I introduced Kiwi to Princess Hours after begging and pleading with her to watch it with me. It was the Vampire Diaries all over again. She loved it. Maybe in the future, she’ll stop arguing with me when I make show recommendations.

Ha! Double dog doubt it.

We’re now watching Kgotboda Namja BOYS BEFORE FLOWERS. We’re four episodes into this series and it’s hilarious. Four mega rich boys terrorize the students at the elite, Shin Hwa High School, through bullying. If a student gets on their bad side, a red F4 card shows up in their locker, and the entire student body attacks them.

The first scene shows a boy being beaten up and chased through the school. He ends up on the roof threatening to jump. That’s when our lovely heroine, Geum Jan Di, swoops in on her bike to save the day. She’s on campus delivering laundry, sees what is going on, and saves the boys life. As a reward/punishment, she’s given a scholarship to attend the school and begins to systematically take down the F4’s with wit, charm, and a mighty roundhouse kick to the face.

This first scene is pretty intense. The ruthlessness of the students and the terror of the boy being abused was no joke. It truly showed the horror of bullying. It provided the perfect opportunity for me to talk to my daughter about speaking out if she's ever the victim of bullying. But, it also showed how one person can make a difference. When Jan Di stands up to the F4's, wow. My daughter's face lit up. I hope that this is something that she'll take with her in her daily life. That she will stand up against injustice and not moo with the herd.
Anyway, as a parent, it is wonderful to find shows where I don't have to yell, "Cover your eyes," every few minutes because of graphic content. There is a sweet, innocence to the characters. Even the boys. There were quite a few moments when we laughed so hard the boys wandered into the room to find out why. I can't wait to see how this series to end. I, of course, am hoping the bad guy transforms into a gem and gets the girl in the end.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm proud to present another  installment of Sharing Our Voices (SOV) with a very special guest, Mónica B.W. of the LOVE YA blog, which I'm over on today with a special guest post of my very own.

Please hop over there once you're finished learning all about our wonderful Monica B.W.

Hey Angie! First of all, thanks so much for having me here, on your blog, today!

So, Angie’s followers, you probably know that Angie majored in Anthropology, and that’s why she loves to learn about different people. So she asked me to tell you a bit of me, and where I live.

Today, I’m bringing some pics so that you can get to know me better. And see where I get inspired to write. 

This is me with my three little monsters kids and this place is less than a mile away from my house. Yep—I live in the country, in Chile, and the nearest town is so small, I bet it has less than 1,000 inhabitants.

Here is where I usually write. I have a similar view from my window and on my little couch, I’ve written three YA novels so far. I’m the type of writer who couldn’t possibly write in a café. I need silence and a lovely view. Yeah, I’m kinda spoiled like that, lol.  

Our house is also near the beach, so we go there often and I get some of my inspiration there, too. The picture below shows my two kids, my hubby, and me—or I might as well say it’s me and three kids! This was taken a couple of weeks ago.

The next picture was taken near my house, too, and those are my kids there, who love to hike around the place.

So now you know more about me, and where I write. I love the silence of the mountains, the noise of the crickets at night and the usual warm weather.

Granted, I’m really far away from agents, conferences, ARC giveaways, and so on, and I get REALLY jealous sometimes because I want to be there, in the middle of the action, but still. I’m so happy here!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kate Evangelista's TASTE Cover Reveal

Check out Kate Evangelista's beautiful cover for TASTE, coming soon from Crescent Moon Press. Doesn't it give you the shivers?
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Yuri has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Yuri the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


PRINCESS HOURS (#GOONG) is a wonderful Korean series I found on HULU, which I highly recommend for those of us who love YA and romantic comedies (if you watch don’t forget to click the subtitle box). From the very first episode it sucked me in and still hasn’t spat me out. I’m completely and thoroughly addicted.

Princess Hours is set in 2006, in an alternate reality where Korea has a royal family. The show revolves around Crown Prince Yi Shin (actor , Joo Ji Hoon), and an adorable commoner, Chae-kyeong (actress, Yoon Eun Hye), who, unbeknownst to them, were betrothed by their late grandfathers. When the King becomes ill, the royal family decrees it is time for Shin to marry and secure the royal line.

Shin is in love with a beautiful ballerina, Min Hyo-rin (actress, Song Ji-hyo) who rejects his marriage proposal in favor of pursing her dreams. Shin decides to abide by the betrothal agreement despite his distaste for his soon-to-be bride.

Princess Hours reminds me a bit of Pride and Prejudice with Crown Prince Yi Shin as a modern day Mr. Darcy. He’s remote, detached, and a big, fat, conceited jerk in the beginning, but over time he softens under the sweet, kindness of Chae-kyeong, who he affectionately calls Miss Airhead.

Add in the love quadrangle of his cousin, Prince Yool (actor Kim Jeong Hoon) and the ballerina ex-girlfriend--WHO WON"T GO AWAY-- and you’re in for smoldering/longing glances, heartbreaking *screams at the screen--can't you see she loves you, aaah** dramatic moments in this sweet, romantic fairytale that will leave you holding your breath, then gasping for air and believing in true love.
I loved both Shin and Yool equally, which I've found to be rare in a show. Usually, one character stands out. But, both actors did an amazing job of making their characters sympathetic. I spent the whole series rooting for both of them to win Chae-kyeong's heart and feeling guilty about it.
Has anyone watched this series, and if you have, who is your favorite character? Were you Team Shin or Team Yool? Also, if you have any series recommendations, please let me know.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I  have a special guest for Sharing Our Voices, whom I love and respect tremendously, Don McFatridge AKA DMcWild.

One of my favorite things about Don is his sense of humor. He's my go-to critique partner who cracks me up with the quick wit and humor in his current wip, PLANTED-I CAN WATER MYSELF (to the point where I'm LMAO). He also finds the funny in my manuscripts. Sometimes, I'm surprised that a particular scene I wrote has tickled his funny bone, since it wasn't intended to be
humorous, ugh oh.

Don has graciously consented to being my first guinea pig in sharing how his community influences his writing.  So, I'll zip it and hand over the blog to him. Take it away, Don!

Pie A Near Of Comedy

Living in Montreal and being one of 33 million other Canadians is great because we get to trade with our neighbors to the south below us. Things like: fresh melted snow (with most of the yellow bleached out), Captain Kirk and Scotty, sand filled with tar (you think we would give ya the stuff for free since it makes for sticky beaches, which we don’t use with our long winters), hockey sticks (with player included), beavers named Justin and our biggest seller comedians. Yes, having snow six months out of the year has given Canadians a funny bone.

But, like a good neighbor, we export all of it to the warmer climate of Hollywood. Talent like: Seth Rogan, John Candy, Leslie Nielsen, Howie Mandel, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Mike Myers, Phil Hartmen, Michel J Fox, Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall, and our Grinch, Jim Carrey, to name a few. But all of these stars follow in the footsteps of Thomas Doc Kelley, Canada’s most famous pie-a-near of comedy.


While performing his traveling medicine show through Newfoundland (where I happened to be born. I got hauled to Montreal, kicking and screaming, at the age of four) in 1889, Thomas “Doc” Kelley invented the “pie-in-the-face” gag. Kelley happened to catch sight of an irate cook chasing a stable boy with a piece of pie. When the pie wound up hitting the boy’s shirt, it made the onlookers laugh. Kelley quickly concluded that a pie in the face would be even funnier. Supposedly, he said to a companion, "How about a whole pie, big and juicy, deliberately and carefully pushed smack into his face? How long do you think these folks would laugh then?" 

These wonderful Canadians inspire me to fill my stories with funny scenes and dialogue. Which I think every writer should strive for, because humor sells. But it can also be a simple snappy one liner, like the gem in Elisabeth Berg’s THE JOY SCHOOL. It’s the story about thirteen-year-old, Katie, who accidentally falls through the ice while skating. She is helped by handsome, far older, married, gas station attendant, Jimmy. Katie falls in love and Jimmy loves the attention.

As their relationship unfolds, so too does Katie’s awareness of the pain and intensity first love can bring. When Jimmy tells Katie he’s moving away Katie declares her love for him.

“I think I love you.”
His look freezes.”
“No. I do, I can tell.”
“Oh, Katie. I didn’t know . . . I didn’t mean to--”
“You didn’t do it. You didn’t do it. It just happened by it’s own self.”

A few pages later Katie’s in class and unable to read what the teacher has written on the blackboard.

“No,” I say, “If you take the first line, and go all the way to the last line, that is what I can’t read.”
“So what you are saying, Katie is that you can’t read any of this.”
"Yes, Sir.”
A kind sized miracle has happened. The students in Mr. Spurlock’s class are sitting up, interested and alert.
“Well, do you need glasses?”
“No. A teacher would do.”

Bang. Katie’s answer is one of my favorites. She handled the rejection gracefully until she got to the classroom where she fires both barrels. It’s that type of snappy comeback that led me to write responses for the rejection letters I receive. Here is the one I’m currently sending to agents.

Dear Agent,

My name’s Dr. Frank. I’m writing about the rejection letter received by our patient at the Frank and Stein institute for violently insane criminals located in Montauk NY. I don’t wish to alarm you, but it seems he hasn’t returned from yesterdays day pass.

Arthur, not Author, claims you’ve misspelled his name. He’s easily recognizable at 6 feet 10 inches tall and 322 pounds. We trust you’ll take precautions by removing sharp, breakable office objects, including pens, letter openers, windows and interns.

For your safety, I’m sending you his medication (taken rectally) by courier later today.

Dr. Fred Von Frank

Now to end this guest post with what I consider to be one of the greatest snappy comebacks of all time delivered by follow Canadian Norm McDonald on Conan O’Brian’s show. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Did you know that when toads have a belly ache, they vomit up their stomachs? Yeah, me neither. Totally gross and traumatic for me and the kids. Usually, not so much for the toad. It’s a normal toad process from what I read on the internet.

Once their stomach is hanging out of their mouths, they brush off whatever is making them sick, and then swallow their stomach again. Theo didn’t swallow his again. I’m not sure why. Or what I could’ve done to save him since the exotic vet clinic was closed. Maybe shove it back in, that’s what some of the posts I read said to do, but…

Anyway, I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details so I don’t start bawling my eyes out again.

This is my last post for my wonderful, little toad, Theo. He passed away this morning, breaking my heart. I loved this little guy.
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