Choose Me – Practice Piece

Choose Me.

His eyes brighten as they fall on me and he reaches out tentatively before snapping his hand away, flicking his gaze over the others next to me. As if against his will, he is drawn back.

This time his focus lingers, and he steps forward close enough that his eyes flicker shut at my scent. There is no hesitation this time as he reaches out to caress me, his fingers running down the length of my spine.

As he bites his lip we both know what he is thinking, of all that he could have with me: excitement, passion, adventure, love… all of it.

All he has to do is choose me.

Finally his hands encase me fully and he pulls me to his chest.

With a thudding heart he scans me closely, the world around him falling away, and I know he is lost within me.

He is mine.

I wrote this for a bit of fun, trying to write from the perspective of a book on a shelf at a library or bookstore. It was fun to try out, but really quite difficult 😀 Still, that’s what writing practice is about, right? Trying out new things!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Have you ever tried writing from a strange or difficult perspective?

*This is a scheduled post, I will be back on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend!* 😀

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Books and Reading Thursday: Tackling The List!

I have been absolutely terrible at reading lately. There are no excuses for it really, though I have been spending nearly every minute of my time working on Diving in Deep, so it’s not just ‘cause I was being lazy 😀

The thing is, I love reading! So I really need to get back to it.

I still have a goal I want to reach this year, and I am determined to do it. Also I have a backlog of review requests I need to get through, as well as a whole load of books I am really looking forward to reading.

I said in a post early this year that I was going to organise my reading list, and I did the first 5 books and that was brilliant ‘cause I actually got through them.

And then I didn’t organise the rest and that’s when my reading tapered off.

So, guess what?

I’ve set out a bit more of my list in hopes I can start reading again.

1. Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff (Book Review Request)
2. The Fifth Watcher: Worlds Apart Series – Book 1 by Melissa Barker-Simpson
3. The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding
4. Serenity: Those Left Behind
5. The Clique by Valerie Thomas (Book Review Request)
6. Seeking Solace by Callum McLaughlin
7. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier
8. Grá mo Chroí: Love Stories from Irish Myth by Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty
9. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
10. Chef d’Amour by Brenda Margriet (Book Review Request)

Yes, I have organised 10 books on the list this time, and I’m a slow reader so that should keep me going for a while.

Hope everyone else is having fun with their reading! 🙂

What are you currently reading? Any good book recommendations?

Progress Report:

Status of Diving in Deep: Finishing touches!

Books read towards challenge: 4/50
Currently reading: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff

Romance Writers Weekly #lovewritechat

RW Banner

Romance Weekly time 😀

If you’ve joined me from the incredible Kim Handysides then welcome!

This week we’ve been asked, ‘What everyone is working on at the moment. Details & conundrums, plus five bonus points for including a wee bit of your favourite scene.’

Well, as I posted a couple of weeks ago, I’m currently working on something completely different. Still romance, still writing, still a story, just a different format for it.

My current project is called Diving in Deep, and is a visual novel, which is something like an interactive story where the reader takes on the role of the main character, choosing the decisions she can make and what her personality will be like. These decisions affect the outcome of the story and how those around her interact with her.

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The story itself is about Quinn Lanton, an underwater archaeologist, who discovers (a rather handsome) merman called Merrik in the ruins she’s excavating. The meeting would be one of excitement, if it wasn’t for the fact that creepy treasure hunter, Walton Huntley, is shadowing her every move in the hopes of finding any artifacts worth selling, and she knows a merman would make his perfect prize.

Here are some example screenshots:

Example of the choices that can be made.

Example of the choices that can be made.


Example of the layout and sprites.

Example of the layout and sprites.


Depending on the personality you've chosen for Quinn, some options might be harder to use.

Depending on the personality you’ve chosen for Quinn, some options might be harder to use.

There are 6 possible endings, and a selection of choices throughout.

As for my favourite scene, well that probably has to be the moment Quinn and Merrik meet for the second time.

(Sorry for the script format, that’s how it has to be written!)

I shake my head, trying to get across the fact I’m not panicking… much.
He is a merman after all, a being that isn’t supposed to even exist except in fairytales!
Merrik: “Does that mean you’re ok?”
I nod, trying to regulate my breathing to a normal level and stem the adrenaline that courses through my system.
He breaks into a smirk, a playful glint in his eyes.
Merrik: “Good, I don’t want to have to watch out for falling rocks if you start flailing about again like yesterday.”
My awe of him quickly filters away with his snark.

The above scene is only one of the possible responses Quinn can make to Merrik in this situation.

I will say that the hardest part of writing this visual novel has been writing in first person, and in the present tense. I’ve never done that before, so it was a bit of an interesting challenge trying to ensure I didn’t slip tenses, but I managed it in the end 😀

The project will released towards the end of March (not long, I know!) and it will be FREE in the hopes a lot of people might be willing to try out this different format of storytelling if they haven’t before.

So, there you go, that’s what I’m currently working on! 😀 (Sorry for the huge post, I’m just very excited about it!)

Now, why not check out what Raine Balkera’s current project is. I guarantee it will be something worth your time! 🙂

What are you currently working on? Are there any WIP projects by others you’re excited for?

Progress Report:

Status of visual novel: All writing done. Working on adding music and sounds.

Books read towards challenge: 3/50
Currently reading: Snow Hill by Mark Sanderson

Books and Reading Thursday: Books on my Bookshelf

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal thoughts, feelings, and memories on the books I own).

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Books on my Bookshelf post, so thought I’d do one today 🙂

This time’s book is Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.

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When I was much younger (pre-teens) I wasn’t a big reader. Though my mum would read tons of stuff to us, and I loved that, I never actively sought out to read books.

I don’t even know where this book came from 😀 Possibly someone bought it ’cause she thought it looked interesting for someone my age.

But I did pick it up one day when I was young and read it, and I am so glad I did! This is definitely one of those books that left an intense impression on me.

I think part of the reason I actually finished this book was due to the illustrations in it. Even when I was younger, I was a very visual person (why I enjoyed comics and those types of story formats more back then), so having the text accompanied by such stunning illustrations really helped pull me further into the story.

btdw2
btdw3

This book made me cry (I was so upset at one point I had to put the book down and not pick it up for a couple of days! 😀 ), and it also scared the woozies out of me!

The most distinct memory I have of this book is reading it in bed late at night, and it was quite an intense scene where the main character, Twig, is running for his life from a monster. I was so into the story that when I turned over the page to read what happened, which was also accompanied by an image, I was so freaked out!

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I can look back on it as funny now, but at the time I was very scared.

But that is my main memory of this book, of it being one the first books that got me hooked on story telling and making my imagination really run wild!

Though I haven’t re-read it (no, of course it has nothing to do with the emotional turmoil it put me through…) it is one that sits on my bookshelf and won’t be going anywhere. If I have kids someday, then it will definitely one I will experience with them!

Random quote: ‘Massive shoulders, bulging biceps, tree-trunk legs… And her head! It was already immense when, suddenly, the hair- that wild shock of orange- cascaded down to the ground. The transformation was complete.’

Favourite thing about the book: I’m not sure I could pick one thing, but probably the main character; he was really one I could relate with it at that age.

Least favourite thing: The emotions it rips out of you!!! 😀

Something I took away from the book: That stories really can take you anywhere.

Do you remember a book from your childhood that made you feel so strongly? Have you ever been so into a book your emotions went everywhere the character’s did?

Progress Report: More on that on Saturday’s post.

Books and Reading… Not Thursday! :D

I’m a day late, sorry!

Still, here’s my first book review of the year! Yay, I’m finally getting somewhere on my to-do and to-read list 😀

Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.*

Goodreads Summary: Jon Chandler is a seventeen-year-old youngster presented with a difficult quest-to find a magical flask, destroy it, and then somehow find his way back home.
As Jon reluctantly accepts his responsibility, he is accompanied by the haughty yet beautiful Dorthea, who constantly challenges him. At least his best friend, Samuel, a gentle giant-all eight feet in stature and 480 pounds of him-doesn’t get under his skin like Dorthea does.
But there’s a fine line between love and hate, and Jon and Dorthea hover on it constantly!
Samuel is left behind as the quest leads Jon and Dorthea into a parallel world, where few living people have ever gone before. How can they locate a flask that has been missing for sixteen years?
Along the way, they encounter demons and wizards who will test their strength and ability, and they find they must solve several riddles before they can return home. What they learn about themselves and about life is far more priceless than the magical flask.

From the start this book had a very old-time, classic, fairytale feel about it. I think that kind of writing, which I haven’t read in quite some time, felt almost like being sucked in as though it were a bedtime story.

The writing was engaging, and the story was filled with great settings, a variety of sub-plots, and interesting characters.

I have to admit Samuel was probably my favourite character of the lot 😀 He had a sort of down-to-earth personality which I hooked onto immediately.

But the writing throughout this and the feel of that classic fantasy just held my interest until the end.

It is one of those stories that I enjoyed but can’t really talk about for fear of giving away spoilers as there was so much packed into this book! You can be certain of plenty of fantastical creatures and memorable moments throughout though.

I will admit I found it a bit overwhelming to keep up with so much to begin with, but the further I got pulled into the book, the easier my mind just flowed with the story and I found my imagination going into overdrive there was just so much to think of.

It is a more in-depth book, one you probably would have to give a bit of time to (at least for me anyway), but the flow and writing were easy to read, which certainly helped to keep me going and wanting to find out more about the array of characters and plots within this novel.

Overall, it’s a great read with a real fairytale, class fantasy feel about it. Anyone who enjoys this genre should definitely give this book a look!

Smashwords
Goodreads

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 37,524 (+2832 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 3/50
Currently reading: Snow Hill by Mark Sanderson

Books and Reading Thursday: Enjoying your own creations

Bit of strange post for this week’s Books and Reading Thursday!

I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day which pretty much summed up part of the reason I started writing:

‘If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’ – Toni Morrison

I write because I have stories that I want to read all bundled up in my brain and I just have to expel them 😀

So, I write these tales that I am so desperate to read and then what happens?

I have to re-write and edit them so much that the thought of reading them again makes me want to start rocking in a corner somewhere mumbling to myself!

But in April, I plan to re-edit and refresh the books I published last year in time for their one year anniversary. I learnt tons last year, not just about writing itself, but about the whole publishing process.

A while back, Sierra from Permashift, updated her book, The Soul (a book I highly recommend checking out), and I realised how much I also wanted to go over my older books and give them an update.

But, at the same time, I am also kind of excited to go back and read them.

I know I will be doing some editing and re-writing, but there won’t be too much (I hope 😀 ), so I’m hoping I will be able to read the books mainly for the stories I was so desperate to write in the first place.

The main books I will be refreshing are Stolen Bloodline, Heart of the Arena, and The Queen’s Jester, my first batch of books I ever published. I will also be going over Prophecy of Stones and The Magic Spark, but probably later in the year.

It’s getting on for a year since I published those first three books, and though some of the writing might make me cringe, I am hoping that the long time away will allow me to once again enjoy these stories and characters that I spent so long creating.

So, April is going to be a busy month getting all the books updated whilst writing a new one, but a fun month nonetheless 🙂

I highly recommend going back and reading the stories you spent so long creating, especially if you haven’t looked at them in a while. It might be difficult to read them without completely turning off the nagging voice inside that tells you bits you could have improved and things, but you worked hard on those characters and stories, why not go back and enjoy them after you’ve had some time apart? 😀

Do you enjoy going back and reading your own books? Do you ever miss the stories you wrote years before?

One of those random thoughts…

No Romance Weekly today, unfortunately!

Instead, have a post on something I been thinking of a lot lately 😀

The other day I watched Divergent (and my excitement had nothing at all to do with the fact Jai Courtney was in it…), and I will admit now I haven’t read the books, but what I want to talk about I can guess is part of the books.

The movie was going ok, I got the jist of the world and things and then it came to the point where Tris had to choose which faction she was going to be in for the rest of her life.

She had five choices- Abnegation (Selflessness), Erudite (Intelligence), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Honest), and Dauntless (Brave).

She was originally in Abnegation, but she changed. Can you guess which faction she chose?

You were most likely right- it was Dauntless.

And that was great and all, and I could see it coming from a mile off, but I couldn’t help but sit there and think, ‘Why couldn’t she have been the heroine and still have been in abnegation?

What was wrong with the character’s main trait being selflessness or kindness and not the ability to kick someone’s butt?

Is that what makes a strong character now? The ability to knock someone out? Would someone who didn’t have the ability to beat of attackers be considered weak?

Ok, Tris has different circumstances with her being divergent and all, so she is all of the traits, but the main trait that is still focused on is her bravery and fighting skills.

I understand action scenes make for more excitement, and I, myself, enjoy the fight scenes.

But if Tris had stayed in abnegation or switched to amity, would the book have been so popular?

Would a book with not only a female lead, but one whose favoured trait is something that doesn’t involve fighting, have gone down well?

I don’t know, but it certainly got me thinking.

A few books I’ve read even start off with the character having no abilities, and then they go through a training chapter, and develop these fighting skills and only then are they classed as a good, rounded character and able to continue the story.

I write fight scenes in quite a few of my books, but in my stories I enjoy having the plot resolved in some way other than violence, even if there is a big fight scene. It’s part of the reason I enjoy writing romance, because it can be the powerful connection between people that can overcome things, not necessarily the fact that my female character can right hook the bad guy into oblivion!

Still, I admit myself that I would second think making a character, especially a female one, who didn’t have the ability to defend herself for the fear of having readers think she was weak.

But to be fair, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to fight off an attacker, and I am not a fan of violence, yet anyone who has met me knows I certainly wouldn’t be called weak!

So, maybe it’s time to start thinking about that more? If we didn’t push the ability to kick butt as such a highly valued trait, and focused more on the nicer qualities, it might help people to see that violence isn’t always the answer and that being a nice person isn’t a weak thing?

Well, that post got a lot deeper than I meant it to 😀

Anyways, I’m not saying these awesome fighters aren’t great characters, because they’re brilliant! It was just a random thought I had 🙂

What do you think of this topic? Do you think characters could be written without the ability to fight and still be classed as a strong character?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 22,940 (+6094 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 2/50
Currently reading: Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry