Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Author Interview Spoonful Chronicles Blog Tour

Have you been writing a long time?

The year was 2003, and the US was bombing Iraq, yet again, my employer sent me to Washington DC to attend a work related conference. The irony of sending an Iraqi to the capital city of the US at that particular time escaped my boss. My state of distress was well disguised under the polished veneer of a professional. Smile. Shake hands. Exchange business cards. Give happy presentations. In the evenings I aimlessly wandered the streets like a wraith searching for physical embodiment to pour my despair into. It was a Jekyll and Hyde state. Peppy mornings followed by languid remains of a day. On one of these phantom walks, a sharp pain pierced through my left knee. This was unusual. I am an avid placer of one foot in front of the other in perpetual pursuit of motion. Ache was a new sensation for a most favored of activities. My feet screamed of treason and proceeded to disobey orders. My back side pleaded for a merciful sitting position. “You guys are not team players” I rolled my eyes exasperated by uncooperative body parts. I walked into the art gallery to my right hoping to find a chair to sit. That is the story of how my physical representation was placed in the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. As soon as I walked in, the bodily insurrection stopped. “Hey what is going on?” I looked quizzically at my left knee. The knee shrugged its shoulders to indicate ignorance “Don’t look at me. I have no idea what is going on”. My feet stopped complaining and resumed their obeying. Inside, I saw the Peacock Room by James Whistler. A dining room where everything from the ceiling, walls, carpets and fixtures was designed by the artist. A fusion of the east and west. A melding of harmony and discord. Beautiful in an ugly way. Delightful in a – “I am going to assault you and peck your eyes out so that you will see how delightful I am” way. It is one thing to look at a painting and a different thing to be enveloped inside a work of art. Something inside my DNA changed. “If I could create something, anything, so striking I will die a happy woman” the thought popped into my mind as I walked away.

What inspired you to start a writing career?

The next morning when I woke up I heard the voice of a fictional character called Nelly whispering in my ear commanding me to write her story. That is how I wrote my first novel. I made a video about how I become I writer. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/fTjbcbM6Y3Y

Is this book a stand-alone, or part of a series?
My book is a stand-alone story. All self contained within itself.

Why did you choose this genre?
I don’t choose what to write. It chooses me.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write with no purpose. Let your writing be the kind that serves no function. Stop trying to change anybody’s perspectives, don’t impress anybody. When the inner critic raises his harsh voice with “You are stupid, you have nothing to say, everything you write is garbage”. Tell him: “You are right! but I will write anyway for the pure joy of it”. Write because you love it. It comes from a place of delight. If others find value in it, then that is a huge blessing. If no accolades come then that is a huge blessing as well. The reward is in the doing of it. And that can’t be taken away.

About the Book

Title: Spoonful Chronicles

Author: Elen Ghulam

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Thaniya Rasid grew up in the Middle East dreaming of becoming a surgeon. Now living an ordinary life as a mother, wife and a hospital lab tech in Vancouver, Canada, she garners unexpected fame as youTube’s Queen of Hummus when her video demonstrating the recipe goes viral. How could blending chickpeas in a food processor generate so much excitement? And how could her life have ended up so far away from all her expectations?

To make sense of the unlikely events that have brought her to this place, Thaniya turns to food, curating memorable eating experiences of her life, searching for clues. Between her childhood aversion to cucumbers, her search for an authentic Iraqi kubeh in the city of Jerusalem, her 10-year tomato wars with her husband Samih, a mood altering encounter with a blood pudding in Edinburgh, and a Kafkaesque nightmare involving a cauliflower, Thaniya unravels repeated patterns occurring in her life. The secrets of love, friendship and destiny hidden in her cauldron of mishmashed cultures begin to reveal themselves.

Between lust and disgust there is a thin line. Spoonful Chronicles is the beguiling story of one woman taking hold of her fate by uncovering the clandestine geography of this divide in her heart.

 

 

Author Bio

My name is Elen. I am an Iraqi-Canadian. Please allow me to tell you a story of a curios event that happened to me. I was a perfectly happy computer programmer doing the nerdy stuff that computer programmers do. You know! Geeky stuff. Like the normal stuff that an Iraqi-Canadian would do if they worked as a computer programmer. When one day, out of nowhere, the inspiration to write hit me over the head. It came at me fast and furious and turned my life topsy turvy. I was always an avid reader. Ok I was a bookish geek. But the idea that I would try to write never even occurred to me, until the violent incident with the muse. Since then I have published a memoir called “Don’t Shoot! … I Have Another Story to Tell You“. Which Was followed by a novel called Graffiti Hack. That one tells the story of a hacker who installs lavish graphical designs on commercial websites. Imagine the trouble she gets in? Well I had to. I was writing the story, so I had to imagine every last bit. A third novel is on it way. I don’t know where all these ideas come from, they just pop in my head and I write them down. In addition to writing, I am a flamenco dancer, I enjoy painting and I love to cook. Somehow all these activities inspire each other.

I am a married mother of three, living in a pink house in Vancouver BC. Really I just love telling stories and I love listening to stories.

Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Youtube

Get your copy from Amazon

 

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Guest Post Nothing is Lost in Loving

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I’m hosting a guest post today by Brenda Moguez, author of women’s fiction “Nothing is Lost in Loving”. She shares with us her thorough editing process.

Guest Post

Your editing process

Unlike other authors, I don’t jump with joy when it’s time to edit. At least not the first edit, but by the second and third, even forth revision I am keen to cut and cull. Rather than tell how I edit, let me illustrate.

Recipe for Editing a Novel

Ingredients

1 printed copy of your finished manuscript (can be substituted with short story, poem, op-ed, etc.)

1 Copy of The Chicago Manual of Style

1 Copy of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

1 Dog-eared copy of Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus. 3rd ed.

1 Copy of Steven King’s On Writing – read and re-read the chapter on editing

1 Freelance Professional Editor

1 Ballpoint pen

$$ – $$$

Several Boxes of Chamomile Tea

Quiet room

Comfy chair

Patience (you will need this for the rinse and repeat sessions)

Time

  • Loads of it begged, borrowed, and stolen from your life without guilt
  • Time away from completed project (strongly suggest writer leave finished works alone for a least a week before beginning the process)
  • Dedicated and undisturbed periods of time during edit(s)

Optional

  • Text to voice app
  • Devoted cat or dog who loves the sound of your voice)

Instructions

Make a pot of tea, carry to the quiet room, and place on a side table next to the comfy chair. Retrieve printed copy of manuscript and ballpoint pen before taking a seat in the comfy chair. Next, read aloud to devoted pet over multiple periods.

Use the pen to circle:

  • Awkward worded sentences
  • Misspelled words
  • Overused words
  • Word repeats (notice my use of word in the first four bullet points, actually it appears throughout the recipe)
  • Missing commas and any other punctuation left out or added incorrectly
  • The word that (will be needed later)
  • Numbers are not spelled out
  • Inconsistencies such as timeline, age of character, etc.,
  • Poor sentence and paragraph transitions
  • Too much showing, not enough narration
  • Audit for overuse of unnecessary dialogue tags
  • Overuse of filter words: for instance, if you’ve written your character thought or wondered or saw something. Ask yourself if you would truly say in your head, I wonder or I thought. Of course, you wouldn’t. Even though you do wonder and you do think, you don’t tell yourself to do either, you just do it. Right?
  • Watch for use of passive voice and verbs
  • Remember the 5 C’s of copy editing

o    Clear

o    Correct

o    Concise

o    Comprehensible

o    Consistent

  • Capitalization
  • Use of Italics
  • Refer to your copy of The Chicago Manual of Style for guidance
  • Consider word choices–is there an alternative option? Something more fitting?
  • Check tenses–are they consistent throughout the MS?

Upon reading through your manuscript and making hundreds of notations, updating the e-copy, repeat the steps noted above. Note: this might occur two, three, even four or more times.

After several revisions, you are ready to solicit the assistance of a professional and spend your coffee budget on editing. It’s finally time to go find a seasoned copy editor and/or a developmental editor–the quality of need is dependent on the state of the story, which only the writer will be able to access–and hand over the almost, but not yet polished story.

Once the edited document comes back, brace yourself for the expense, comments, edit recommendations, and endless red lines. Brew a pot of tea or pour yourself a glass of wine or scotch, then return to the quiet room and take a seat in the comfy chair. Inhale. Take a deep breath, sip, whichever beverage that accompanied you from the kitchen, and then open the edited document.

AFTER reading through the changes, accepting and revising your story, save and put away the document for at least a week before printing and starting the process over.

One more printed copy. One or several more reads, notes, and subsequent updates.

Read it aloud (again) to your devoted pet (or the wall), and with the trusty ball point pen ready to circle oddities and faux pas’, be ready to cut ten percent.

Go back to the e-copy and make the necessary edits, cuts and culls. Spare no word from hacking, cut and chop.

Rinse and repeat.

Sigh!

About the Book

Moguez_NothingIsLostInLoving_jpgTitle: Nothing is Lost in Loving

Author: Brenda Moguez

Genre: Women’s Fiction

When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which is also the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to stop talking to his ashes, come to terms with her loss, and get her life back on track for her young son’s sake as well as her own. She never expected that posting an ad on Craigslist would send her into the arms of not one but two men, one of whom is her former boss. Now she’s working as an admin for a retired Broadway star, bookkeeping for an erotic video production company, and writing love letters for the mysterious “Oaklander.” Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces and the father-in-law she never met shows up on her doorstep. With the guidance of her best friend, Bono, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by.

Author Bio

Brenda Moguez writes the kind of stories she loves to read–women’s fiction, starring quirky, passionate women who are challenged by the fickleness and complexities of life.

She’s particularly drawn to exploring the effects of love on the heart of a woman. She has aspirations for a fully staffed villa in Barcelona and funding aplenty for a room of her own. When she’s not working on a story, she writes love letters to the universe, dead poets, and Mae West. Her second novel, Nothing is Lost in Loving, is set to release April 2016. You can find her at http://www.brendamoguez.com  where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.

Links

Author Site: http://www.brendamoguez.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMoguez

Twitter: @BrendaMoguez

Buy the book on Amazon

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Promo Post Dust

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About the Book

DustbyBeauxCooper-1800HRTitle: Dust

Author: Beaux Cooper

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Some people seek marriage counseling; others find wisdom in horse manure. Austen St. Johns has taken up a shovel.

When her marriage transitions from blushing newlyweds to people who merely co-exist, Austen realizes perhaps she’s responsible for her misery.

Desiring change, she leaves Oregon for the open plains of a Wyoming ranch where she discovers through love of self how she can save her marriage.

Author Bio

mirandalsober.2015.jaymeemcdaniel-5078Beaux Cooper is a writer, explorer, and wife. Much of her writing is pulled directly from life experiences, revelations, and lessons which seem to come in spurts if given enough time to formulate. As a fresh transplant to the bluffs region of Wyoming from her home state of Oregon, Beaux has grown to appreciate just how small she really is compared to the rest of the earth.

Wyoming skies can do that to a person.

Beaux craves adventure, travel, and fish tacos. She hoards knowledge like a magpie after carnival and watches entirely too much British television. Surprisingly, Beaux’s weekends are filled with all things quintessentially Wyoming: national parks, cattle brandings, rodeos, and the Oregon Trail. But only because she seeks them out.

Beaux shares a household with her husband, two dogs, and two cats – in no particular order.

Links

http://www.beauxcooper.com
https://www.facebook.com/CooperBeaux/
https://twitter.com/BeauxCooper
https://www.instagram.com/beauxcooper/

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Guest Post A Falling Friend

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Guest Post

The author’s editing process by Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape

Sue writes: My first thought: ‘There is no process, it happens organically.’ But that’s rather glib and, actually, things that I think are instinctive are part of a learned process dating from my early years as a journalist.

In those days, reporters kept a carbon copy of everything they wrote while the top copy went to the news editor and then to the subs. When the paper came out I compared what I’d written with the published version and took note of the corrections.

The lessons I learned about clean writing, good punctuation and grammar, and avoiding repetition have stayed with me.

When I wrote A Falling Friend with Susan, we agreed a rough plot outline – but this changed as the book developed and as characters behaved in unexpected ways. We didn’t edit or re-write each other’s copy (apart from typos) because it was important that we maintained separate voices so readers could distinguish between the two main characters.

Susan writes: I’m probably a more spontaneous writer than Sue. On good days, I sit at the pc and words flow at a lightning pace. Sometimes, my sentences are a stream of consciousness and I’m criticised for writing long paragraphs with little punctuation. While I think that’s OK, so long as everything is grammatically correct, some readers don’t like it, so I’ve learned to curtail my style. Sue’s slower in her writing, but wiser, and likes to sit on her chapters for a few days to think about things.

Sue writes: We had tremendous feedback from our editors Kate and Rebecca. There was a lot of gnashing of teeth at first because some of the journalism conventions, such as how we attributed quotes ‘…said Teri’ which is what we’d write as journalists, fell foul of our grammatically correct editors who preferred ‘…Teri said’.

But their support and constructive criticism was invaluable and has made A Falling Friend a much better book.

We both agree on these tips for clean writing:

Keep language plain and simple.

Never use a long word where a short one will do.

Don’t try and find alternatives for ‘said’.

Keep sentences active rather than passive: the man bit the dog, rather than the man was bitten by the dog.

Avoid adverbs, adjectives and clichés like the plague.

Write – read it – leave it – read it – edit it. In other words, write a chapter, go have a cup of tea, come back and read what you’ve written. With a fresh eye you’ll spot the clunks.

 

And when you’re 100 per cent satisfied, find yourself a good editor!

About the Book

AFF coverTitle: A Falling Friend

Author: Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape

Genre: Women’s Fiction

After spending her twenties sailing the globe, making love on fine white sand, and thinking only of today, Teri Meyer returns to Yorkshire – and to studying. That’s when she discovers John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and poet of all things depraved. What she doesn’t realise is even beyond his grave, his influence over her is extraordinary. To hell with the consequences.

Having gone out on a limb to get old friend Teri a job at the university at which she teaches, it doesn’t take long for Lee Harper to recognise a pattern. Wherever Teri goes, whatever she does, every selfish choice she makes, it’s all setting her up for a nasty fall. But Teri’s not the sort to heed a warning, so Lee has no choice but to stand by and watch. And besides, she has her own life to straighten out.

A clever, raw and hilarious character-driven masterpiece that follows the lives of two friends with the same ambitions, but who have vastly different ways of a achieving them.

Author Bio

Author photoSue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists who between them have extensive experience of working in national and regional papers and magazines, and public relations.

More recently they have worked in higher education, teaching journalism to undergraduate and postgraduate students – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity.
The pair, who have been friends for 25 years, have already written two successful journalism text books together – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction; and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction.

Sue, who is married with two grown-up daughters, loves reading, writing and exploring the cycle paths near her Yorkshire home. She blogs about books at http://www.pinkbicyclebooks.com
Susan is married and spends her spare time walking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales and on the east coast, and playing the ukulele.

 

Links

Amazon UK – Amazon UK

Amazon US – Amazon US

Publisher Webpage  – Publisher Webpage

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Release Blitz Nothing is Lost in Loving

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About the Book

Moguez_NothingIsLostInLoving_jpgTitle: Nothing is Lost in Loving

Author: Brenda Moguez

Genre: Women’s Fiction

When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which is also the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to stop talking to his ashes, come to terms with her loss, and get her life back on track for her young son’s sake as well as her own. She never expected that posting an ad on Craigslist would send her into the arms of not one but two men, one of whom is her former boss. Now she’s working as an admin for a retired Broadway star, bookkeeping for an erotic video production company, and writing love letters for the mysterious “Oaklander.” Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces and the father-in-law she never met shows up on her doorstep. With the guidance of her best friend, Bono, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by.

Author Bio

Brenda Moguez writes the kind of stories she loves to read–women’s fiction, starring quirky, passionate women who are challenged by the fickleness and complexities of life.

She’s particularly drawn to exploring the effects of love on the heart of a woman. She has aspirations for a fully staffed villa in Barcelona and funding aplenty for a room of her own. When she’s not working on a story, she writes love letters to the universe, dead poets, and Mae West. Her second novel, Nothing is Lost in Loving, is set to release April 2016. You can find her at http://www.brendamoguez.com where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.

Links

Author Site: http://www.brendamoguez.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMoguez

Twitter: @BrendaMoguez

Buy the book on Amazon

Giveaway

Win 3 $25 Amazon gift cards during the release.
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Promo Post RUN Ragged

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About the Book

RUN_Ragged_Cover_for_KindleTitle: RUN Ragged

Author: Kari Aguila

Genre: Suspense / Science-Fiction / Women’s Fiction

Would anything change if women ruled the world?

In a devastated country, those in charge rule by fear, inequality, and oppression. Rhia, a strong and independent sea captain, just wants to keep her head down and do her job, unitl she finds herself trapped in a re-education facility designed to help people fit into the rules of the New Way Forward. The warden claims to be guiding those in her care, but Rhia quickly sees the cracks in the system. As she is faced with torture and brainwashing, those cracks become gaping holes that threaten to pull her down into the depths of despair. Can Rhia resist the slow subversion of re-education and become the reluctant hero the new world needs?

RUN Ragged is the thrilling second story by the award-winning author of Women’s Work. This brilliantly imagined novel is both a scathing satire and a profoundly poignant look at the price we are willing to pay for peace and what we are willing to ignore to keep our conscience clear.

Author Bio

KariPhotoRunRaggedKari Aguila was the recipient of an IndieReader Discovery Award for her first novel, Women’s Work. Her stories are gripping and thought-provoking looks at gender stereotypes and relationships set in a dystopic future. She is also an avid gardener, geologist, outdoor enthusiast and mother of three. Aguila lives in Seattle with her family. RUN Ragged is her second novel.

Links

Website: www.kariaguila.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WomensWorkKA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KariAguilaAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7422555.Kari_Aguila

Buy on  Amazon (Paperback)

Buy on Amazon (Kindle)

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Promo Post RUN Ragged

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About the Book

RUN RAGGED 8-24-15Title: RUN Ragged

Author: Kari Aguila

Genre: Suspense / Science-Fiction / Women’s Fiction

RUN Ragged is on Kickstarter in September!

Find RUN Ragged on KICKSTARTER this month! Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site where you get to choose which projects sound interesting to you. There are great rewards and you make a powerful impact on bringing RUN Ragged to fruition!

Would anything change if women ruled the world?

Fifteen years after the Last War devastated families and infrastructure, women have taken over under the banner of peace and equality. Only too late do they realize it’s a slippery slope to oppression. In RUN Ragged, Rhia, a strong and independent sea captain finds herself trapped in The Center, a re-education facility designed to help people fit into the rules of the new matriarchal society. The warden claims to be guiding those in her care, but Rhia quickly sees the cracks in the system. Faced with the terrifying torture and brainwashing the warden inflicts, those cracks become gaping holes that threaten to pull Rhia down into the depths of despair. Can she resist this slow subversion and become the reluctant hero the inmates need?

RUN Ragged is the suspenseful second story by the award-winning author of Women’s Work. It’s a disturbing look at what price we are willing to pay for peace and how much we are willing to ignore to keep our conscience clear.

Author Bio

KariPhotoRunRaggedKari Aguila was the recipient of an IndieReader Discovery Award for her first novel, Women’s Work. Her stories are gripping and thought-provoking looks at gender stereotypes and relationships set in a dystopic future. She is also an avid gardener, outdoor enthusiast and mother of three. Aguila lives in Seattle with her family, and loves to visit Book Clubs, Wine Clubs, or Book Clubs with Wine. RUN Ragged is her second novel.

Links

Kickstarter link:

www.kickstarter.com

Search RUN Ragged under the Search Projects Page

Website:

www.kariaguila.com

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/WomensWorkKA

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