Sunday, August 26, 2012

Makenzi's Goodreads Contest

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Unexpected Truth by Makenzi

Unexpected Truth

by Makenzi

Giveaway ends September 16, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book signing @ Lake Anna Winery

 Lake Anna Winery

Saturday August 25th  5-8 p.m.
ACE Blues & BBQ Fundraiser/ Adult Community Education
Lake Anna Winery, 5621 Courthouse Road  Spotsylvania, VA 22551

I will be there signing Unexpected Truth....come out to Lake Anna Winery for wine tasting, live band, food and more

Adult Community Education (ACE) returns to kick up some fun with local musicians “BlueRock”. $30.00 fee includes souvenir wine glass, wine tasting, dinner, and entertainment. Lots of surprises in store for the evening along with auction items.

The Literary Industry's Worst Trends List


The Internet is the next best thing to sliced bread!  With the explosion of the Internet, businesses and industries have had to adapt and evolve with the progression of technology.  For example, social networking sites have become hugely popular within the literary industry and used in the promotion of authors, publishing houses, editing services, and book clubs. Maximum exposure is received due to the masses that frequent these sites leading to better sales.  Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. Along with that growing number of sales and exposure, it seems professionalism, common sense, courtesy, and manners have gone down hill.  Readers have again weighed in with...THE INDUSTRY'S WORST TRENDS LIST.   

Posting to groups and not interacting with the members or adding to a discussion.
Friending others and immediately posting links to "like" a page.
Authors posting every review for their book in Facebook groups.
Adding others to groups without permission.
Soliciting books sales through inbox messages that include several others.  When one person replies, everyone receives that reply.
Authors posting on the pages of other’s while others can’t post on theirs.
Responding to any and every post, note, or status with information about their book or a sales pitch.

General Behavior
Authors going rogue, assuming they are “hated on” when a reader shares their opinion.
Aspiring authors not doing their homework before signing with a publisher or paying for publishing industry advice. Not
everyone is reputable.
Authors providing blurbs or reviews for books they have not read.
Responding to anyone that didn’t like/love a book with, “But so-and-so liked it.”
Authors believing they are royalty or rock stars.

Reviews/Review Requests
Authors who haven't taken the time to get reviews for their very first book in a series but want reviews for the subsequent parts.
Books accepted for review but the author/publisher/publicist never sends it with zero follow-up.
Authors posting their own reviews for their books, posing as a random reader.
Asking for and providing a book for review, but ignoring the review (& reviewer) if it is not what the author wanted (5
Authors with unrealistic review timeframe expectations. 
Unprofessional review requests.
Negative behavior in response to reviews.
Submitting books for review and not acknowledging the review or saying thank you.
Removing reviews or asking readers/reviewers to remove reviews AFTER a book has been re-edited.
Sending ARCs/galleys for review that are in terrible condition or that do not reflect the story that went to print. (ARC ends one way, published book ends another way.)
Stating that a book is an ARC or galley so that errors will be taken into consideration when the book is the same book anyone can purchase.
An author expecting everyone to feel their book is a 5-star read.
Confusing constructive criticism with hate.

Book Quality
There still are authors who don't respect the craft enough to have their book properly edited.
Authors seem to think if there are any plus size characters in a book, their size always has to be the main part of the book.
Authors using plus size female characters as the ones with self-esteem issues, domestic/mental abuse victim, and/or the one that can't find a man.
Sequels, trilogies and series.  Most are not necessary and it takes a very skilled author to pull this off. But now we have
brand new authors just looking for a way to garner extra money off of one story, instead of coming up with a new storyline.
A book title or synopsis that does not reflect the story.
Constant references to brand names or songs.
A plot twist with absolutely no lead up.
In conclusion, if the value of your reputation is important to you and the acceptance of your work is to be respected, then professionalism, including social media etiquette, should be applied in all you do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Show vs.Tell in Fiction Writing

Anyone who has ever written or read a fiction book knows there should be more show than tell. Fiction is all about forging an emotional link between the author and the reader. Readers are drawn into visual, one of the best ways to do this is by creating vivid images that immerse readers in the world of the fiction by not merely telling readers what’s happening, but showing it to them.

Let the Reader See It…
Basically, the distinction is this: telling merely catalogs actions and emotions, showing creates images in a reader’s imagination. It’s the difference between the grocery list and the groceries. Don’t overuse adverbs. The stronger verb eliminates the need for the “telling” adverb.

Use Strong Verbs…
 As writers we typically have a fair number of verbs from which to choose to describe any given action. If you’re set on making a sentence come to life, break out your thesaurus and dig around for the most vivid verbs you can find.

Let Readers Feel For Themselves…
Beware, too, of sentences that seem to tell the reader how to feel, particularly when writing in the third person.

Let the Dialogue Speak for Itself…
The content of dialogue, too, is a useful “showing” tool. It can give readers insight into a character’s intelligence and level of sophistication, can hint at his background and even suggest something about his self-image. If you want a character to seem intelligent, let her say intelligent things. If a man’s not well educated, keep his vocabulary comparatively simple (though not necessarily the content of his speech — he might be highly intelligent but simply lack linguistic sophistication…). Don’t tell your reader that a character is inarticulate, show that character struggling to find the right words to express himself. You can do so even through simple interactions. While dialect and regional clich├ęs should, of course, be used sparingly, they often prove quite useful in showing readers qualities in a story’s characters, minor and major. Used well, they can also help delineate characters in a reader’s mind, making the whole narrative more vivid.

On the Other Hand…
There are, however, a few good arguments for telling, at least once in a while. The best is simple shortness. Showing almost always takes a good deal more words than does telling, and if an event is comparatively unimportant, you may want to mention it only in passing. (Of course if it’s really unimportant, you should probably consider simply leaving it out.) Likewise, if a character is recounting events with which the reader is already well-familiar, you may want to gloss over it with a tell line:
Jane explained what had happened.
You might decide that allowing the reader to hear some or all of the familiar events in Jane’s voice is worth repeating what the reader already knows, in which case — go for it. If not, this quick line gets the job done and allows you to move on to more immediate, active scenes.
Another, more treacherous argument for telling rather than showing is that telling is less emotionally charged — and therefore less emotionally manipulative. Certainly a litany of events — stripped of strong verbs and adjectives and the emotional baggage they inevitably carry with them — leaves more room for the reader to render his or her own opinion.

The Last Word(s)…
Vivid writing grabs readers’ attention and draws them into your story — and showing your audience the action you create is a vital aspect of vivid storytelling. So, in order to avoid the pitfalls of “telling” rather than “showing,” remember these points:
• Use strong, specific verbs, and avoid overusing adverbs.
• Provoke emotion through character reactions and vivid writing, don’t simply tell readers how to feel.
• Use well-placed details to bring scenes to life.
• Use expressive dialogue to show characters’ emotions and attitudes.
Keep these notions in mind and your writing is sure to be more powerful and compelling, the sort of thing that will keep readers coming back for more.

Hope this help with your future writing goals.



Friday, August 3, 2012


Yesterday marked the 9th year that my cousin Christopher passed away. Even though yesterday was the day he passed today was the day I will never forget. Today was the day I received a phone call that will be forever etched in my mind, heart and soul. I was in Philadelphia, spending the weekend with a so-called friend celebrating her bachlorette party, the start of her new life, when in fact in Florida the life of another newlywed couple was ending. We had been out the night before parting and drinking, enjoying ourselves, living life. I was awaken the next morning by a piercing ring, I could not for the life of me, figure out what this sound was or where the sound was coming from. Let me remind you again I had been out partying and drinking the night before so my mind was not focused at that moment.

When I was able to gain control of the situation and realize that the piercing sound was the roaming feature on my cell phone, I quickly answered not expecting or prepared for what was about to be said to me.(my cousin) "Kay, Chris is dead"  (me) "What"   (my cousin) "Chris is dead"..... I was speechless, was this a joke, hell NO, it's not, I don't think there is a human being walking who is that cruel to make up a story about their husband being dead. I jumped out the bed, not sure of my surroundings because I was currently sleeping in a foreign place, a entire state away from my home in Cleveland Ohio.  I can't tell you what was said after that point but all I remember saying is "I'm on my way"....I woke everyone up in that house, I had to get out of there. I didn't care what the plane ticket would cost me, my cousin was experiencing something very traumatic and I was not about to allow her to go through this alone.

It took me pretty much all day to travel from Philadelphia to Pensacola, Florida, it was a Saturday so there was limited flights landing into Pensacola but I was determined to get there. A lot of the details are foggy to me but I remember sitting in several airports waiting as a standby alone crying. I couldn't call anyone because on top of everything, my cell phone had no battery life (damn). I remember sitting in a corner staring off into space trying to put some type of understanding on what was happening but I couldn't, Chris was no longer with us. A church group was sitting in the same waiting area as I and a few of them came over to comfort me and pray with me.  The ticket counter probably was so tired of listening to me cry, he kept looking over at me and eventually he called me up to the counter and advised me he had a open seat for me. First Class!!!!

When I boarded the plane I remember sitting next to this white guy who told me he was a rapper and that his grandmother had recently passed away and he was on his way to Florida to attend her funeral. we exchanged stories all the way to Pensacola. Once I arrived to Pensacola my cousin picked me up in this swooped up car,  I never questioned or asked whose car it was, I just hoped in and we drove off.  There was a lot of silence, I know neither one of us knew exactly what to say or how to say it.

After being in Pensacola for about 4 days helping my cousin and both of their moms, finalize everything to have Chris shipped back to Cleveland. I traveled back to Cleveland a few hours before my cousin because she wanted to fly on the same flight that the Military was shipping her husband on. I will not continue with events that happened but just know that life is very precious. My cousin never knew when her husband left out the door to hang out with his friends, that would be the last time they would lock eyes on each other.    LIVE LOVE LAUGH