Friday, March 30, 2012

Just for fun...and improvement

I've posted some great resources on my blog about active vs. passive voice. Also, read my post and cast a vote for your favorite romantic hero eye color

Just for fun...and improvement

I've posted some great resources about active vs. passive voice on my blog. Also, read my post and cast a vote for your favorite romantic hero eye color

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Organised Chaos!

Keeping myself organised is a project in itself. I work from home, and there are so many distractions that set out to disorganise me. Although living in England, I rarely get the distraction of a hot summer’s day to tempt me away from my computer, and maybe that’s a good thing. But I have been known to play truant on a rare sunny afternoon . . . I think the last time was 2009!

In an effort to keep organised, I make lists of projects in the book that lives on my desk, and I cross them out in highlighter pen when they’re finished. Not exactly high-tech I admit, but oh-so-satisfying when a page is filled with fluorescent highlighted copy – and quite pretty too! I’ve crossed out four things today in lurid fluorescent yellow, and when I’ve finished writing this blog, I’ll cross out another!

I actually like deadlines. Yes I know that’s confirmed my status as a weirdo now. But I do. I work much better when I’m told something is needed by a certain date. It helps me to focus. If the answer to, ‘when do you need it?’ is a, ‘there’s no hurry,’ or, ‘whenever you can fit it in,’ I tend to go to pieces!

I file all of my projects in relevant folders on my computer. It’s a thing. I like it. My writing folder has separate folders for every book, every short story, book reviews, and all the different blogs. Then I back it all up on a separate hard drive. I had a nasty scare last year when my Mac keeled over and refused to restart. I’d just started a new book, and had forgotten to back it up. Ten whole chapters! I was distraught, awake all night, and minus a computer for me to take my mind off not having a computer :) Luckily my local Mac gurus managed to retrieve everything and fit a new hard drive. So now I’m absolutely manic about backing up.

Anyone who has been watching the UK Season Four of Being Human, will have been introduced to the new vampire, Hal, who organises anything and everything to keep his mind off drinking human blood. In one episode he’s distracted by a box with matches which aren’t all facing in the same direction. Keeps him quiet for hours!A nice idea.

In Fledgling Will is obsessive about everything being in its place, and Elinor discovers her clothes have been put away in a wardrobe, although she has no idea how they came to be there.


Well that was a turn up for the book. Will hadn’t locked me in. A vast improvement. But I didn’t say I wouldn’t look around did I? I listened for any sounds but heard nothing, and so unable to contain my curiosity, I opened the door opposite. It opened onto a bedroom, although merely calling it a ‘bedroom’ didn’t do it justice.

The room was dominated by a huge oak four-poster bed. It looked pretty ancient to me, with beautiful carvings decorating the posts and the headboard. Dark-blue velvet drapes hung down from the top and surrounded the bed, almost reaching the floor. Two matching velvet upholstered chairs stood one on either side of the bed, and a carved oak chest stood against the far wall. The floor consisted of aged oak floorboards, no doubt polished many times over the decades, and which gleamed softly in the dim light. Expensive-looking rugs were scattered about the floor and the overall effect was one of luxurious, but masculine, elegance. I wouldn’t have expected anything less for Will. There were no windows, so I assumed the room was in the basement.

I wondered how many floors there were to this house. Although if it was indeed Georgian, as Will had once said, the chances are there would be four. I knew there were quite a few Georgian houses in Highgate and Hampstead, I’d often walked around, admiring them, and wishing I could have a look round inside. Little did I know I’d end up a prisoner in a cellar of one of them. Perhaps I’d even walked by this very house, never dreaming a vampire owned it. Not the kind of thing one dreams about after all—well not in the sane world anyway.

I hadn’t taken much notice of my surroundings the night we’d walked to Highgate tube station, but I remembered it took about fifteen minutes or so to get there. By my reckoning I thought we were probably somewhere near Swains Lane. Highgate West Hill perhaps, Holly Terrace or maybe Oakeshott Avenue. All those streets had beautiful Georgian houses. But that would put Will’s house strangely close to the famous cemetery. You’d have thought he’d want to keep well away from the tourists and Goths who frequented the cemetery. Maybe it appealed to his sense of humour. I didn’t know him well enough to comment.

I walked across the bedroom to the large double doors in the far wall. I opened them to discover what Will had called the ‘dressing room’. It was nearly as large as the master bedroom with a double bed against one wall and cupboards along another. I pulled open one of the cupboard doors, and my clothes were indeed hanging neatly together on one side. I rifled through until I found a short denim skirt, black sweater and my long, black boots. I discovered underwear and a pair of black tights in one of the drawers beneath the wardrobe part of the cupboard. A mite presumptious I thought, putting my clothes in here. Although in fairness there was no sign of his own clothes.

“Do you like it?” Will’s deep voice came from behind me, and I started guiltily, turning around with an armful of clothes.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be nosey…” I began, flustered.

“Yes you did,” he said. “So, do you like it?”

“Yes of course, it’s beautiful.”

“Good. I was not looking forward to re-decorating.”


. . . And I now have the fluorescent pen poised . . .

Happy Easter holidays everyone!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rejection hurts

I’m Barbara Edwards and I’ve been reading short novellas in an attempt to learn how to create one. Since most of my work has been over eighty thousand words, this is a whole new experience.

In case you didn’t know, I submitted a short Christmas Story to The Wild Rose Press for consideration.

I assumed since I am already published by The Black Rose this was a slam-dunk.

The rejection hurt.

Let me explain. I read the description of what they wanted. I wrote a decent story. The editor read it and said- not quite what we’re looking for. She sent a list of revisions she thought necessary.

I took a deep breath. And asked if I could resubmit? Hmm, yes, it has promise.

I hunkered over my keyboard. I read and reread the suggestions. I sweated. I typed. I deleted and tightened.

I resubmitted.


Sorry, rejected again.

Okay. Only the editor likes the story and will review it if I rewrite it.

Well, I like the story. I like the editor. I liked her suggestions. But I have a need to learn the skills necessary to create a fast-paced, romantic tales.

Romance in a longer book is easier. The glance, the touch, the first kiss are spread over many scenes. Short is not simple. Every word carries weight.

I’ve found I’m not the only one with a problem. A few I’ve read by indie authors show they need an editor. A few I read are great. The ones from The Wild Rose Press show the skill of the authors and editors.

So here I am. Sweating, typing, editing and tightening until I’m confident my Christmas story  is the best one possible.

Did I mention I’m also working on a short story set in Rhodes End?

So much to write, so little time.    

In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.

Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.

In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.


“Don’t touch me, Mel, not unless you’re willing to do a lot more,” he warned as her hazel eyes flared golden.

“Don’t threaten me, Steve. You’re…”

He pulled her into his arms despite the alarm bells clanging in his head.

Danger! Danger! Danger!

Her widened eyes met his. Mel’s hands were trapped against his chest, but she didn’t push him away. Instead, her fingers curled into his shirt.

Her mistake. His mistake was to crush her mouth under his.

Mel’s soft lips parted. Need exploded. The taste of black coffee didn’t hide her sweet flavor. As her tongue tangled with his, her arms slid around his neck and her fingers burrowed through his hair.

Steve hungered to peel the starched shirt off her soft shoulders, lay her on the thick turf and ease his desire. He tasted her brows, her cheek, along her throat, seeking the source of her call. Her pulse whipped under his mouth, awakening another need.

His teeth gently closed on the vulnerable vein.

He wanted, wanted, wanted…

Cold alarm chilled his pounding blood.

Steve gasped for air. He’d forgotten his own ironclad rule. Mel’s eyelids flittered open to reveal the molten glow of desire but he forced himself free.

He had no right to touch any woman. Not until he knew he hadn’t become what he had set out to destroy.

Barbara Edwards

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Ancient Blood