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Openings by Jenny Jensen

February 19, 2018 by in category On writing . . . tagged as , ,

Openings | Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange Mrs. Gabaldon’s bird feeder was ravaged again last night.

When you live in a rural area a neighbor’s angst can quickly be made your angst. This act of vandalism is the signal for me to bolt before everyone for a mile around is, once again, grilled for an alibi — it’s off to the library for me.

I wonder among the shelves, picking a book at random to see if it’s the one. We all have our ways of making that decision. I start with the title; it tells me something about the story and reflects on the author’s style and mindset. Of course I look at the cover, but that’s often more a statement from the publisher so I don’t give it too much weight (which is why I love Indie covers; those reflect the author). Quick read of the blurbs and then always, always, I read the opening. That seals the deal.
The brash hook is a raucous opener: She was ten years old, but knew enough to wipe clean the handle of the bloody kitchen knife. Whoa! I’m in, Annie Hauxwell! An opening like that is so bold, so intriguing I had to learn more, I had to know what happened. I completely enjoyed A Bitter Taste.

That’s one way to grab a reader but I love it when an opening sets the tone of the story and tells me something about the characters. My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. I read that and love the autobiographical voice; it is filled with innocence and a gentle wisdom I know will tell me a tale of sorrow, and maybe redemption. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones is unforgettable.

An opening can also bring the reader immediately into the genre and instantly set up expectations. It was a bright day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. With just thirteen words (!) George Orwell has let me know that this is not the normal, comfortable world. There is something ominous about clocks plural, and of course clocks don’t strike thirteen —accept in the world of 1984. Who can pass on an opening like that?

Opening lines can make a book irresistible—after all, that’s what it’s about. There are no rules for openings except, of course, to make them well constructed sentences. Ask yourself what you want to reflect about the book and construct the opening around that. Make it a promise of the richness to come; make the reader unable to resist learning what happens.

BTW, as I turned onto my road, bulging book bag beside me, I could see the Cullison twins tidying up Mrs. Gabaldon’s bird feeder. They worked diligently under the watchful eyes of their mother and the stern direction of the lady herself. Phew, mystery solved, angst averted. I’m pretty sure I’ll get the details tonight and I’ll learn what happened.

Jenny 


Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange Jenny Jensen

Editor

www.e-bookeditor.com

With a BA in Anthropology and English I pursued a career in advertising and writing and segued into developmental editing. It was a great choice for me. I love the process of creating and am privileged to be part of that process for so many great voices — voices both seasoned and new.

I’ve worked on nearly 400 books over 20 years, books by noted authors published by New York houses including Penguin, Kensington, Pentacle and Zebra as well as with Indie bestsellers and Amazon dynamos. From Air Force manuals and marketing materials to memoirs, thrillers, sci fi and romance, my services range from copyediting to developmental coaching.

Having worked in advertising and marketing, I am always cognizant of the marketplace in which the author’s work will be seen. I coach for content and style with that knowledge in mind in order to maximize sales and/or educational potential. My objective is to help the author’s material stand out from an ever more crowded and competitive field.

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Got Magic? Enter Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2018 Short Story Award

February 18, 2018 by in category Apples & Oranges tagged as , ,

Got Magic | A Slice of Orange

Got Magic?

Enter Bethlehem Writers Roundtable

2018 Short Story Award

Sweet, Funny and Strange Tales of the Paranormal

Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2018 Short Story Award is accepting entries. Send us your stories about wizards, clairvoyants, other-worldly creatures, vampires, werewolves, telekenetics, hosts, goblins, witches, mediums, poltergeists, the supernatural, and other unexplainable experiences.

The First Place winner will receive a $200 cash award and publication of the winning story either in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s upcoming anthology of paranormal stories, Untethered: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of the Paranormal, or as a featured story in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. (Publication anticipated in late 2018).
For more information and to enter please got to Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 

 

The 2018 Guest Judge 
Kimberly Brower of
Brower Literary & Management, Inc.
 
2018 Short Story Award
Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven and hasn’t been able to get her nose out of a book since. She holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge, and received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Although she loves all things romance, she is also searching for books that are different and will surprise her, with empathetic characters and compelling stories. She takes great pride in her client list, from the debut authors to #1 NY Times bestsellers, and likes to consider them all her favorite authors. Connect on Twitter:  @KimberlyBroweror on their website: http://browerliterary.com 
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The Unromantic Romantic

February 15, 2018 by in category The Write Life tagged as , , , , , ,

Early in my career, when I was writing romance and women’s fiction, a bookseller, who I greatly admired, commented that my idea of romance was a chuck on a man’s  shoulder. The other authors gathered in her store for a book signing laughed – and so did I. She was right in context of the romance genre. I was never comfortable writing love scenes or covering my ‘author lens’ with gauze. I didn’t care for characters having long involved conversations about their relationships. It never occurred to me to have brooding heroes or pining heroines. I was less interested in cupid, than I was in the arrow he shot and, I suppose, that is why I write thrillers now.

However, that does not mean I am unromantic. Why? Because in each of my books I take great care with character relationships, character’s moral core, their willingness to take chances and their curiosity about their mysterious world. To convince myself I was correct in believing these attributes to be romantic, I looked up the definition. Here you go, straight from Meriam/Webster:

Romantic: marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious or idealized.

In other words, romance for one heart might carry an emotional connotation that leads to a sexual encounter or a committed relationship. For my heart, romance is embodied in how characters react to challenge. As a thriller writer I want my reader to feel the romance of suspense, of mystery, of the idealization of a hero who will walk through fire to make things right.

I find John McClane in Die Hard, Indiana Jones in any of the Indiana Jones movies, romantic and yet you never see them in sexual situations. The focus of these movies is on action within a mysterious world. The romantic in me sighs over their heroics, my heart beats faster at their commitment to justice and the place of honor in which they put women while also treating them as equals in adventure.

Whether you are an author or are a reader, do not pigeonhole the idea of romance. If you do, you will be limiting your talent and your reading enjoyment.

This Valentine’s Day, I hope cupid brought you candies and flowers. In the next year, I wish you a different kind of romance; the kind that take you to exotic, mysterious and adventurous places in your imagination.

XOXO,

The unromantic romantic

USA Today and Amazon bestselling author, Rebecca Forster is the author of over 38 novels including the acclaimed The Witness Series and her new Finn O’Brien Thriller series. She is married to a Superior Court judge and is mother to two sons.

Find Rebecca here:

Website: http://rebeccaforster.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaForster4/

Twitter: @Rebecca_Forster (https://twitter.com/Rebecca_Forster)

Subscribe and get my 2-book starter library: http://rebeccaforster.com/thriller-subscribers/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-forster

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Tari Lynn Jewett: Featured Author

February 14, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

 

Tari Lynn Jewett Featured | A Slice of Orange

 

Author: Tari Lynn Jewett

Tari Lynn Jewett lives in Southern California with her husband of nearly thirty years (also known as Hunky Hubby). They have three amazing sons, a board game designer, a sound engineer and a musician, all who live nearby. For more than fifteen years she wrote freelance for magazines and newspapers, wrote television commercials, radio spots, numerous press releases, and many, MANY PTA newsletters. As much as she loved writing those things, she always wanted to write fiction…and now she is.

She also believes in happily ever afters…because she’s living hers.

http://tarilynnjewett.com/

https://twitter.com/TariLynnJewett

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