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Short and sweet…and funny by Jenny Jensen

June 19, 2021 by in category On writing . . . by Jenny Jensen tagged as , , ,

Courtesy of The New Yorker

Short and sweet…and funny

I love Dickens. I really do; the man could use 400 words to describe something that needs maybe five and never miss a beat, never lose a reader’s interest – like spotting all the little details in a medieval tapestry. Then there are the Russians; I nearly drown in those narratives. All those names! Still, what grand stories. But after Anna’s head meets the track I have to read some Elmore Leonard to clear my palette. So many long narrative styles and each a joy to read.

Sometimes though, we all like something short and sweet and to the point. The limerick fits the bill perfectly. OK, it’s technically narrative verse, but a good limerick can express rich volumes in five simple lines. Mostly they’re funny and that’s a plus. And they’re therapeutic, as every frustrated student can attest. Penning limericks during long obtuse lectures got me through an entire semester of statistics.

Regarding statistics Professor Rum writes
While a perplexed class his piercing eye smites
There are lies and damn lies...
But in this student’s eyes
It’s only statistics that bites

It was Mr. Edward Lear (c. 1840-50) who popularized the form for children and thus introduced it to all and sundry. Anyone can, and everyone should, and most everyone has, unleashed pent up feelings in this deceptively innocent form.  How to tell a truth, share one’s opinions, confess a saucy thought: let it out in a limerick.

I’ve been told an old man had sent emails
To some various dubious females.
He was asked what they said,
But he just shook his head.
I would rather not go into details  
                          (author unknown)

The madness of our current world offers so much fodder for a simple AABBA structure. From celebrity culture to politics to foodie commentary it’s an embarrassment of riches. Just think what you can do with Twitter? Jeff Bezos? Bit Coin?  NFT’s? Of course, the really good limericks are the prurient ones. I won’t share any of those here – no need to risk offense – but I bet you all know at least one. And those limericks from elementary school? Sex Ed 101. A narrative form for all ages.

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

                        (author unknown)

Penning a good limerick is useful. You can entertain family with a razor sharp limerick about Uncle Arnie, or share one with work mates about the Soup Nazi in the cafeteria – entertaining and therapeutic.  But the best use of all is to prime the pump. When I’m faced with that fog wall of writer’s block I jot down a limerick. I work it until it shines and the word faucet flows.

A writer sat despondent in Rossclurds
She’d lost her facility for words.
She penned a snide limerick,
the lurid content did ‘er the trick,
And words flowed like Miss Muffet’s curds.

Lame? Well, yes. But it works and no one needs to read it. The next time you’re assaulted by the news, bemused by your sister’s latest breakup with yet another unsuitable guy or you’re faced with a blank page and the words just won’t coalesce, get your Limerick on!

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Second Chance Romances

June 18, 2021 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , ,

Presented by: Deborah A. Bailey
Date: July 12 – 25, 2021
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $10
Non-A2P Member fee: $20

About the Workshop:

Second chance romance is a popular trope that covers a lot of situations. A chance to make up after a split. A second chance at love for “older” heroines. Another chance for love after heartbreak or trauma. Second chances come in many forms and readers love to experience them. Learn how to build your character’s backstory and make their second chance extra satisfying for your readers.


1. What kind of second chance does your character desire?
2. Determining the risks and rewards for your characters.
3. Healing from trauma and loss – identifying the obstacles to love
3. Building a backstory – why is your character in this situation?
4. Make the reader care – how they can become invested in your character’s journey

About the Presenter:

Deborah A Bailey has presented various writing workshops for SavvyAuthors.com and the Sayreville Public Library, including topics such as Writing Your Book in First Person POV, Creating Intimate Scenes Without Going All the Way and Introduction to Self-Publishing.


Her science fiction and paranormal romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. Website: https://dbaileycoach.com/brightbooks

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Romancing the Holidays – Writing Holiday Romances that Sell

June 18, 2021 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , ,

Presented by: Rebekah R. Ganiere
Date: July 1 – 31, 2021
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15
Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

What is the hype with Holiday Romances? Have you ever wondered why so many people write them? Or why there are so many people that read them? This year alone Hallmark will come out with over one hundred new holiday romance movies!

So what does it take to write a Holiday Romance? When do you publish it? When do publishers even send out calls for them?

Come find the answers. Join the thousands of writers who are publishing Holiday Romance short stories, novellas and novels to move their careers forward. Learn what you need to incorporate into your story, how to write a sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal holiday story and more.

Come learn what it takes to write in one of the hottest selling sub-genres of romance!

About the Presenter:

Rebekah is an Award Winning USA Today Bestselling Author and Screenwriter. Her debut novel Dead Awakenings, hit the bestseller list on release day. She has won several awards in both writing and screenwriting. Books in her popular fairytale retelling series Fairelle have won many awards including the Golden Palm and was a finalist for Rone Award as well as won Best Fantasy Series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Rebekah is a prolific author releasing upwards of five books a year and is currently working on six different series.


Rebekah is the former President of the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA as well as a member of several local and online chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her teaching on Savvy Authors or at RWA. Rebekah is also known for her elaborate cosplays with her family and has been a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con, Wondercon, Salt Lake Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con, Comikaze, Fyrecon and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, Romantic Times Convention, RWA, InD’Scribe, Genre LA and Authors After Dark and Book Lovers Con.


Rebekah R. Ganiere ~ Books with a Bite
USA Today Bestselling Author and Award Winning Screenwriter
Producer – No More Goodbyes
Newsletter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Amazon

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Jina Bacarr June Featured Author

June 17, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

About Jina Bacarr

Jina Bacarr | A Slice of Orange

I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve. I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling. I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

You can follow Jina on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Goodreads
Bookbub

Jina also has a column here on the 11th of every month: Jina’s Book Chat.

A Few of Jina’s Books

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

Buy now!
A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL

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Death Opens a Window Book Tour & Guest Post

June 16, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Guest Posts, Rabt Book Tours tagged as , , , , , ,

Mourning Dove Mysteries, Book 2

Mystery, Crime Fiction, LGBTQ

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Date Published: Oct 19, 2019

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BEST eBOOK SUSPENSE/THRILLER – New Apple Book Awards

BEST COVER OVERALL – New Apple Book Awards

The Mourning Dove Mysteries series includes:

1. MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE

2. DEATH OPENS A WINDOW

3. A LIGHT TO KILL BY (coming August 3–preorder available)

Emory Rome is back in DEATH OPENS A WINDOW, Book 2 of the Mourning Dove Mysteries and the follow-up to the international bestseller MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE.

As he struggles with the consequences of his last case, Emory must unravel the inexplicable death of a federal employee in a Knoxville high-rise. But while the reticent investigator is mired in a deep pool of suspects – from an old mountain witch to the powerful Tennessee Valley Authority – he misses a greater danger creeping from the shadows. The man in the ski mask returns to reveal himself, and the shocking crime of someone close is unearthed.

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Mikel J. Wilson draws on his Southern roots for the international bestselling Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee. Wilson adheres to a “no guns or knives” policy for the instigating murders in the series.

Website

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Twitter

Goodreads

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mikel J. Wilson

  1. I was a licensed skydiver. I went to skydiving school in California City and would jump out of an Otter or Cessna over the Mojave Desert, which was especially stunning from 12,000 feet. I stopped jumping when I moved to San Diego.
  2. I insert subtle cameos into my books of characters from other, unrelated books I’ve written. For example, I have August Briar from Sedona: The Lost Vortex talking on the phone to Jeff Woodard from my Mourning Dove Mysteries series, and I have the other end of the conversation in Murder on the Lake of Fire, which came out six years later.
  3. I appeared as an extra on Will & Grace during the first season – in the “Alley Cats” episode, bowling beside the two leads.
  4. I’m a Southerner who has never drank even a sip of tea – sweet or unsweetened. I gave this same quirk to Emory Rome in my Mourning Dove Mysteries series.
  5. I spent two weeks alone camping and hiking in Sedona, seeking redirection for my life, and I came back with the inspiration for my first published book, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, which reinvigorated my passion for writing.
  6. When I was 19, I hopped on a Greyhound bus from Nashville to Los Angeles with $100 in my pocket and without knowing anyone there. I ended up homeless on the streets of Hollywood for a couple of months, but I persevered and have lived in Southern California ever since.
  7. In my 20s, I was a bartender at Studio One, which, at the time, was the largest LGBTQ+ nightclub in Los Angeles.
  8. I took Latin in high school and was president of the Latin Club, so I was especially thrilled to have a book-signing event in Rome for the launch of Murder on the Lake of Fire’s Italian version, Omicidio sul Lago di Fuoco.
  9. I proposed to my husband at Machu Picchu, finding out afterwards the particular spot is called the Palace of the Princess.
  10. I’m a UFO buff, and I was a huge fan of Chariots of the Gods when I was a kid. I finally met author Erich von Däniken at a “Contact in the Desert” event in 2019 and got a picture with him, which was majorly exciting for me.

Excerpt

Death Opens a Window

Mikel J. Wilson

At thirty-two stories, the Godfrey Tower jutted from the Knoxville skyline like a shark fin in the Tennessee River. Unseen through the frameless exterior walls of silvery, reflective glass, a young woman on the twenty-ninth floor sat with a phone held to her ear, pretending to be on a business call as she stared out the floor-to-ceiling window behind her desk. While her colleagues busied themselves on phones or computers at the dozens of cubicles throughout the large, open office space, Angie was not contributing to the organization’s productivity.

If she had looked down and across the street, the attractive brunette would’ve seen the unremarkable roof of the area’s next-tallest building fourteen floors below her. Instead she focused on the unobstructed view of downtown and the hazy, snow-peaked mountains beyond. She imagined herself hiking below the snowline with her new lumbersexual boyfriend and lying with him on a blanket before a tantric campfire. Angie could almost hear the crackling wood, until she realized the sound was coming from behind her.

She turned her chair around to see her boss tapping her desk with his pen. The hoary goat of a man stared her down, his pinched eyes straining to scold her through spotted glasses. “You’re having a rather one-sided conversation.”

Angie held up a silencing finger to her boss and made up something to say to her imaginary caller. “Thank you so much for your feedback, Mr. Watkins. We always appreciate hearing about good customer service, and I’ll be sure to pass along your kudos. Okay. Take care now.” She hung up the phone and greeted her boss with a smile. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t hear what you said.” She mimed a talking mouth with her hand. “He was talking my ear off.”

Mr. Ramsey, however, did not return her smile. In fact, a look of horror sprinted across his face as something behind her snatched his attention. Before Angie could turn around to see what it was, she heard a great shattering, followed by the pelting of glass on her back and right cheek.

A dark-haired man in a brown suit flew through the window headfirst and thudded faceup onto the floor beside her. The impact against the man’s back shoved the air from his lungs. He gurgled as he struggled to regain his breath – although no one could hear it over the screams of Angie and several of her co-workers. Shards of glass protruded from his head and neck, one at the base of an erratic fountain of blood that sprang from his carotid artery.

Angie, now shocked into silence, tore her eyes from the dying man and toward the broken window through which she had daydreamed just a moment earlier. Oblivious to the blood trickling from the small cuts on her own face, she took a step toward the large hole the man’s body had punched into the glass wall. She poked her head outside and looked all around.

Her boss grabbed her and pulled her away from the precarious opening. “Angie, what are you doing? It’s not safe!”

The young woman turned a confused face to him. “Where did he come from?”

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