Writing Tip: Take It Home – Victoria Bastedo

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Victoria Bastedo

Another great writing tip shared by FVP Featured Author, Victoria Bastedo:

All characters need a home. It’s like meeting a new friend at work or at church. You may laugh in the hallways or at break time, but after a while the friendship doesn’t progress until you take that person home. It’s that way in a lot of shows on television too, as well as in love stories; meeting the family for the first time means something.

So give your characters a home, even if your story is set (as my current one is) on a spaceship. On the Enterprise in Star Trek we saw Spock at home in his quarters, playing a lute. In Middle Earth our hobbits returned to their hole in Bag End.

If you see a thriller where the spy only lives his life in hotel rooms and Moneypenny is his deepest relationship, there may be some excitement and fancy gadgetry, but there’s not a lot of personal connection.

Even if the home is oppressive at the beginning of the story and the goal is to get away from it, bring your characters to a home worth having by the end. Building that house makes a richer story.

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Just Two More Days…Until Donuts!

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It’s our pleasure to host a blog spotlight on Author, Rachel Barnard to celebrate her new release Donuts in an Empty Field on June 3rd.

This is Rachel’s third novel. You can find her others HERE. FreeValley Publishing is proud to have Rachel as one of our Featured Authors. She’s an avid reader, book reviewer and great supporter of other authors and her community. You can learn more on HER BLOG. And SPOILER ALERT there are giveaways, fulfillment of Rachel’s special request, and other great links at the very end of this post. If you skip stuff, don’t miss out on those! And don’t miss your chance to meet Rachel this weekend at the FreeValley booth at OddMall in Everett, WA.

Without further ado, let’s find out more about the book:

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DONUTS IN AN EMPTY FIELD  Available June 3rd, 2016 (aka National Donut Day).

Letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.

Vanessa hasn’t been the same since her father’s death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner’s son from a burning building. Nessa blames the boy, but her best friend Nichole thinks it’s time to let go of the past. In a last ditch effort to break Nessa’s obsession, Nichole hopes signing up for the local food challenge will bust her out of her shell. A single choice defines the road ahead for Nessa. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but living with the consequences of doing nothing might be worse.

And let’s also find out more about Rachel. First, the basic stuff – her bio. Then I’m going to ask her several categories of questions. We’ll do three of each category.

Biography:

Rachel Barnard

“Author, Reviewer, and Donut Enthusiast”

My greatest accomplishments have been eating an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, winning a boot toss, and writing a fictional novel based on my high school years. The first book in my For the Love of Donuts Books, Donuts in an Empty Field, is available June of 2016. My other YA novels include Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams and At One’s Beast. For more information and to see what I’m up to, visit my website: rachelauthorbarnard.com

Find the author: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Simple Questions for Rachel:

  • Go to Starbucks order: Tall child-temperature latte
  • Favorite movie line: “INCONCEIVABLE” – Princess Bride
  • As a child, what pet did you want to own: A pig

3 random Facts about Rachel:

  1. Her resume is in book form.
  2. She’s donated at least her height in hair.
  3. She has a geocache in Sarasota, Florida that has more finds than she’s personally found as a geocacher.

Harder questions for Rachel:

  • If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do?  My sweetheart would have to do something uniquely tailored to me to sweep me off my feet. I love good surprises and I love well-thought out presents. My ideal sweep me off my feet date would include a surprise itinerary, multiple stops, dessert of some sort, and something gushy romantic.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? Fall? Winter? Spring?   In the summer I love to play outdoor volleyball, go out on my boyfriend’s boat, and just be outdoors in the sunshine. In the fall I like to go geocaching and do the same things as in the summer when the days are nice. In the winter I like to take dance classes and work on my writing and participate in NaNoWriMo. In Spring I like to edit what I’ve written and continue taking dance classes.
  • What would you do if you were the last person on this earth?  How would I know I was the last person on earth? I would probably cry and then go searching for chocolate.

Simple Questions for Rachel about books and writing:

  • Favorite book quote: One of my favorite quotes is from Closed Hearts (Mindjack Saga Book 2) by  Susan Kaye Quinn, “Different isn’t a crime, you know.” (Kindle locations 7202-7203).
  • Name a literary invention you wish was real: The Time Turner from Harry Potter
  • Favorite hero: Zorro

Harder Questions for Rachel about books and writing:

  • How do you come up with your characters or story ideas?   I come up with new story ideas or character ticks every week. My ‘story ideas’ tab in OneNote on my computer keeps growing and growing. I surround myself with interesting people and do new and interesting things (like juicing or random meetups or going to Norwescon) that tempt my imagination at times and prompt me to add a new note in my ‘story ideas’ tab. My characters are amalgamations of people I’ve known, people I’ve read about, and the person I want to be.
  • What kind of stories do you write?   Currently I’ve delved into young adult, middle grade and recently, a romance, but I plan on branching out into the thriller/romance/fantasy genres more. I like to write stories with strong relationships between characters.
  • How long have you been writing?My Linkedin account states that I’ve been writing over 26 years (since birth), but I’ve truly been writing since the fourth grade when I learned how to write creatively. I started writing long form (novels) after I graduated from college.

Simple Questions about Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1):

  • Favorite quote: “Everyone is always so concerned for their own selves. Not my Dad.”
  • Song that fits the book for theme song: Raspberry Beret by Prince. (Editor’s note: I love it already! FVP-SJK)
  • If this book became a movie, who do you imagine playing Vanessa: Either Sarah Gilman or Jennifer Stone

And here are the links to contests and other cool stuff related to Rachel Barnard, the For the Love of Donuts series and the upcoming release:

Big Donuts Giveaway (you could win this prize too!)

June 3rd Online Release Party: 

Donuts Goodreads link

Donuts Amazon Order link

Thunderclap signup link

Rachel Barnard Newsletter Signup

 

 Important upcoming Dates/Events:

Odd Mall June 2016Event: Oddmall Emporium of the Weird

Location: Holiday Inn Everett, WA (Booth 8 with FreeValley Publishing)

Date/Time: 06/04/16 – 06/05/16

 

 

 

 

CaptureEvent: Maple Valley Days

Location: Lake Wilderness Park, Maple Valley, WA (near the Info booth with FreeValley Publishing)

Date/Time: 06/10/16 – 06/12/16

 

Event: Neverending Bookshop Reading with Donuts and Books

Location: Bothell, WA (10123 Main Place St. 2)

Date/Time: 06/25/16, 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Local author Rachel Barnard will read from her most recent publication, Donuts in an Empty Field. Bring your used books for store credit and to get more entries into the free raffle. This event features a blind donut tasting of several local donut shops. Come try some local donuts and vote on your favorites. Got something cool to say about donuts? Don’t forget to add it to the “All about the Donuts” comment/quote box. First five purchases after 3:00 P.M. will receive a FREE mini donuts swag pack.

Event: Third Place Books Dual Author ReadingLocation:

Third Place Books in Bothell, WA (17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park)

Date/Time: 06/25/16, 6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Come listen to Ksenia Anske and Rachel Barnard as they read from their new books The Badlings and Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1) respectively. There will be challenges, a raffle, and other fun stuff.

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Last but not least, the fulfillment of Rachel’s special request. I (Sheri J. Kennedy) was asked to blog about my favorite donut:

I’m a fan of cinnamon-sugar cake donuts. I like to take a satisfying bite of the firm but moist deliciousness and then let the gritty cinnamon-sugar melt away before chewing up the yellowy cake. Yum! …Best with an excellent Americano or double-shot of espresso of course. -SJK

Thalia and Earth – New Release by Mari Collier

FreeValley is pleased to announce a new release, THALIA AND EARTH, by our loyal follower, Mari Collier. This is Book 5 in the Chronicles of the Maca. Earthbound, Book 1 received an Amazon Best Seller Badge for being #1 on Kindle’s Western/Sci-fi Best Sellers for three weeks last year! Thanks for sharing this excerpt with us, Mari…

Portrait-1 mari collierYears ago, I started writing a novel and realized I wasn’t mature enough nor educated enough to finish it.  Over the years it was resurrected and buried a number of times.  It eventually grew into Gather The Children. Then a strange thing happened. The families featured in Gather The Children insisted that everything be recorded.  The result is the Chronicles of the Maca which has grown to five published novels. I’m currently working on Book 6, but it remains untitled. I’m seriously thinking of Murder in Thalia. Thalia is the planet of the stranded alien on Earth who recreates his House and returns to free Thalia from bondage. Now it is time to return to Earth to verify that all is going well with his remaining Earth family.

Before they can return, the Sisterhood regroups and attacks. When Thalia is calm and peace restored they return and find all is not going well. Some members of the family are unaware of their planetary origins, others try to hide it, one member wants to destroy the family corporation, another hides a secret of other interplanetary contact, and one has the ability to kill with his mind.

THALIA AND EARTH COMPLETE_TCCThe following is an excerpt from Thalia and Earth. It is Book 5 of the Chronicles of the Maca.  Earthbound, Book 1, Gather The Children, Book 2, Before We Leave, Book 3, and Return of the Maca, Book 4.

The excerpt is from Thalia and Earth, Chapter 24 and is entitled Earth 1976:  Mind Death

David Krampitz sat at the walnut desk staring intently into the darkness of the massive wooden door. His large, work calloused hands were curled into tight fists resting on his knees. In his mind, he could see the car racing past Buster’s Roost, the four occupants were intent on reaching the highway to Oklahoma. He concentrated on the driver, a man with straight dark hair, brown skin bronzed by sun, dark eyes focused on the road to make sure no boulder had rolled onto it from the last rain. And then David went deeper into the man’s mind. They became one as he gripped the steering wheel and tromped the gas pedal. David twisted the steering wheel to the right and drove the auto to the edge and over, the waves of fear and nausea generated in the man’s mind washed back into David’s mind.

The man fought to regain physical control, but lost. The car plunged downward, rolling over and over until it crashed into a huge outcropping of rock.

David swiveled in the wooden chair and turned the desk light on. The yellow glow spread over the desktop and outward onto the floor. His breathing was heavy and his two hearts were pounding; pounding as if he had been in that car and survived. He stood and walked over to the built-in walnut gun cabinet with banks of drawers on the side and two doors on the bottom. He opened one of the doors, retrieved a glass and a bottle of whiskey. He poured the glass half full, gulped it down, and returned the bottle to the shelf. He looked up at the painting above the door.

“I don’t drink whiskey, but I just took a swig of your expensive bottling that’s been setting in this house for over thirty years. Is that how you handled any guilt? Why didn’t you leave a journal or instructions on how to exist without destroying other people? Old timers say you killed men, but that was openly. Did you kill men in the dead of night when no one could charge you with murder? Did that spaceship take you away from all the memories?”

The gray eyed man in the painting made no reply.

Copyright, Mari Collier. All Rights Reserved

Since leaving the home we had in Snoqualmie Valley, where FreeValley Publishing is based, I’ve published three anthologies (one is Twisted Tales From The Northwest) and the five novels. I tried a vanity press before it was so easy to publish on Amazon and then had a small press publisher. I’m now back to semi-independent, but the experience with the new company has been wonderful. Happy reading and writing to all.

http://maricollier.com/

https://twitter.com/child7mari

https://www.facebook.com/Twisted-Tales-From-A-Skewed-Mind-124947397618599/

NOTE FROM FVP SITE EDITOR: If you’re interested in having an excerpt of your published or soon to be released novel featured on our site, please email me through Contact Us. We’d love to see what you’re up to and help get the word out on your new work. Anything posted on FVP remains the sole property of the author, and the post is free of charge and spam-free afterwards. We enjoy helping our fellow authors. -Sheri J. Kennedy, editor

T.A. Henry SCRIPTING THE TRUTH – Blog Tour

Scripting the Truth Front cover finalFreeValley is happy to host the final stop of T.A. Henry’s blog tour for her new release novel, SCRIPTING THE TRUTH. She shares an excerpt and then lets us into the life of a writer by answering  a quick interview. Check it out, and take a look at this entertaining read that’s carefully nestled in post WWII history. And if you are intrigued, you can find Scripting the Truth in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.

First, the blurb: At loose end in post World War II London, Lady Margaret Leighton chances upon a movie poster showcasing the young soldier she gave her heart to while serving as a military nurse. Desperate to reconnect with him, she uses her wits and newly discovered writing muse to scheme her way into the movie studio where he is an actor. Molly is certain they will live happily ever after. And they just might… But first Molly has to figure out who she is and what she wants. Can she make this unexpected career work with the expectations of her elite family? She’ll try to do it all while trying to keep the seams on her stockings straight.

Excerpt:
Halfway through that torturous process the phone rang. I could have left it for the one of the staff to answer but I was desperate to hear back from Lila.
“Darling?”
“Lila. Thank god. This is turning out to be much harder than I thought. Please tell me you have secured me some help.”
With rancorous laughter she told me to be at her club for tea at five thirty that afternoon “and do not be late. Marlene is very aware of her own importance, in her mind, anyway. You should be as well.”
With a laugh and then an exclamation as to the time, I rang off. I dashed upstairs to my room to change into an appropriate outfit. I was halted by the sight of myself in the mirror over the wash stand. It appeared I had gotten carbon all over the side of my face while speaking with Lila. I sighed and rang for warm water. When it came I asked the house maid to order me a taxi.
I scrubbed myself vigorously and then applied extra powder to cover the blackish grey stain I could not quite get off the side of my face. Rummaging through my hats I looked for something I could wear to shield that side. In the back of my wardrobe, I found a cloche from the early thirties; I must have worn it to a costume party at some point with a flapper ensemble. It would do today since it pushed my hair forward covering the smudges. I grabbed a silky shirt dress and tried to straighten my stockings. How I longed for my trousers. Low heel lace up shoes and a swing coat completed the vaguely old fashioned look. Just enough that it nodded to a more playful time. Not as though I was a provincial miss.
My taxi was waiting as I rushed down the stairs. “The Savage Club, 1 Carlton House Terrace please.”
T.A. Henry is a Pacific Northwest transplant who loves it here. I am a stay at home mom who home schools her only kiddo. I hike, crochet, and yoga with all my spare time. LOL. I like to think I am funny. I hear I am a good friend. I think the secret to that is I have very little judgement.
by T.A. Henry, All Rights Reserved.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
It was easier than trying to run the gauntlet with a traditional house. Seems to be an increasingly popular choice.
How did you decide what site to self-publish through?
I followed the advice of those who had gone before me. I strongly suggest you find a writer’s group. All the help I got from mine is the only reason this book-baby is seeing the light of day. I agree it’s all about support. It’s the number one thing that can put you on the fast track.
Did you do anything unique to promote your book? What basic things did you do?
I blogged all about it. I talked many fellow bloggers into hosting a blog stop on their page for my virtual book tour. I made marketing post cards for dropping off everywhere. I got some friends to throw my book into their book clubs with the agreement I would do an author Q&A at the discussion. I plan to run some advertisements on Facebook closer to Christmas. Open to suggestions. LOL So suggestions FVP followers? We’d love to hear about your ideas and experience in comments. What works for you?…
Do you think self-publishing is giving up on being published by a someone else?
Not at all. I heard a webinar with the editor who published Roald Dahl and JK Rowling. He said essentially unless an agent or editor is going to add something substantial to the process don’t give away your money for the life the book to one. If I write something I think could gain by having an agent and editor, and I think you basically need an agent to get an editor, I’ll go out and find the one that wants my book. Until then I’ll move forward on my own. I would agree. Also, there’s an increasing trend of agents watching the self-publishing market to see what’s hot and approaching successful indie authors with offers. I hope this happens to you!
Do you have an author website or Facebook page? Can I follow you on Twitter? Where do I find your book?
I have a blog on wordpress. tahenryauthoress.wordpress.com
My book is available on Amazon in print on demand and kindle versions.
What one piece of advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?…To one who has a finished manuscript and is thinking of self-publishing?…To one who has self-published and is not sure how to market their new book?
Don’t tell anyone who isn’t supportive about your endeavors.
Go for it. All the responsibility means all the control. Total ownership.
Research your market. Look at other books similar to yours. See what those authors did. Tell everyone about your book now that it’s done. Wow. Thanks for the great advice and for being with us, T.A. All the best with your new book!

Interview with Author, Victoria Bastedo on Unwritten by Mysti Parker

This is a re-blog of a great interview posted by Mysti Parker on Unwritten, ‘YOUR one-stop shop for book reviews, interviews, contests, monthly series, & random wittiness.’Hearts in Exile Header-1

The interview with FVP Featured Author Victoria Bastedo can be found HERE.Victoria BastedoRoots Entwine-Victoria Bastedo cover

It talks about common writers’ issues, her upcoming book, ROOTS ENTWINE, and shares an original poem by Victoria. READ IT NOW