Posted in blogs, fantasy, Historicals, MG & YA, Reading, Romance, YA

Book Talk 5/15/2020: Jenny Elder Moke’s Hood Traci Kenworth


Book Talk 5/15/2020: Jenny Elder Moke’s Hood

Traci Kenworth

Hood by Jenny Elder Moke. Disney-Hyperion. June 9, 2020. Netgalley.

Amazon’s blurb: You have the blood of kings and rebels within you, love. Let it rise to meet the call.

Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf, King John’s ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle’s father, Robin Hood.

As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf’s clutches and find the father she’s never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?

In Hood, author Jenny Elder Moke reimagines the world of Robin Hood in lush, historical detail and imbues her story with more breathless action than has ever come out of Sherwood Forest before. This novel is a must-read for historical-fiction fans, adventure lovers, and reluctant readers alike!

My Review: When Isabelle tries to help the citizens of Kirklees, she finds herself having to shoot a soldier from his horse with her bow and arrow. Locked in a cellar, her mother and another rescue her. Her mother sends her to the Wild Boar to look up Thomas and tell him, “The Wolf has returned.”

It turns out that Isabelle is the daughter of a certain outlaw wanted by Sir Roger of Durnsay, the Wolf. When he captures her, she is told she has a week to bring Robin to him or he’ll kill her mother. Joining a band of youths, she is taken to Sherwood Forest where she fights for a place among the Merry Men, hoping to meet her father. He is away on business in York they learn and she tells them she must get a message to him. When they at last meet him, will she turn him over to save her mother? Or will she let fear rule her life?

This is a wonderful, wonderful book! The heroic efforts on everyone’s parts are commendable! The cast is so down to earth, full of flaws and regrets. They make a find band for Isabelle to follow and perhaps even lead. I give the book and A+.

Posted in blogs, Christian, Craft, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Reading, Rebekah L. Purdy, Romance, Short stories, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Writerly Things 3/16/2020: YA Writing Tips Traci Kenworth


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Writerly Things 3/16/2020: YA Writing Tips

Traci Kenworth

Looking for some tips for YA writing? The following instances may help you especially when you’re stuck or facing that blank page and unsure of what to write about.

Prompts.

These seem to help YA writing a lot. In truth, ANY writing. Prompts give us something to consider. Something to figure out. More to envision. They give us a lead down another road. Or into a cave. High diving from an airplane. Do something uncomfortable. Unusual. Your character picks up the weapon while leaning over a body is so cliché. But what if the body fell on them or was discovered in their luggage?

Poetry.

Practice some poetry. It’ll do wonders for your work. It’s helped me with my visuals. It’s given me stronger words to use and helped me not to settle for the ordinary. Within reason, of course. You don’t want to use a fancy word when a simple one will add better clarity. But form some charm and a twist, a more precise phrase could make the sentence all that more potent.

Writing as Often as You Can.

Nope. You don’t have to do it every day. I take the weekends off. It avoids burnout. Instead, if you just practice as regularly as you can, it’ll help. Even if it’s only ten-to-fifteen minutes. Whatever time you can manage and keep at it will get you to your goals eventually. Are you writing a YA novel? Depending on the genre, they can be 25-80k with fantasy running a bit longer but not much. Novellas run closer to the 25k mark though.

You can always check with whatever agent you query, per their recommendations for that level. Even Nathan Bransford was more along the lines of 35k-65k.

P.O.V.

POV stands for point-of-view or whose viewpoint the story’s in. Is it first person-the “I” reference? Or second-the “you” reference. Or the usual, third or “he/she” view. Any of these should be okay but the you one is the hardest, be forewarn. First is what I learned to write in. I then went to third and occasionally find my way back to first from time to time. I like both viewpoints. The first and the third can grow tiresome if all you use are “I, I, I,” or “he/she” continuously. Mix it up. Get in there and learn to switch your sentences about.

Twist them, tangle them, break them apart. Learn the rules then learn how to break them. If you SHOULD break them. Hint: it’s all right from time to time if it better the point you’re trying to get across. Keeps inside the character’s head, so to speak.

Write the Blurb First.

If you don’t know what the blurb is, it’s the summary on the back of a book that hooks the reader. You may find them on short stories, magazine articles, etc. They’re meant to pull the reader in. Most readers know whether they want to read the book by the first paragraph or not. I go by the blurb more than the cover, though a good cover helps in the purchase.

Writing the blurb first helps give you a guideline of what your book is about. Sure, there will be changes along the way but it’s easy to bring the blurb up to date. Second, when you get lost along the way, it will guide you back to where you want to go.

So, there you have it! A few tips for YA writing. Hope it helps! Have a great week, take care, and God bless!

How about some more entertainment? For laughs: Monty Python movies: one, two, three.

For suspense: one, two.

For the kids: one, two.

For YA: one, two.

For romance: one, two.

For horror: one, two.

For Christian: one, two.

Music: one.

TV: one.

Posted in blogs, Christian, Craft, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Music/playlists, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Paranormal, Reading, Romance, Short stories, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Book Talk 3/19/2020: What I'm Reading in YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay

Book Talk 3/15/2020: What I’m Reading in YA

Traci Kenworth

I’m reading Kalona’s Fall: A House of Night novella by Kristin and P.C. Cast, Uglies by Scott Westerfield, So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, Through The Nethergate by Robbie Cheadle, Chosen by Kiersten White, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Subject A36 by Teri Polen, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, How to Write a Children’s Book by the Children’s Institute of Literature, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, How to Write Kidlit by Mary Kole, and How to Write & Sell YA by K.L. Going.

How are you doing amid the crisis? Do you have all the supplies you need? Cleaning supplies: one, two, three, four, and five.

Baby supplies: one, two, three, and four.

Hygiene Care: one, two, three.

Pets: one and two.

Grooming: one and two.

Beauty: one.

Books: one, two, three, four, and five.

Art: one, two, three and four.

Music: one, two, and three.

Movies: one and two.

Thinking of starting your own website? Try Bluehost, link to left, WordPress, link to left, or Rubix, link to left. I use Bluehost and WordPress, they’re both easy and reliable. Then there’s Jetpack, link to the left, security for your website. Definitely use this!

Stay safe and peaceful! There’s a lot of craziness out there, don’t let it get to you, or worse, become you. Take a deep breath. Remember, we’re all in this together. Take care and God bless.

Posted in Anthologies/Novellas, blogs, Christian, Craft, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Mystery/Thrillers, Romance, Short stories, traditional, Writing and Poetry

Book Talk 12/13/19: Books I’ve Read This Year. Traci Kenworth


Image by annca from Pixabay

Book Talk 12/13/19: List of Books Read This Year

Traci Kenworth

Books I Read in 2019

Traci Kenworth

  1. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor # 1 so far YA Fantasy
  2. Experimental Film by Gemma Files
  3. Katie’s Highlander by Maeve Grayson #1 so far Historical Romance
  4. Slayer by Kiersten White #1 YA horror
  5. Closing a Deal on Your Terms by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
  6. Bane of the Dragon King by J. Kellerford #2 YA Fantasy.
  7. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto #3 YA Fantasy
  8. Jewel in the Mud by Harmony Kent
  9. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
  10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and John Kelley per J.K. Rowling’s permission
  11. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  12. Beauty for Ashes by Joyce Meyer
  13. The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  14. The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz
  15. How to Write a Novel by Nathan Bradford
  16. 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black
  17. Sullivan’s Promise by Joan Johnston
  18. The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
  19. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  20. Storynomics by Robert McKee
  21. Dreams of Gods & Monsters Laini Taylor # 4 YA Fantasy.
  22. Writing Realistic Men Jackson Dean Chase
  23. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard #5 YA Fantasy
  24. Finale by Stephanie Garber # 1 YA Mystery
  25. The Night Window Dean Koontz
  26. Undead anthology
  27. Before I Sleep Adam Nevill
  28. The Evil Queen Gena Showalter #7 YA Fantasy
  29. Will Haunt You Brian Kirk
  30. Graceling by Kristin Cashore #6 YA Fantasy
  31. A Curse So Dark and Lonely Brigid Kemmerer #8 YA Fantasy
  32. 150 Fantasy Writing Prompts by Sherilyn Kenyon
  33. Our Better Angels by Jonathan Reckford
  34. Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor
  35. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Kerrigan Bryne
  36. This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman
  37. Dragon’s Oath: A House of Night Novella by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  38. Happily-Ever-Afters: Reimagining of Snow White and Rose Red by Melanie Cellier
  39. Setting by Jack M. Bickman
  40. The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
  41. Windwitch by Susan Dennard
  42. Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake
  43. The Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
  44. The Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  45. The House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman
  46. Surviving the Transition by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Posted in Historicals, Romance, traditional

Excerpt for The Widow of Rose House


cover of The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

Excerpt from Chapter Three              

By Nicole Tone          

Her heart raced. There was a crushing weight on her chest that made it impossible to catch her breath. The voicemail alert went off and Sophie shook. First her hands, then her teeth, chattering like it was the dead of winter.

Did she want this night ruined too?

Wasn’t it already ruined?

Reaching for her phone, she swiped the message, letting the voicemail play over speakerphone. She stood in her kitchen, pot of noodles on the stove she no longer was hungry for, and waited for her world to come crashing down all over again.

“Hi Soph. It’s Dad. It’s around six here, so nine there. I figured you might be home by now. Maybe you’re at work.”

Sophie raised her eyebrow. She hadn’t heard from him since their Skype chat at Christmas. It was normal for them, Sophie’s schedule making keeping in touch with anyone difficult, not counting the physical distance and time difference between Buffalo and Seattle. She’d send him a rambling e-mail here and there, but phone calls were in short supply.

“I was just calling to see how things were. I, uh, talked to your mother and wanted to run something by you. See if you’d be open to the idea. Anyway, give me a call when you can. This is my new number. My old phone now lives with the giant squid. Love you, kid.”

Pouring the now-cooked pasta into the strainer, she pondered over the voicemail. It made sense they’d get a new number; he’d kept his one from here despite living out west for almost two decades. To finally assimilate to his new home was a big step.

She called him back, phone on speaker as she finished dinner.                                                      

“Hey kid.”

“Hey Dad. Giant squid, huh?”

He laughed, warm and sweet as memories. It was the warm summer afternoons she played out on rock beaches as a kid. The Earl Grey and honey on days when it stormed. This had been the way things were for as long as she had been able to make memories. It was only when she started working that her summers with him stopped.

“Yeah. I was trying to take a picture of some orcas I saw while I was on the ferry and, well, I dropped my phone.”

“Seattle’s way of forcing you to become one of them?”

“I guess so.”

Silence fell between them as she scooped the pasta into a bowl. Dinner for one, but enough for two. She’d have leftovers for tomorrow.

“So,” he started, “I guess I should tell you why I called.”

“Yeah, probably.” Sophie laughed. “Or we can keep talking about how Seattle is swallowing you whole.”

“Well, I actually sold my place in the city.”

“Oh?” The loft had been her favorite. She could sit on the floor, legs crossed, watching the ebb and flow of traffic, both car and ferry. The space had been bright and modern, from what she understood of the word as it applied to interior architecture. But more than that, the loft reflected the mix of new and old Seattle embraced. Sophie wanted to live in something similar one day — a dream closer to becoming a reality the more real estate developers took over Buffalo’s deserted buildings.

Selling the loft should have felt like a bigger betrayal. Like she was losing a piece of her, the way it had felt when her mom sold the house Sophie and Will had grown up in. Sophie’d hated painting over the drawings on her closet wall, the mural on her ceiling, any piece of personality so potential buyers could really see themselves living in that space. But the loft wasn’t home. It was the place Sophie and Will would spend a night or two when they’d come visit during the summer just to do city things: Pike’s Place, catch a Sounders game, explore the EMP. It was a stepping-stone in between SeaTac and the ferry that ushered them out to the peninsula for the summer.

“I’m a full time Port Townsend resident now. Port . . . Townie?”

Sophie rolled her eyes and laughed. “Port Townsend . . . ite. Maybe. I don’t think they’d appreciate you calling them townies, Dad.”

“Yeah, I’m still figuring out the terminology. One of the big tech companies wanted to buy the building, so between that and retirement, I figured what the hell.”

“But you kept the summer house, right?”

“That’s where I’m living full time.”

The summer house sat outside a quiet Victorian town that saw more tourists than locals.

To Sophie, it was the version of home she equated with her dad. She loved the area, how quiet it was, protected between mountains and ocean. As a siren bounced off her apartment building, Sophie wished she was at the summer house now, waves her lullaby instead of the sounds of the city.                                                          

Diana Biller

Posted in Beta, blogs, Craft, Romance

Writerly Things 6/17/19: Where I’m At. Where I’m Headed.


landscape

Writerly Things 6/17/19: Where I’m At. What’s Ahead.

Traci Kenworth

I got my partial back! I’ve agreed to start working with the editor for assessments which for those of you don’t know is where you break the manuscript up into so many pages. The partial had fifty pages and once I revise them, I’ll send them back for her critique. When that’s done, I’ll send the next fifty. When I get them back, I’ll revise and send them to her. And repeat. I’m excited! I never thought I’d find an editor to work with me. Her name is Blair at the Author Studio. She has been an editor for YA publishers in the past which is important to me since that’s what genre I’m writing.

I like that she gave me both the bad and the good she’s seen in the manuscript. She helped me believe in the story again when I thought it was lost for all time. Her words have given me a confidence in myself and my writing that I haven’t felt in a long time. Since I’m a slow writer, it’s hard to tell when we’ll finish getting through the material but I’m going to aim for 2-3 months for each set of fifty. I need to learn to set deadlines anyway and this will help tremendously, having someone else to send these to.

I’ve begun character worldbuilding on my second wip thanks to One Stop for Writers who has a fabulous input builder for all your characters. You can put in as little or as much as you want. It allows for the pic of your character and gives you a summary of the wounds and positives you put in the character in the end. Backstory and description plus much more are also included. You can save to pdf and print off for your outline. This’ll come in handy when you’re writing.

With this in hand, I’ll begin draft two. Also, a YA genre novel.

In the background, I also have a sweet, historical romance that needs to be drafted a second time. I’ll probably go through the character builder with it as well. I may hold on to it a while though as I establish myself as a YA writer first. I have a LOT of YA stories waiting to be written.

I’m also going to be setting up a website that provides recipes, organizational tips, makeup tips, pet info, things to do with the home and more. My daughter and son will be doing so with me. We’re really excited and have been experimenting with ideas. Hopefully, it’ll be a success!

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Have a great day, take care, and God bless!

Posted in blogs, Craft, Romance

Writerly Things 5/6/19 How to Keep Getting Up When Things Get You Down Traci Kenworth


woman and cat

Writerly Things…5/6/19 How to Keep Getting Up When Life Gets You Down

Traci Kenworth

Recovering from illness/accident/surgery:

I’ve done all of these in the last two years. I face another surgery on the sixteenth and a biopsy at the end of the month. I get my stitches out for the second surgery this Tues. The illness will be ongoing as it is bipolar and anxiety. I never realized I had anxiety until this past winter. I have a hard time with driving in the snow and ice. I fret on it all day and weeks before a snowstorm happens. Worry is a constant companion and it grates on my nerves. Another thing that makes me anxious is crowds. I can be out in them and as long as they’re not paying me attention, I’m fine; but the moment, it feels like I’ve done something to become the center of attention, I have to breathe in and out and calm myself. I can talk to others perfectly fine as long as it’s a few people or so, but I struggle to stay focused when more close in.

        What Makes Me Go On:

          My faith is the biggest factor. When you have Jesus in your life, it helps to ground you, as well as to help you soar. He comforts you in times of crisis and finds a way to get around it. If he doesn’t, then a new door is opening and it’s time to try another way. Once, I thought life was over for me when I had to leave college, but then new dreams came to replace the old. The second time I felt like this was when my marriage ended, and the kids and I were on our own. I thought I needed to let go of my dreams to make a life for us. So, I buried my writing for years, not looking back.

          When I went to therapy, I was encouraged to write down my thoughts. As I did so, part of the yearning to write returned. It wasn’t long before I was playing with story details, bringing things to life. I went back to learning my craft. I’m still studying today and improving. My foggy brain because of the bipolar doesn’t allow me to retain a lot at times but I keep on going through, relearning when I have to. Reading helps a lot.

          What makes me go on in the tragedies? Faith. My kids. My family. Friends. Believe in myself. We all face hard times but not alone. Have a great day, take care, and God bless!

Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, MG & YA, Muse, Romance, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writerly Things 12/10/18: Plans for New Year


background
Christmas

Writerly Things…12/10/18 Plans for the New Year

Traci Kenworth

 

Considering

Are any of you considering changes to your process, blogs, marketing, etc. this year? This is the time of year, I sit down and figure out what I want to do for the new year. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I start by re-arranging my house. I’ve got four more rooms to do so. I’m going to be looking at painting and updating what I can. So, I guess I should say, remodeling is in my future. It’s been a long time since I could afford to do anything but now that finances are improving, we can tackle projects that we weren’t able to before.

 

Improving

What about your blogs? Is there any shake-ups headed their way? I’m considering bumping up from personal for my Traci Kenworth blog and also bumping my Loleta Abi to personal for now. I may bump both up to the next tier this year. I want to have freedom to do what I want with my blogs and that’s why I’m considering those options. I will be doing at least one post on Loleta Abi a week, perhaps two. I’m thinking of doing a review, a post like Writerly Things, or bring the Muse in and do some flash fiction. Or prompts. The possibilities are endless! As I’ve told a few of you, Traci Kenworth will be for my YA stuff and Loleta Abil will be for my romances and such. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’ve tackled two blogs previously.

 

Options

What are your options for going forward? Are you starting a blog? A podcast? They’re two of the ways to reach others. I’m hoping to bring more YA readers to my Traci Kenworth blog. I’m thinking of ways to do so. Also, my plans for writing are going to be pushed up. I want to be able to submit more stories this year, so that will take more courage. It took a little to post my story in the Two Drops of Ink 1000 words images contest. I had fun with the story and hope others do as well.

 

It’s been another awful year for us with finances, but a bit of a miracle came our way just a few days ago and our finances are looking up. Now, if I can just get this writing thing down, I’ll be set. Of course, I know there are always ups and downs in writing as well as life but I’m putting my trust in the Lord to guide us as he has kept us going all this time. We’ve sunk into a bit of a hole but we will slowly climb out and push ahead. My son will be entering school again mid-January and we’re hoping my daughter’s work picks up and she will be going to college next fall. I usually take a break between Thanksgiving and New Year’s but this year, I’m not going to do so. Have a great week, take care, and God bless!

Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, MG & YA, Muse, Reading, Romance, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writerly Things…11/12/18 Rounding Out the End of the Year


a mixture of fall leaves
fall leaves

Writerly Things…11/12/18 Rounding Out the End of the Year

Traci Kenworth

 

Trying New Things

Don’t be afraid to try new things. That’s how you learn. That’s how you grow. It gives you courage. It gives you strength to keep on risking things. I’m doing a bit of these with rescheduling Writerly Things on Mondays at seven a.m. instead of whenever on Sundays. I’ve been thinking of doing something more organized and professional looking than just random thoughts about what happened the past week. Not that those talks don’t give you insight into my writing life, but these more formal entries will be a bit more serious. I want to project myself as the writer I want to be. In other words, bring more of the business into things. My goal, of course, is publication and I’ve been wondering if others take me serious with such informal talks.

As far as the blog goes, I may juggle a Muse story again on here on Wednesdays next year. Taking part in the Rodeo writing challenges on The Carrot Ranch, I’ve been itching to try my hand at the muse stories again that I used to do on here. I’m hoping that draws more readers for the future when I do publish. It may just be that I jump on the bandwagon of one of the writing prompts that go around each week as well. What I used to do was write a story from a prompt on the first Wednesday of each month. Previously, my crit group would join in but they’re all kind of off on their own right now.

I will continue to do the reblogs as I like being able to show other’s work for others to discover. It helps them out and it helps my blog as well. So, yeah, that will go on. So, as the year winds down, I challenge you to find new avenues on your blogs to expand. It’ll challenge you and bring new readers to your blog.

 

On Pen Names

I’ve been back and forth on whether to use another pen name/s or not. I was leaning away from it because some have suggested using one name to include everything. The more I think about it though, the more it seems like using the same one confuses your readers. So, I may bring back the other website I had previously used in addition to this one, to showcase my future romance work. Traci Kenworth is predominantly the name I chose for my YA work and I want to keep it that way if I’m going to make the shift. I don’t know how it will work out, juggling two websites again but I’ll give it a go. The other website, if you’re interested is https:www.tracikrites.wordpress.com.

 

How I Did on Reading

I’ve reached a little over fifty reads so far this year which has surprised and thrilled me. I didn’t think I got anywhere near that number. I plan to challenge myself to add to the final number every year from here out. I enjoy doing the Book Talk segments and that will continue as well. Its nice to be able to share what I’m reading or have read with my readers. Maybe it’ll even encourage others to leave reviews on their own literary endeavors. I think it’s important for authors to support other authors whether by reviewing their books or pointing to their blog posts. I’ve said before, I don’t look at other authors as competition. I’d like to think we’re all in this together.

There you have it. Some changes to the blogs, a new journey to take next year. What are you planning on your own websites? In your reading adventures? Anyone going to add/subtract a website? How do you feel about pen names? Blogging? Have a great week, take care, and God bless you!