Music to Write By – Roswell New & Old

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Yes, that says Roswell. The original Roswell was on the WB (remember that??) when I was in high school. I never watched it actually. I didn’t discover it until I had my son. I would be up in the middle of the night nursing him and needed a way to stay awake. Enter Netflix. I found and devoured all three cheesy seasons. And through it, I discovered I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow. This song is romance dreaming gold. Have a listen and just try not to imagine a romantic moment.

Recently, I was out sick with some nasty upper respiratory thing. I had heard about the Roswell reboot, but again hadn’t watched it. Basically, the people at the CW updated Roswell and made it again. Why try something knew? So there I was, stuck in bed. I binge watched the entire season available on Netflix. And yes, I enjoyed it. I also discovered two lovely songs. The first is called Can’t Love Me by Novi. It features Tyler Blackburn, who happens to star on Roswell. Again, romance dreaming gold. I love it.

And the last new favorite is Carry You by Novo Amor. This song is just beautiful. I love the guitar and the chill vibe. Don’t worry though, this song also sweeps. Because it’s me, and I love sweeping dramatic music.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these songs. The kids can tell you I’ve been listening to them a lot lately. I love discovering new inspiration. Are there any songs that you’ve been loving lately? Please share them in the comments below!

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods – Now on Kindle Unlimited!

My book is now available through Kindle Unlimited 🙂

I am super excited to let you all know that A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods is now available through Kindle Unlimited. If you don’t know, Kindle Unlimited is a program through Amazon in which you pay one monthly price and can read as many KU books as you want.

I’m excited for this next stage for my little book!

Beta Reading Is Amazing

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I recently sent two different works to complete strangers for a beta read. For those of you who don’t know, beta readers are fellow writers who volunteer to read through your work. They offer constructive criticism and feedback. I had never participated in either end of the process, so I decided it was high time.

The result has been truly worthwhile. I have received incredibly helpful notes and ideas. Throughout the many years that I have been writing, I have followed the same process. I write and revise, write and revise. It is always me looking at each successive draft. Not only did it keep me from moving forward with my writing, but it kept me from seeing new possibilities within my own work.

I also decided to take on some work as a beta reader. It has been more fun and informative than I thought it would be! I find it really interesting to read other author’s works in progress. To see what people are working on, before an editor gets to it, has been great. And the whole process has given me a stronger sense of community.

And you know what? The writing community is amazing, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.

Music to Write By – Fidelity

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For my third installment of Music to Write by I’ll be highlighting a few of the pieces I have listened to while writing my latest work. I’m calling it Fidelity right now.

Let’s set the scene

In order to appreciate the music, here is the blurb for the novel. You know, the back of the book copy that draws you in and makes you buy the book (well, hopefully).

When computer programmer Sora Leroux intercepts secret plans to destroy the upcoming peace accords with an alien nation, she doesn’t know whom to trust. One thing she does know, however, is that she’s in danger. She decides to run, but the Special Ops captain sent to track her down has other plans.

Captain Graham Smith has been sent bring in Sora Leroux, a woman implicated in a terrorist threat. When new information reveals a greater conspiracy, Graham must decide who is telling the truth as he races to save London from a hidden threat.

Piece the first

Okay, I must start with the piece of music that started it all. Biplane by Andrew Lockington. This piece is from the movie The Space Between Us (worth a look, if you’ve never seen it). A pivotal scene of the novel came to me while I was listening to this track. It gets amazing at minute 1:50. Wait for it.

It’s sweeping, it’s adventurous, it’s romantic. I love it. I was sitting in my son’s room, helping him fall asleep by just being there, listening to this piece. And I pictured Sora and Graham. So thanks Andrew Lockington.

Piece the second

The second piece that was super inspiring is “I Feel You” by Alan Silvestri from Avengers: Endgame. If you’ve seen this movie, you might remember this part. I love it. But I love the music even more.

Is that not just wonderful? Okay, I’ll admit it — I love dramatic, sweeping pieces. Throw in some strings and I’m done for. I Feel You is the score behind a very important scene in the novel. There may be explosions. There may be declarations. I love it.

There you have it. My two major pieces for Fidelity. The ones I have listened to on a loop. Other works on my playlist include the soundtrack to The Martian by Harry Gregson-Williams, Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer, and The Host by Antonio Pinto.

If you’re interested in the first two posts of this series, check them out here and here.

Writing Research is the Best Research

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I often have to do a bit of research for my writing. This latest novel, which is set here on Earth in the near-ish future, required some digging into some interesting topics. I’m currently researching types of explosives (and wondering if I’m getting myself placed on a watch list somewhere). Before that, it was the city of Plymouth in England. This same story called for information about the Banana River in Florida, and the Darling River in Australia.

At one point, my heroin needs a place to stay in London and she chooses to stay at a bed and breakfast. I knew just what I was looking for (and indeed, what I had already written), and I wanted to find something like it in London. I guess I thought it would be cool if something that it were realistic and available. Well guess what? I found it!

I give you, The Hurlingham Bed & Breakfast:

I mean…wow.
Perfection

It is simply lovely looking. Now, most of you know that I have never been to London, or England, or anywhere except a small town in Canada. No matter! I have Google maps and street view. Using my super tech skills (haha), I did some sleuthing and realized that this lovely, perfect, idyllic gem of a place is just too far from the hospital in downtown London that I chose for some important scenes.

Not to be stumped, I decided to do a bit more research and find something closer. And ta-da! I found a hip, affordable hostel that I would absolutely stay in if I didn’t have to share a room with strangers (sorry, it’s a thing).

I give you, The Horse & Stables:

It just says ‘London’ to me.

This place is an awesome looking hostel right in the heart of London. It’s situated across the Thames from the Palace of Westminster. Westminster is also a key location in my novel, so that was a plus. The Horse & Stables looks really cool. Sort of hip. I mean, check out these other photos:

Totally slick, but not the right fit for my heroin. What’s an author to do? Smash ’em together and bend the truth! So while my bed and breakfast isn’t exactly either of these, it was inspired by both of them. Add these two spots to my (very) long list of places to visit once I get to England!

A Snippet from a Story Without a Name

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Works in Progress Can Stay in Progress…Forever

Here’s the thing with works in progress. If I’m not careful, my works in progress can stay in limbo forever. Not being edited, not be published, just percolating. I have a story I’ve been working on for ten years, one I’ve been working on for about twelve, and one that has only been in the works for less than a year.

I’m currently revising this one, which I’ve called Fidelity. I really don’t like the title, but I do love this story. There’s adventure, romance, aliens, and technology. It needs work though. As I work on revisions, I thought it would be fun to post a little bit from one of the early chapters. Have a read, and let me know what you think.

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Excerpt from Fidelity

“Sora, I need those latest files sorted and delivered to the appropriate departments within the hour.”

She felt a surge of annoyance.  Whittle new darn well that she was the fastest tech on the floor.  But she tamped it down and said only, “Of course, Mr. Whittle.”

Whittle wrung his hands in a practiced manner.  “Your uncle asked me especially to make sure you kept up on your work, Sora.”

Sora gaped at him.  She knew Uncle Victor had been chummy with Mr. Whittle, but to ask that he check up on her?  That he made sure she got her work done?  That was absurd.  She was nearly twenty-two, and had been taking care of herself since her and Toma’s parents had left when she was nineteen.  She closed her mouth, her face flushed with anger, but she forced herself to take a deep breath.

“The files will be sent within the next twenty minutes, Mr. Whittle.  Is there anything else you needed?”

A little flustered by her direct response, Whittle only mumbled a negative and wandered off to micromanage someone else.

Okay then. If Whittle and her uncle needed these files sent right away, then she had no choice.  She tapped on the abnormal file and dragged it to the open application.

She knew immediately that something was wrong.

This was no inventory list.  It was an unreadable text file.  But it wasn’t an error—this file had been security scrambled.  At first, Sora thought it was a secure transmission that had been mislabeled.  But she didn’t recognize any of the security codes the author had used.

Indecision snaked through her, and she glanced over her shoulder to make sure Mr. Whittle had truly gone.

How could she know how to direct this if she didn’t decode it?  Yes, it might be classified data, but it was mislabeled. Surely that wouldn’t come back on her? Screw it.

A few tabs of the keypad and her console was running the decoding algorithms.  The computer beeped as it processed the first page. It was a data file—a blueprint.  Sora puzzled over the details of the unknown structure, but she couldn’t make it out.

The computer beeped again.  This next image file was of a map, and one she recognized.  It was London. Blueprints and maps of London? It made no sense.  Just when Sora was beginning to think that someone’s personal vacation plans got scrambled in the ether, the computer beeped again.

This was a text file.  They were directions. Detailed directions on how to plant a soft bomb so that it wouldn’t trigger security protocols.

Sora felt her heart began to race.  She took a shaky breath. Soft bombs were incredibly lethal.  They had been banned since the end of World War III, over 60 years ago.  Who would even have the ability to procure the components? And what were the planning to do with it?

With a sickening jolt, Sora understood.  The Dendriforms. The soft bomb was to destroy the Dendriform delegation.  To halt the peace talks. That had to be it. But a bomb like that wouldn’t just kill the Dendriforms, it would reduce London to ashes.

Haunting Little Tales for a Spooky October

My upcoming tale is more mysterious than spooky.

The Meryton Press blog is hosting a month of haunting, spooky, and fun tales from its authors (including yours truly)! The first story, The Ravens of Pemberley, is already live on the blog. Kelly Miller has written a lovely little story that I found both sweet and mysterious. Please do check it out.

My vignette will be posted on the Meryton Press blog later this month. I’m excited to share this little story with you, as it is completely different than anything else I’ve written.

I hope your October answers all your hopes!