Saturday, July 23, 2016

Synopsis: Hated and Hurried, but here's HELP!

You’re in need of a synopsis. I can hear the moans and groans echo through cyberspace.

But do not fear.

This class is here to help you . . .

 * give your synopsis the attention it deserves.
* learn what to include and what to avoid in a synopsis.
* create a synopsis showcasing your best writing.
* add the intriguing emotional twists of your novel to the synopsis.
* fill your synopsis with your unique writer’s voice.
* give clarity, succinctness, and pizazz to your synopsis.

The goal of this class through lessons, assignments, and plenty of feedback is for you to come away with a sizzling, scintillating synopsis.

A synopsis that will get the attention of an agent, editor, contest judge and prove you’re a professional and talented story teller.

No more moaning.

Sign up here:   The Sizzling, Scintillating Synopsis

Learn how to create a stellar synopsis.

August 1 - 31  Fee: $65

Here's what others have said:
“Thank you Suzanne for helping me achieve my writing goals and get my synopsis shipshape and Colorado Gold entry in on time!!”

“Suzanne's critiques are positive and professional, and they demonstrate best practices in fiction.”

“I respect Suzanne's craft knowledge and her skill as a writer, and I will definitely take her class again.”

Maybe I'll see you in class. 

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments here or email me.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice

Wishing you all the best of the Season

And warmest of wishes for the New Year

See you in 2016

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Children's Tale of the Christmas Shepherds

Have you ever wondered about the shepherds in the story of Christmas? And what might've happened the night of Christmas when the angel came and spoke to the shepherds and told of a Savior's birth?

Cheryl C. Malandrinos must've have wondered because she has written a whimsical story from the point of a view of the youngest of shepherds, a boy, only five-years-old.

With large and colorful illustrations by Eugene Ruble, readers follow Obed as he tends to his first flock of sheep in the hills outside Bethlehem. When the angel appears and declares
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people,"
the men, including Obed's father, know what they must do. But Obed is reluctant to follow and doesn't want to leave his sheep. He worries of howling wolves and rocks that may trap his sheep and thieves. But it's not in Bethlehem where Obed becomes aware that this is indeed a night of miracles, it's when he returns to his sheep and finds them unharmed, content, and grazing peacefully.

Little Shepherd is a wonderful book for parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers to read during the Christmas holidays to children of all ages. Available here

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author, and editor. A 2005 graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group, Cheryl began her career focusing on article writing. She specializes in time management and organization, but has also written about everyday life in the 1800s, gardening, parenting, and women’s health issues. In 2008, she changed her focus to fiction writing for children. Her first picture book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP). 

Cheryl also writes under the name of C. C. Gevry. The first chapter reader, A Christmas Kindness, was released by 4RV Publishing in 2012, with a digital version following in 2013.
Ms. Malandrinos has edited numerous manuscripts in a variety of genres and ghostwritten a Christian chapter book. Cheryl has been a panelist at the WriteAngles Conference that takes place each fall at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, and offers writing workshops in her local school district. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger. Cheryl lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
You can visit her at her website.

Feel free to comment.

Friday, December 4, 2015

New Release for Children's Author - Donna M. McDine

Dee and Deb Off They Go--Kindergarten First Day Jitters

Award-winning author Donna M. McDine has written an adorable picture book about the first day of kindergarten. She uses her first hand knowledge (having a twin sister of her own) to share what it might be like for separated twins on the first day of kindergarten. 

Many kids have fears regarding the first day of school, but this first day of school is especially worrisome for twins Dee and Deb. 

Deb and Dee head off for their first day of kindergarten together, but become separated when Dee goes to the K1 classroom and Deb goes to K2.

The rest of the book centers on Dee and her fears of being lost and alone without her twin sister for back up. But as usually is the case, Dee makes a friend, and the day flies by. Reunited at the end of the school day, Dee and Deb have so much more to talk about with their own accounts and experience of the day. And Dee can hardly wait for tomorrow.

The colorful and contagious illustrations are provided by Jack Foster.

He shows not just the similarities between the twins (their too-cute pigtails and matching outfits), but also their differences (Dee and Deb must be fraternal twins.) 

A truly entertaining book for any child embarking on the journey to kindergarten.

Donna’s book is available here

About the Author: Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. Her latest release Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters joins the four early reader children’s picture books, A Sandy Grave(January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) all with Guardian Angel Publishing. Join McDine as her adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI.

Connect with Donna on the Web!

As always, feel free to comment. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Deep in the South

All things Southern:

I'm a transplanted Canadian, who is flourishing in the Deep South. Didn't take long for me to trade my "eh" for "y'all"and to embrace all things Southern. Okay, maybe not all things. I still don't care for grits. 

                                                  photo courtesy of

But from the moment I arrived, I fell in love with the people, their accents, their long-winded stories, and their unique and hilarious sayings. Every time I hear a new one I about bust a gut. 

Here's a few sayings employing tasty Southern food: 

photo courtesy of
“Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit.”

“Well, if that don’t put pepper in the gumbo.”

"Well, that just dills my pickle and frosts my cupcake."

"Can't get blood from a turnip."

"Give me some sugar."

In the South, we love our porches and dogs:
"If you can’t run with the big dogs stay on the porch."
"Looks like somethin’ the dogs been keeping under the porch."                         "You're lyin' like a no-legged dog."

And a few more favorites:

"You could start an argument in an empty house." 

"The engine's running but nobody's driving."

“God love’em cuz' somebody’s got to."

"He squeezes a quarter so tight the eagle screams."

But the following sums up my feelings for the South:

A place where the tea is sweet and accents are sweeter.  Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable.  Front porches are wide and words are long.  Pecan pie is a staple.  Ya’ll is a proper noun.  Biscuits come with gravy.  Everything is darlin’.  And someone’s heart is always being blessed.

And, in case you were wondering. . .

Feel free to share your favorite sayings from the South or from where you live.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Single Dream Can Launch the Journey

Today, I liked to welcome to my blog, fellow Prism Book Group author, Jewell Tweedt.
She was born and raised in Omaha, the setting for her Nebraska Brides series. She divides her time between writing, teaching American History, and grading papers. Lots of papers.

I've invited Jewell to share with us her writerly inspiration, humor and camaraderie as well as sharing her news of her new release A Bride for the Sheriff.

Tell us, what inspires you, Jewell.

Thank you Suzanne for hosting me today. As a new Prism Book Group author I am excited to announce my book A Bride for the Sheriff released  November 5th. 

I'd like to say I can't believe this is happening so fast but it's not. Actually, I wrote 
the first draft of this story 20 years ago. It sat under my bed through a serious illness, four job changes, a new house, post-graduate work, and  a hectic job as a middle school teacher. 
From time to time I'd pull it out, dust it off and read through it. Finally, four summers ago I decided life was passing too quickly not to go after my dream and I began to submit it to publishers. 

Three rewrites (okay maybe more like 9) later, it is finally available for readers to  enjoy. 
My inspiration through it all has been strong faith, and the following quote. . . 
"A single dream can launch the journey of a lifetime."

I love this quote, and most of my blog posts here deal with the crazy, and sometimes lonely journey following a writerly path.  Share with us some of the writerly camaraderie you've experienced along the way. 

Being a writer is a solitary endeavor so whenever I can connect with other writers I do. I belong to The Romance Authors of the Heartland in Omaha, Nebraska and we meet once a month to share encouragement and a few laughs. From this group, I've learned that failure is only when you give up

I also learned to celebrate rejection letters. Those letters mean I am practicing my craft. The camaraderie is so important that even when I can't make a meeting I'll still keep in touch with the other members.

And for a touch of Jewell's humor here's an excerpt from A Bride for the Sheriff

    “Now it’s beginning to make sense. Why, you’re just a little sharpshooter,” Tom said.
    Claire sidled up to him and hugged him close. “What better qualifications for the wife of a sheriff to have. We’ll be a terrific team.” 

Here'a a bit about Jewell's new release A Bride for the Sheriff

Claire Secord is a prim school teacher whose life changes when she moves to the wild town of  Omaha. Her secret- she's a sharpshooter. But will her skills with a pistol be enough to save her when she is kidnapped to become a thug's 'mail-order' bride? 

Sounds intriguing. Thanks so much for sharing a little of your writerly humor, camaraderie, and inspiration. Good luck with your new release.

You can learn more and where to buy at Jewel's blog:

As always, feel free to comment or ask Jewell a question.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Forgotten Princess

Today, I'd like to welcome Rachel James to my blog. She's been coerced, I mean, invited to share her writerly thoughts on inspiration, camaraderie, and humor.  Take it away, Rachel.

When I first made the decision to write The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, I knew I would need some kind of target to ensure I finished writing it. I opted to enter the Operation First Novel Contest to give me a deadline, as well as an opportunity to receive professional feedback. The night before I submitted, I asked my eldest daughter, Abigail, who at the time was just 7, to pray for me. 
She looked at me with an excited face. “A competition? Do you get a prize?”
“Yes,” I said, “The winner gets published.”
She drew a blanked expression. “What does that mean?”
“Er, well, they would take the story I’ve written, and put it in a book, so that people can buy it.”
Abigail pulled a face. “The prize is… you get to buy your own book?” she flung her arms in the air. “You don’t even get a trophy?”
Whilst attempting to contain my laughter, I tried to explain to her that getting published is better than any trophy, however, she is yet to be convinced.  
Living in the UK, there are not that many opportunities to link and network with other Christian romance writers, so I decided early on this year to take a trip over to Colorado to attend the Christian Writers Guild conference. The experience was amazing, to be able to meet like-minded people who ‘get you’. I just love the ‘buzz’ of mixing with fellow writers who encourage and inspire each other to continue to fulfil their calling as authors. 

Since coming back to the UK, and becoming a Prism author, I can honestly say the camaraderie I find with fellow Prism writers to be totally unique, and I thank God for them. I find it so amazing that through the wonders of technology I can connect with authors across the other side of the world.
As I write medieval romance, I love visiting historical sites to glean inspiration. I’ve been doing this since I was a child, and now at every opportunity I do the same with my own children. 

The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia 

It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.
Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it. 

Book Trailer

Buy on  Amazon
Connect with Rachel through her Website or on Facebook

More about Rachel:

Rachel grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms.  

Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! 

Thanks so much, Rachel for being here on my blog, and good luck with your new release.

As always feel free to comment or ask a question.