Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blog Tour - Hellbounce by Matthew Harrill

Blog Tour for Matthew Harrill
Hellbounce. Demons don't always hide in the dark.

Want to know more about Matt? Find him on Facebook!


Currently living in the UK, Matt enjoys his free time writing. Married with children of his own, he enjoys writing fiction horror stories in hopes of scaring a reader! Hellbounce is his first novel.

Buy links!

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KNLZO4S/

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KNLZO4S/


As a psychologist in a prison hospital, Eva Ross had always dealt with her share of sinners. The corrupt, the insane, their minds were all hers to unlock. But when those around her, those she trusted with her life start to exhibit the same characteristics, she is forced to turn to a stranger, a man whose name she is incapable of even remembering, for sanctuary.

Follow Eva as she crosses continents to unlock the answers, and her eventual destiny.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Crafting your happily ever after - finish the end of your story in five easy steps

How to craft your endings

You have a great idea for a story, and you've written two-thirds of it, leading all the way up to the climax. Now what? How do you get your protagonist through the final battle, defeat all of the bad guys, resolve all of the issues, and leave your readers satisfied in the end?

Readers love a good ending that brings everything full circle and leaves them with something to think about. Craft your endings carefully so that your readers will demand more as soon as they read "the end".

If you have heard of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat method (which I highly recommend), you may have noticed that, although he is very specific about the plot points leading up to the ending, Act III gets only a "wrap things up" treatment. What you may not know, is that Snyder went into detail about the finale in a later book: Save the Cat Strikes Back.  Much of what I have to tell you about endings comes from Snyder's fantastic screenplay writing advice. 

Storming the castle in 5 easy steps:

1- Gathering the team

Let your hero stop to gather everyone, and everything he needs for the final battle, whether it is storming a literal castle, landing that part in the musical, or stopping that girl from leaving without him.

2- Executing the plan

This is the time when the hero's team bands together and creates a plan that feels foolproof. Everyone is feeling positive about the battle.

3-High tower surprise

Now the hero reaches the final battle, only to find out that his plan isn't going to work like he thought it would. Here he finds that the bad guy knew he was coming all along. 

4-Dig deep down

The hero has nothing to draw on--no mentor to help out, no plan to depend on. It looks like he is going to fail. But now he takes that leap of faith and digs deep down inside of himself. He recalls the great lessons he has learned along his journey and realizes what he needs to do. 

5-Execution of the new plan

Now that the hero has awakened to see what needs to be done, he puts this last-ditch plan into action, and it works! All of the villains are systematically undone with this impromptu new plan. 

6-Wrap up loose ends

I know I said 5 steps, but really, there is one more. You need to tie up all loose ends. Readers need to know what happened to all of the characters. Bring the story around full circle and show us how the protagonist really changed on his journey. Make sure you address every plot point that you introduced. And even if your story continues on in a series, satisfy this particular story's questions and your readers will be emotionally satisfied. 


Authors-if you have wrestled and conquered an ending, what advice do you have? 

Readers-have you ever read an ending that just didn't satisfy?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Five ways to use food as a tool in fiction

I recently had a reader who told me she felt the need to recreate one of the recipes I described in my book. She said it deepened her experience as she read. The funny thing is, the reader wasn't talking about one of my cookbooks--she was referring to a tool that I love to use when writing fiction. Food in fiction can be used to draw your reader into the story.

Little Women
Here are five ways to use food as a tool in fiction:

1. Use food to create a sense of place or invoke a certain response from your reader.

Let's say that you are writing a scene showing a family at Christmastime, sitting around the fire, and sharing time together. To help your reader really feel that they are there, describe the yeasty smell of cinnamon rolls as they come from the oven, or the taste of wassail as it slips down your character's throat. Your reader will insert their own positive experiences with cinnamon rolls and sweet drinks by the fire, and be drawn into the scene.

2. A taste or smell can help connect a later scene to an earlier one.

If you want readers to recall parts of an earlier scene that is critical to bringing later loose ends together, use a food or a smell to connect the two. For instance, in Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the peculiar smells of lavender and lemons are mentioned in a garden early in the book, and then, when the character has a vision of an earlier time, the smell of lavender and lemons is mentioned again, pulling the two scenes together in the reader's remembrance and helping them make connections that the authors did not have to spell out. 

3. Mealtimes are a great way to create a crucible that brings conflict to the fore.

Chocolate Frogs from Harry Potter
We all know that conflict drives the story forward. What better way to introduce conflicts than to sit all of your characters down at a meal and watch them duke it out? Think of Downton Abbey. You know as soon as you see them sit down for their fancy meal that the crap is going to hit the fan! And we are rubbing our hands in anticipation. Bring your characters together over dinner to form a crucible--a way to push characters into the same space and make them bring up the conflicts that are bugging them. 

4. Food can spark the reader's imagination.

We all love to eat, and food can bring wonder to the world your characters live in. Think of Willy Wonka with his color-changing gum, and Harry Potter with chocolate frogs and puking pastilles. One of my favorite foods in fiction are the Lumba Berry Pies in In A World Without Heroes (Beyonder #1), by Jason Mull. The character encounters lumba berry pie--a delicacy that is so addicting that the diner will never want to eat anything again. The only problem is, lumba berries have no nutritional value and causes the addicted eater to starve to death.
Lumba Berry Pies from A World Without Heroes

5. Foods and their preparation can be used as a metaphor for what the character is going through emotionally.

Having your character eat an ice cream or bake something from scratch can mirror what is going on emotionally in the character's life. In one of my books, a character burns the batch of cookies that she makes after having a disastrous date. The ruined cookies reflect the emotional state of the character and it pushes her over the edge (as an added tool, I used the burned cookies to foreshadow a later event involving a burning building).

The next time you want to introduce a setting, fuel the reader's imagination, or bring characters together to create a conflict, search your recipe box--you may find the answer to your plot holes in your next meal.


Authors-have you ever used food as a device in your writing?

Readers-What's the most memorable dinner scene or food you've ever read about?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

EuphoraYA Scavenger Hunt - Guest post by Anna Silver

I hope you are having a great time with the scavenger hunt, and that you are finding some great reads! Please welcome Anna Silver, author of ASTRAL TIDE

There's a lot of hype these days about twisted, or retold, fairy tales. A prime example of this would be CINDER by Marissa Meyer. And while I'm not the type to jump on the bandwagon, especially when it comes to literary trends--because yesterday's bandwagon quickly becomes today's hearse, I've begun a new novel which I am toying with the notion of weaving into a twisted fairy tale.

Keep in mind, at this time, I'm merely toying. In fact, it may be so unlike the original that I couldn't even pitch it as a retelling, but I could still use the fairy tale I have in mind for the project to guide the plot. And the fairy tale I'm referring to is Sleeping Beauty, which was a childhood favorite of mine.

I know what you're thinking. And no, this was not Maleficent inspired. Okay, maybe it was a little Maleficent inspired.

But my setting would Sci-Fi and the genre is YA. And I have no intention of pulling a CINDER and writing about sleeping androids. In fact, there won't even be a character for the witch as you expect, because as I said, it would almost be more symbolic than a literal retelling.

Anyway, all of this is to say, how do you feel about twisted and retold fairy tales? Are they still in? Are they on their way out already? Is it even worth pitching as a retelling if the correlations are more implied than literal? And, above all, what are your fave twisted or retold fairy tales, so the rest of us can run out and read them?

My top fairy tale retelling is actually Intisar Khanani's THORN, which is a retelling of Grimm's The Goose Girl. Though I've never read the original version, and so cannot compare them much. That said, Khanani's brilliant narration swept me away, making me a lifetime fan. Which brought me into this whole EuphorYA mess. So without further ado, I bring you my special content, the working title and back cover copy for the third and final installment in the Otherborn series, ASTRAL RETURN.

Best of luck to all of you and thanks for reading!!!

Astral Return
Otherborn, #3

has been pushed to her limits. She’s lost the people she cares about most, been
forced into a fugitive’s life bouncing from camp to camp in the Outroads beyond
the safety and shelter of the walled cities, and even found herself at the very
edge of the Astral when confronted by Avery and the Tycoons after escaping the
Ward. But nothing has prepared her for waking up in New Eden.

Life in the Tycoons’ settlement is supposed to be paradise,
but for London,
Elias, and the rest of the Otherborn in Tycoon custody, it’s nothing short of
hell. About the only thing going for London is
her reunion with Rye.
But with Zen captured too, her heart is more torn than ever.

In New Eden, the Otherborn are subject to Avery’s deranged
experiments as the Astral Return wreaks havoc in the rest of the world. And the
stronger it grows, the more desperate the Tycoons become. Caught in the middle,
London is
growing less worried about saving the world and more worried about saving
herself and her friends. Will the Astral’s new beginning be their end?
EuphorYA Scavenger Hunt Blog Stops

Here's the schedule for the EuphorYA Scavenger Hunt. Each blog stop features exclusive content from one of our authors as well as a giveaway. Collect the blue / red / pink colored words to make the daily secret phrases. Then enter for your chance to win the Grand Prize Giveaway--$75 Amazon / Nook gift card (first prize only), books and swag (first, second and third prizes).

Day One Stops, Friday ,June 20 - Blue Phrase

Anna Silver | Chloe Jacob's World | Elana Johnson | Books By Intisar | Ali Cross

Day Two Stops, Saturday, June 21 - Red Phrase

Elisabeth Wheatley | T.L. Shreffler | RaShelle Workman | Kelly Walker | Hannah L. Clark |

Christy Dorrity

Day Three Stops, Sunday, June 22 - Pink Phrase

Rhiannon Hart | Natasha Hanova | Tracy E. Banghart | Kaitlyn Deann | Jadie Jones

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway