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Showing posts from 2013

Reflections and Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I'm not really a fan of New Year's resolutions, but I do it anyway.

Change happens the instant you truly want it. The date on the calendar doesn't matter when you make up your mind. In fact, I think it's easier to keep to your resolution when you make it because you want to and not because of an arbitrary reason like the start of a new week, month, or year.

All that being said, I like the ceremony of making a New Year's resolution. It's a good time to stop and evaluate my life, where I am, what I want, and if I'm on track to get what I want. I don't make resolutions to be healthier or to finally ask out that cute guy I've been ogling for weeks, because those are things that I should already be doing everyday—I know that, and every morning I tell myself I'll do those things today. As far as I'm concerned, every new day is a chance to be better and do better than the day before.

Instead, I make resolutions for the whole year. 2…

The Game On Chronicles: Final Cover Design

After discussing it with my editor (Melanie Ting!), I decided to go in a different direction for this cover and use a different designer. My original idea was the same, and we worked together and got this:


Voilà!
What do you think? Feel free to let me know in the comments section!

Shots on Net Review

I'm pretty sure I speak for all writers when I say that reviews mean a great deal to us.

I finally got my first review on Amazon for Shots on Net, by user S. E. Scott:

The author really knows her hockey! I learned a lot about procedures for players, dieting for players, and the mindset of the player who wasn't drafted by a team but wants to play hockey more than anything. Kevin is that hockey player. He wants it so much that he has set aside any type of personal relationships to concentrate on his goal, to play in the NHL. He meets Shannon and even though he has this goal, it's nice to have someone to talk to outside of hockey. Both are skittish, especially Kevin. He backs off when he feels he is getting too close to her and even breaks it off when he's losing that concentration. Shannon realizes her plans to move to Boston and when Kevin breaks up with her, she moves on. This is a good read for s [sic] hockey enthusiast, along with a little romance,…

Interview with Melanie Ting

Today I'm very happy to plug a fellow writer—and friend—Melanie Ting. She's authored some of my favorite hockey stories, including Fresh Air and How the Cookie Crumbles. Mel's climbing up the Amazon sales charts; if you haven't read her work yet, do yourself a favor and check her out!


Mel took the time to talk to me about her writing and latest novel, her love of hockey, and of course, cats:


The Game On Chronicles: The Plot Thickens

I know I haven't said much about this new story that I'm working on. I'm afraid to reveal too much in case I change my mind and have to play with the details. But I've told you about Audrey and Nate. You've probably inferred that Nate plays on the Columbus Blue Jackets once I mentioned the setting.

The first few chapters of any of my stories are usually spent introducing the characters. To me, my characters are the most important part of my stories. That's just part of who I am; I love people's stories, so naturally I love imagining up people and giving them stories. When I write, that it what I want to convey: the characters, and their stories.

The plot is important because characters reveals their traits and personality through their reactions to what happens around them or, maybe more truthfully, their actions and deeds.

Once the characters are established, that's when the plot starts to develop.

All that being said, the plot is what dictates how the…

The Game On Chronicles: Distractions

I'm usually pretty good at time management. When I have a lot on my plate, I have to buckle down and stay focused, which I can do. If the pressure's on, that helps me stay motivated.

But sometimes, no matter what I seem to want to do, I keep getting pulled away from the task at hand.

My social schedule varies a lot. Sometimes, it feels like I have all the time in the world; yet other times, I'm so busy I'm lucky to get a decent night's sleep.

I'm pretty busy right now. Work is pretty crazy, and I'm stage managing for the local theatre, which takes up 2-3 nights during the week. I captain a trivia team, which is how I spend my Tuesday nights. On top of that, I have Christmas projects to work on, and I'm trying to make new curtains to help block the cold from coming in as winter descends on Pittsburgh. And my apartment desperately needs to be cleaned. Oh, and I can't forget that my typically antisocial cats, for some reason, are following me around li…

The Game On Chronicles: Setting and Perspective

When a plot line is universal and the characters are true to human nature, a story can take place anywhere on Earth and it will still ring true to its readers.

One of the reasons that Shakespeare is still relative today is because his characters are timeless. His plays are adapted to take place in current or modern settings, and they still make just as much as sense as they do to Elizabethan audiences.

The place and time of a story doesn't usually affect much about a plot. In fact, I think the plot dictates the setting, and not the other way around. That being said, however, the setting can affect how the story is told.

I'm no Shakespeare, but I understand that much.


As I've mentioned in a previous blog entry, I had originally started writing Game On in 2011. Since picking it back up, I decided to update the story. It's amazing how many things have changed in the past two years that affect the story. Realignment, the lockout, technology, and the presence of social medi…

The Game On Chronicles: What's in a Name?

Hands down, one of the most difficult parts of writing for me is picking out character names. It's like naming a child: the kid has to live with this name, and I have to call the kid by this name for the rest of my life. So I don't want to pick a name that I'm going to get sick of.

That's happened before. I've changed some characters' names umpteen times before finally settling on something that satisfies me. And it can't be a name of someone I know, either, because the character can't resemble someone who already exists.

I like to pick first names that are somewhere in the middle between common and unique.
For example, in Play the Man, I picked Jenna, Ryan, and Nick.
In Shots on Net, I picked Shannon/Shay and Kevin.

Last names can be just as difficult. If a character is a hockey player from a particular foreign country, say Russia or Sweden, then it's easy to pick a last name. But American and Canadian names are tougher, because so many last names …

The Game On Chronicles: Cover Design

Creative people tend to steer toward other creative people. A few years ago, there were a bunch of us, some relatively fresh out of college and some still taking classes, who hung out about twice a week. Well, you might as well call it coexisting in the same room. See, we used the time to pursue our relative interests, whatever they may be. I, of course, was writing fiction. But there was a person who wrote poetry, another crocheted, sometimes someone was playing the guitar or banjo. There was also a budding graphic designer. We said that I'd write a book and he'd create the cover.

It took three years, but when I made up my mind to e-publish, I turned to Casey to help me with the cover. I tell him what I'm thinking, and he makes it even better. We talk about what I'm looking for or anything I'd like to incorporate into the cover, and he expounds on that. In Play the Man, I wanted Jenna's ring to play some kind of part, and it was Casey's idea to have the me…

The Game On Chronicles: The Early Chapters

I decided to chronicle my process for working on publishing my third book.

As much as I wanted to take a break after publishing Shots on Net, I was feeling, well, empty. I had been spending so much time writing, editing, deleting, rewriting, etc., that I didn't know what to do with myself when I wasn't writing anymore. Even though I swore I needed a break from writing, I needed to get right back on track with the next story.

I had started a manuscript back in 2011 for a story I called Game On. I remember the premise for it, but I can't tell you where I left off. So I decided to start reading through it, reacquaint myself with the characters and the plot, and then figure out where to go from there. When I left off years ago, the story had twenty-six chapters, which is pretty long for my novels.

As soon as I started to reread it, I got pulled right back into that world. On Monday, I read through and edited the first six chapters. Yesterday, I went through chapters seven thro…

In the Top 100!

Thanks to everyone who's purchased a copy of Shots on Net during this first week of publication.

As of today, Shots on Net broke into the Top 100 of sports genre fiction on Amazon. I'm mixed in with the likes of Stephen King and James Patterson, which is pretty awesome if you ask me!

Shots on Net, Available Now!

It's officially official: Shots on Net is now on sale at Amazon.com!

Shannon Klein is a small town girl with big city dreams. She wants nothing more than to leave her hometown of Whitefield, Connecticut, and move back to Boston, Massachusetts—where there seem to be endless possibilities for her career, social life, and love life.

Kevin Browne is an undrafted defenseman looking to break into professional hockey. He gets a chance to show his stuff with the Whitefield Warriors, the AHL affiliate of the Hartford Gladiators, when they offer him a one-year, try-out contract. His only goal is to secure a future playing for the team so he can be one step closer to the NHL.

Through a series of mishaps and well-timed encounters, Shannon and Kevin meet and quickly become friends—and maybe something more than friends, too. But they have to decide how much of their respective dreams they're willing to compromise in order to be together.

I'm so glad to finally have this eBook …

Shots on Net Chapter One Sneak Preview

“How dare you walk away from me when I’m talking to you! This is my castle, Louis, not yours!”

It would only be a matter of pages before one of them snapped. Elspeth, a fair Anglo-Saxon maiden, was fiercely bantering with Louis, the French earl who had been granted the rights to Elspeth’s plot of land by William the Conqueror after the historic 1066 Norman invasion. Headstrong and feisty, she adamantly refused to back down or to obey orders from a foreign authority. As the lady of the castle, she knew that it was up to her to defend her family’s honor; the land belonged to her uncle, who had been killed during the resistance. Uncle Ælric had been her only family, and she was determined to avenge his death.

Louis, however, was nothing more than amused by the fiery, frustrating redhead and her defiance. As an earl, he was rich and handsome—but, beyond that, he was especially favored by William the Conqueror, so he was not used to having anyone, least of all a maiden, stand up to him. Lo…