Annie Nicholas writes paranormal and science fiction romance. Read about her hot vampire thrillers, werewolf romantic stories, alpha shifter and sexy alien romance.

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Not His Werewolf Release Day!

Book 2 of Not This Series It's release day! After being disowned and labelled human because she can’t shift, Betty Newman rescu...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Werewolf Under the Tree, Please?

Once upon a time, there was a writer who liked the things that went bump in the night and liked the things that went bump, bump, bump even better. She spent much of her time creating the characters of her dreams and lent them to her readers as fantasies. As the holiday season approached, someone asked her to compile her Christmas wish list but unfortunately the things she wanted didn’t exist.

She wrote the usual simple things like slippers and bubble bath stuff but really her mind was her very own werewolf. Something to keep her warm during those cold Vermont winters. Maybe if she wrote Santa this year he’d deliver?

What would be on your Christmas list?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Every Husband Should Learn

The wife says: You want

The wife means: You want

The wife says: We need

The wife means: I want

The wife says: It's your decision

The wife means: The correct decision should be obvious

The wife says: Do what you want

The wife means: You'll pay for this later

The wife says: We need to talk

The wife means: I need to complain

The wife says: Sure... go ahead

The wife means: I don't want you to

The wife says: I'n not upset

The wife means: Of course I'm upset you moron

The wife says: You're ... so manly

The wife means: You need a shave and sweat a lot

The wife says: Be romantic, turn out the lights

The wife means: I have flabby thighs.

The wife says: This kitchen is so inconvenient

The wife means: I want a new house.

The wife says: I want new curtains.

The wife means: Also carpeting, furniture, and wallpaper!

The wife says: I need wedding shoes.

The wife means: The other forty pairs are the wrong shade of white.

The wife says: Hang the picture there

The wife means: No, I mean hang it there!

The wife says: I heard a noise

The wife means: I noticed you were almost asleep.

The wife says: Do you love me?

The wife means: I'm going to ask for something expensive.

The wife says: How much do you love me?

The wife means: I did something today you're not going to like.

The wife says: I'll be ready in a minute.

The wife means: Kick off your shoes and take an hour nap.

The wife says: Am I fat?

The wife means: Tell me I'm beautiful.

The wife says: You have to learn to communicate.

The wife means: Just agree with me.

The wife says: Are you listening to me?

The wife means: [Too late, your doomed.]

The wife says: Yes

The wife means: No

The wife says: No

The wife means: No

The wife says: Maybe

The wife means: No

The wife says: I'm sorry

The wife means: You'll be sorry

The wife says: Do you like this recipe?

The wife means: You better get used to it

The wife says: All we're going to buy is a soap dish

The wife means: I'm coming back with enough to fill this place.

The wife says: Was that the baby?

The wife means: Get out of bed and walk him

The wife says: I'm not yelling!

The wife means: Yes I am! I think this is important!

In answer to the question "What's wrong?"

The wife says: The same old thing.

The wife means: Nothing.

The wife says: Nothing.

The wife means: Everything.

The wife says: Nothing, really.

The wife means: It's just that you're an idiot.

The wife says: I don't want to talk about it.

The wife means: I'm still building up steam.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm Blogged Out!

So sorry. This place seems to be the last place I blog. With Christmas coming, there are so many blog promos to full fill. By the time those are written my mind is empty when I come home. (Here)

I signed the contract for the third installment for The Vanguards series: The Beta. No release date yet. I am talking about Wordle again over at Paranormal Romantics this week and I've place the picture of this MS up.

It's Thanks Giving week and all my Canadian relatives are invading. At least ten people will be staying for a few days. I'm pulling out the bedding and checking the air mattresses. My husband, who is an only child, is planning his escape routes. We all go out on Black Friday to shop until we drop then have lunch with cocktails and cocktails. I have nothing huge on my list of things I'd like to pick up this year. I just like the hustle and bustle. (I know, it's so odd. I ususally hate shopping.) Mind you, I'm in Vermont, the most easy going, polite state in North America. No stampedes here. Everyone is excuse me while they trample over your feet. LOL

Hope you have a fun and peaceful week.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Star Wars The Force Unleashed II

Yep, your reading it right, a video game.

I  love Star Wars and have passed this on to my boys. They both have dreams of being Jedis and would be first in line to get a  light saber if they were ever invented.

This weekend we rented The Force Unleashed to see if we liked it before purchasing it. Well, it we completed it 48 hours. Yep, I'm a great mom. LOL We played it Friday night and all day Saturday. It was like watching a movie so we couldn't put it down until we found out if he found the girl.

Don't worry, I'm not posting any spoilers.  The game is short so satisfying for kids and yes, violent in that Star Wars manner so no blood at least. It helps that the angst filled warrior in this game was a hottie. ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I first heard about Nanowirmo about nine years ago. I hung out at a forum dedicated to CJ Cherryh's works. If I remember correctly it was named Shejidan. Most of the members were gearing up for Nov. 1 and they introduced me to the idea of writing a bad novel.

What a concept. I'd always wanted to write a book but never tried because I thought it would be terrible. The first and hardest thing each writer has to accomplish is to finish a manuscript. Doesn't matter how poor the writing or plot. Once the skeleton of the story is completed the writer can always work on it to flesh it out.

That year I made an attempt at my first 50k. I never reached my goal but I did get to 35k, more words than I'd ever written before. That story still lies somewhere on my bookshell. (I still write on paper. LOL) It won't ever get finished but the idea that I'm allowed to write badly was my first step to getting published.

I wonder how many other writers started with such simple inspirations. What got you started?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Blog Hop!

Happy Halloween! If you found this blog by accident and want to join the fun then click blog hop.

As a paranormal author this is a fun time for me. I decorate my home in a scary fashion, get the spooky music going, and frighten the local children. And of course, pass out awesome candy. I even dress up. This year I'm going as a zombie fairy. LOL

If you leave a commen and get kicked off the tour, don't worry. Just click HERE and you'll be back on track.

To make this holiday even more special, we at Paranormal Romantics are throwing a Blog-a-thon this weekend. About thirty writers will be blogging and offering a prize with each blog and all you need to do is comment. As a GRAND PRIZE we at PR chipped in together and got a NOOK filled with books to give away. To enter that contest you'll need to do a little more work. I'll be posting five questions at our blog. The answers are hidden in the blog posts. You'll have to send these answers to
So come join the fun tomorrow and check in during the weekend to see what we're up to. You might go home with a NOOK!

Do you think I'm excited yet? I have even more to celebrate because I have a release on the best month of the year.


Caught between two vampires, Connie is torn between Rurik, the one she loves and Tane, the one she’d love to stake.

Hunger burns in Connie Bences’ soul--she craves the blood of her vampire lover, Rurik, but it’s not satisfying her needs anymore. It’s driving her insane. Desperate to find help, Rurik brings her to Rio De Janeiro, where Tane rules the vampire nation.

The back-stabbing vampire almost killed her and Rurik when they’d first met, then used them to obtain his crown. She would rather stake him, but the small drop of Nosferatu blood he’d forced her to drink in Budapest is blooming into a bond, one which ties her life to his. One he won’t hesitate to manipulate.

He admits to binding her so Rurik would have to remain at his side, but their timing couldn’t be any worse. The betrayer finds himself betrayed. Tane’s rule is in upheaval and he’s forced to place his trust in two people who owe him no allegiance—her and Rurik. In the middle of a power struggle, Connie fights to keep her lover, but didn’t plan on Tane slipping into her heart.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Excorist

Hot DAMN!!!  Does this movie scare me.

Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. I can watch slasher movies and monster movies without nightmares. I still scream but then again, I'm screamed during Finding Nemo, so no big deal there. Anything to do with the spiritual world, demons, and possession has me clinging to my DH like a five year old for days.

I was about eight years old when I saw the Excorist. (Thanks Dad.)  It came on television, since there were no VCRs or DVDs in THOSE days. He saw the little girl with the movie star mom and thought it was a Disneyish movie. Low and behold, my life was changed and my parents couldn't kick me out of their bed for nights.

Years later when I was a new mother the director's cut came out. I didn't even need to see the movie. All it took to set me off was the commercial of the spider walk.

I was home alone with my new born. My DH worked evenings at the time. I phoned my older brother, it was about 10PM, and asked if he'd like to come over to hold my hand. LOL  Thank goodness for big brothers.

What movie makes you shake in your boots?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Caught between two vampires, Connie is torn between Rurik, the one she loves and Tane, the one she’d love to stake.
Hunger burns in Connie Bences’ soul--she craves the blood of her vampire lover, Rurik, but it’s not satisfying her needs anymore. It’s driving her insane. Desperate to find help, Rurik brings her to Rio De Janeiro, where Tane rules the vampire nation.
The back-stabbing vampire almost killed her and Rurik when they’d first met, then used them to obtain his crown.  She would rather stake him, but the small drop of Nosferatu blood he’d forced her to drink in Budapest is blooming into a bond, one which ties her life to his. One he won’t hesitate to manipulate.
He admits to binding her so Rurik would have to remain at his side, but their timing couldn’t be any worse.  The betrayer finds himself betrayed. Tane’s rule is in upheaval and he’s forced to place his trust in two people who owe him no allegiance—her and Rurik.  In the middle of a power struggle, Connie fights to keep her lover, but didn’t plan on Tane slipping into her heart.


Vampire slayers mourned those of their ilk who got caught. While most died a true death, some of the very things they hunted lured them to cross over and they became creatures of the night. Or in my case, blood bound with one. Colby and Red, my former comrades-at-arms, treated me as if I was dead, but I never felt more alive.

Jardim Botanico was a botanical paradise famous for its peaceful landscapes. Minutes away from my hotel, it sat in the heart of the south side of Rio de Janeiro. I’d spent the night sneaking along its gardens, ponds and well-manicured lanes, desperate to escape the predator who stalked my trail. Every time I got close enough to make a run for the streets, he’d pop out from hiding, almost as if daring me to try.

An envelope of silence surrounded me as I hid under the dark green leaves of a tropical plant. The scents of nutmeg and cinnamon lay thick in the air, I hoped they covered mine. My heart raced and sweat made my curls stick to the nape of my neck, not only from the heat, but from anticipation of the chase. I’d been smart this time, wearing a black sleeveless t-shirt, sport-shorts and water bottle clipped to my hip so the Brazilian weather wouldn’t sap my strength. My hair color, though, gave me away most of the time. So pale and yellow, sometimes it seemed like a neon sign saying ‘here I am’.

I’d gotten pretty good at running away from vampires. Connie Bence, live bait extraordinaire, was my last job, but I quit and tonight wasn’t a trap.

It was a game.

The night blanketed everything. I thought a city like Rio would be up at all hours, people partying in the streets, especially on New Year’s Eve. I was right. They were. Just not around here. The Copacabana Beach probably swarmed with people. One nervous human and one lusty vampire were the only creatures roaming the botanical gardens tonight.

A humongous, lighted Christmas tree floated on the central lagoon as a landmark. From the hotel window, I could see it to the northwest. This meant I needed to go southeast. Or did I? Ah shit, I suck at this stuff. Don’t throw me in the woods, no matter how manicured.

Laughter drew my attention and I peeked through the leaves. The street was ten yards in front of me through a small stone archway. The noise drifted closer.

I’d been waiting for a witness. It sounded like a group celebrating, probably heading to the beach where the fireworks would be going off in a few hours. If I could make it to them, my vampire wouldn’t be able to finish the hunt.

He had to keep his people’s existence a secret. If he broke that law, the big nasties would come and punish him.

Even vampires had nightmares—the Nosferatu.

I crouched under the foliage and did my best imitation of an Olympic sprinter waiting for the start pistol. My adversary strolled out from the shadows next to the archway.

Clenching my teeth, I swore under my breath. Dirty, freaking bastard knew what I was going to try.
With his hands clasped behind his back, he whistled a little Hungarian ditty. He wouldn’t kill me, this wasn’t about life and death. It was about winning.

The small group of people, my would-be rescuers, appeared.

My vampire blocked the exit with his body, waved at them and called out something in Portuguese. They laughed. It appeared they found him hilarious.

I didn’t find it funny.

The muscles in my legs trembled with the strain. They wanted to take off and run with all their might. It took some effort to make myself relax and slow my breathing. Rurik, the vampire, knew I was close, not my exact position or he would have taken me by now. How did he follow me? Maybe the blood bond we shared gave my location. If that were true, shouldn’t I sense something about him, too?

For once, I’d like to win this game, just once. Make it to our hotel before he captured me. It would mean he’d finally submit to my whims, instead of the other way around. The irony that I couldn’t dominate him without his consent wasn’t lost on me, but I’d make do.

He now stood in the center of the exit, his arms extended to touch the stone walls of the archway. The dim light from the streetlamp outlined his lean muscled frame. “Run, Rabbit, run.” The softly spoken words sent shivers down my spine. “Try to get away.” He’d named me Rabbit when we’d first met in Budapest a little over a year ago. Only he could call me by that nickname, he had earned the privilege. No one else had my permission.

My options for escape narrowed. The garden contained more gates, but I didn’t know where. We’d been playing since sunset and he already prevented my leaving three other times. If I gave up he would be disappointed. I understood his need to hunt, yet I grew tired of losing, too.

I eyed a wide Banyan tree by the fence. Long vines hung from the branches, waiting to root themselves one day. Before Rurik bound me to him, I wouldn’t have considered the crazy plan formulating in my head. The blood we shared made me faster and stronger. I healed quicker and didn’t get sick. Best of all, I stayed young. Worst of all, if he died, so did I.

Marriage vows seemed weak compared to that. So if he needed a little hide-and-seek in the dark, I played with him.

 Annie Nicholas

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NEW Website is up.

It's done. It's DONE!

After months of designing and brainstorming with midnight phone calls, my website is operational.

To celebrate I am having some mini fun here on my blog.

There are hidden things on my homepage. That's the only hint you'll get. At least for now.

The person who lists the most correct hidden things will win one of my backlist ebooks of their choice. I'll keep this contest open for one week. If there is a tie, I will place their names in a hat and chose.

Let the games begin, my lovelies.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Ruts

Sometimes writers get stuck in a rut and don't even know it. Not like writer's block but doing something over and over again, not even noticing.

I reached an all time achievement of having the word 'but' in my manuscript 453 times. On some pages I used it ten times. Kind of made me proud that I could find so many uses for one word. There are times I read my favorite authors and find they have some sentences they use frequently, almost a trade mark.

LKH likes to use, "he leaned toward her face."
Ward likes, "Fuck you very much." and "Shitkickers."
Butcher uses, "Boomstick" and I'm sure there's more but I nothing comes to mind without my pulling all my books down.

I've noticed the phrase, "kissing with an expert's ease," creep into more than of my books.

What are some of the phrases you recall and by who?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Farwell Summer

I'll miss your hot summer nights.

Cooling off in the pool.

Lazy afternoons in the shade.

Steamy days at the beach.

Farwell Summer. Until next year.

Now, I need to find my rain gear.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Have a New Pretty to Share

Caught between two vampires, Connie is torn between Rurik, the one she loves and Tane, the one she’d to love stake.

Hunger burns in Connie Bences’ soul, she craves the blood of her vampire lover, Rurik, but it’s not satisfying her needs anymore. It’s driving her insane. Desperate to find help, Rurik brings her to Rio Des Janeiro where Tane rules the vampire nation.

The back stabbing vampire had almost killed her and Rurik when they’d first met, then used them to obtain his crown. She would rather kill him but the small drop of Nosferatu blood he’d forced her to drink in Budapest is blooming into a bond, one which ties her life to his. One he won’t hesitate to manipulate.

He admits to binding her so Rurik would have to remain at his side but their timing couldn’t be any worse. The betrayer finds himself betrayed. Tane’s rule is in upheaval and he’s forced to place his trust in two people who owe him no allegiance—her and Rurik. In the middle of a power struggle, Connie fights to keep her lover but didn’t plan on Tane slipping into her heart.


Monday, August 30, 2010

New Addiction

Hello, my name is Annie Nicholas and I am a Black Dagger Brotherhood addict. It has been four hours since I've read anything from this series. LOL

Love finding new-to-me authors who have a wonderful line up of books for me to consume.

Anyone else enjoyed or enjoying these stories? What do you like about the series and who's your favorite?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Board Games

I have two little boys so playing board games comes with the territory, as does video games but I'll save that for another post.

We have some of the classics: Monopoly, Clue, Life, Sorry, and Battleship

Some of the newer ones: Apples to Apples, Whonu, Cadoo

But a game we've enjoyed that I've never heard of, which we recieved as a gift, is T-Rex. The premise of the game is similar to Sorry. You have four dinosaurs who need to get home BUT the similarities end there. When to dinos land on the same spot they battle with dice numbers. The loser gets sent to the river at the beginning of the game. You also have a T-Rex marching around the board moved my a red dice each player has to roll on their turn. If the T-Rex lands on your dino it's sent to the Lair and you need to roll a 6 to get out. It's a load of fun and I'm surprised at the complexity and mathematics it offers to children.

What kind of games do you enjoy?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Delicate Philosophy

I’ve been pondering Happiy-Ever-Afters at the end of stories. With each book, I struggle to bring my characters to Happily-For-Nows let alone the HEAs.

Why? Because sometimes it feels like it’s a lie. I think in modern society we are led to believe everyone should get a HEA but when it doesn’t happen we struggle with depression and worse because we think we’ve failed our culture’s expectation. I hear, “What’s wrong with me?” from friends, co-workers, and family when things don’t come together like they should.

I can understand the need to read and watch things that end well so you can finish with satisfaction. I’m guilty of this but I’m also aware that it’s fiction. Sometimes I wonder if the younger generations are as grounded.

Everyone DESERVES a HEA but most don’t get it. The majority of us get HFNs or less. I’m a realist and it sucks sometimes but my day job makes me so. When I write, it bothers me to have to twist things out of proportion to make it work out in the end. I do my best to make it real.

I have nothing against HEAs in stories. I’m a big fan and hate being let down as a reader. I’ve just figured out why I have trouble writing them and wanted to share.

What’s your take on HEAs in real life?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Release Today by Kate Pearce

First in a sexy new series that takes a bite out of the court of King Henry VIII
Desperate to defeat King Richard III and gain the English crown, Henry Tudor made a pact with the Druids that bound him and his heirs to the Druid’s deadly struggle against the Vampires. Ever since, the Llewellyns, an ancient Vampire slaying family, have been in the permanent employ of the monarchy.
Now Henry VIII is on the throne, and his father’s bargain has almost been forgotten. Until corpses drained of blood start turning up in the most inappropriate of places, including the king’s bedchamber. But are these people the victims of the Vampires-or of the Druids?
To save the king from a nameless assassin, Rosalind Llewellyn, Vampire hunter extraordinaire, must form an uneasy alliance with a known Druid slayer. Sir Christopher Ellis hails from a family that has protected the Vampires for centuries, yet Rosalind has no choice but to rely on his help. And with her life threatened and her loyalty tested, Rosalind may even have to acknowledge the unthinkable. This sworn enemy may be her soul mate.
Click here to purchase. For more information on the author, visit her website or blog.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Take a Number!

What is this thing called Writer's Block and where can I get some?

Don't shake your head at me. I need rest and the voices won't let me be.

It's all Spice's fault. She invaded my head two in the morning less than a year ago. The story she told me was so compelling I had to get up and write it all down. A flood gate must have broken when she came through because the characters and their stories won't stop coming. I'm booked for the next three years.

I've had a character in my head for a year now but didn't know where she fit, why, or who her hero could be. He introduced himself to me this morning and  EVERYTHING fell into place. OMG I have to write this story but--but I'm already writting a great one that's been waiting four months to be started. Not to mention the OTHER  story all outlined and researched sitting in my computer for the last year and half. Then sequels start shouting, "What about our fans? They don't want to wait that long for the next book!"

AHHHHH! Take a number and I'll get to you between day job, kids, and husband. Sorry, household the cleaning may take a back seat for awhile. Maybe I should campaign for a maid. I doubt that's in the budget. LOL 

I love to write and wish I could do it all day, everyday.

What have the voices been doing to you?

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have a new obession and it's name is Wordle. It's even on my favorites list.

What is it? You copy/paste a document at and see the word montage it creates. The more the word appears in the document the bigger it is in the picture. Apparently I have a 'like' issue.

This picture is of a WIP. As a writer I see a lot of possiblities with the program. I am now aware I possibly use his name too much and I need to use a thesaurus for the word 'like'.  It is also a good way to find a title. The word that pops out to me is HUNGER.

Let's try another one. I'll use Bait this time.

A fully editted book and the picture appears more balanced. There are many options, one being to not remove common words. Go check it out and have fun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Getting Someone's Attention (First lines, Queries, and Synopsis)

When I say someone I mean editors, agents, and most importantly, readers.

It only takes a few pages for someone to decide if they are going to like your story or not. You may have the best story ever but if your first pages are not compelling it will be a hard sell. A lot of articles on this subject talk about hooks but I found it confusing because I can never figure out what my hook is or I have too many hooks. LOL

My best advice is don’t write BORING. Use character, mood, and setting to draw and keep their attention.

You’ve written a whole book about a character you love. Now, you need to condense this character and show it off in the first paragraphs. You can use their voice or a short narration to grab your reader and have them fall in love with your creation.

“Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time rolling on the ground with men who think a stiffy represents personal growth. The rolling around has nothing to do with my sex life. The rolling around is what happens when a bust goes crapola . . . ” (Janet Evanovich, Hard Eight)

Setting is another tool you can use. Describe, see previous blog for description tools, something that entices and entrances by using the five senses.

“He stood at the window . . . framed by the faded curtains which she had chosen forty years before. The sun had bleached their bright roses to a faded pink, and the linings were so threadbare that they could no longer be sent to the cleaners for fear of total disintegration.” (Rosamunde Pilcher, Under Gemini)

Palpable mood can spellbind a reader. With the use of the right kind of adjectives, you can make your reader shiver with anticipation of what will come next.

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some . . . ” (Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World) [one of my favorite books by the way}

You have the technical tools now. Here is where you must pull the creative part from your soul and make writing an art. Get creative, break rules, and snap your reader to attention. DON’T WRITE BORING.

The first line of your novel is the most important one of the whole book. I rewrote the first line of Bait twenty-seven times before I found what it needed. “Live bait made all the difference, pretty much a no-brainer.” I chose to go with character since the whole series revolves around Connie. To come up with my first lines, I try to summarize the core essence of the story. Such as the bait reference for a book about being human bait. Or in The Alpha, “No one could call Spice Monroe weak, at least not to her face, yet she returned to Chicago with nothing but the clothes on her back. If only the strong survived, then why did she feel like such a loser?” This story condensed down to Spice’s struggle with belief in oneself.

Not BORING. No cliché lines, no AA introductions, and the story starts right away. Once again, I can’t stress getting creative.

Query letters, another very important thing, since it needs to pass through the gauntlet first before most editors or agents will read your wonderful first page. Many writers spend weeks editing and polishing their WIP then throw together a query/synopsis overnight. These things are just as important as the book. They represent your writing skill.

The query should contain a short open to the story and leaving them wanting more. Kind of like a blurb. I usually start my query with the tagline. Then you need to add the technical info of the book like word count, genre, and heat level. To end the letter give a quick resume such published works and contests wins. I don’t go into much detail. Mine reads like “I have # books published with such and such house and # with this other house. I have received many five star reviews and hit some of the bestsellers lists. For more detailed information here is my website.”

Synopsis should be written in present tense. Where in your story you should be showing your characters dilemmas, in the synopsis you need to tell them. It’s basically a summary of key elements, conflicts, and plot lines. You need to tell everything important, especially the end. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received on writing a synopsis is this: Tell it like your describing the best movie you’ve ever seen to your best friend.


“It turns out the rosebud, they’ve been looking everywhere for, is not a flower but a gemstone. They have to bribe their way out of jail and jump on a train across the country where John starts to fall in love with Jessica…”

Armed with these tools, go forth and catch someone's attention!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Writing 101- Description

Hey, look! I found my brain.

The next subject I wanted to cover is description in your story. Like show vs tell, you will find two camps on this subject, those who love to describe and those who hate it.

I’m in between the two. I think every scene should be set-up so your reader has a picture in their head BUT they don’t need to know what kind of lace pattern is on the kitchen curtain unless it is pertinent to the story. Also, I suggest not giving a whole paragraph of setting at the beginning of each scene. Weave it into your writing like fine thread and from your characters pov so the reader doesn’t get bored. I’ll give an example in a moment.

Another tool a writer can use is vocabulary. Remember a thesaurus and dictionary is a writer’s best friend. Your character’s mood will affect how you describe your setting. A sad person will view the world differently than an angry one. This also adds to your showing part of writing skills. By using mood in your description shows your reader how your character is feeling without actually telling them.

I will use the above picture for examples.

My character, let’s call her Tiffany, is walking through this forest. As an exercise we will find hopeful words to use and they don’t have to only be adjectives. Let’s use soar, bright, fresh, spring, and promise. I choose most of those words from the top of my head as I thought what hopeful would feel like and I also typed it into my thesaurus to see what came up. I found promising, which sounded good for my use.

Example one:

The bright sunlight broke through the morning mist and Tiffany’s heart soared. Darkness faded so she could see some of the trees and with it some of her fear. Fresh earth tinted the air. Tiffany found a new spring in her step with the promise of escape from these woods.

Notice how all the description comes from Tiffany’s view point. I didn’t describe as if I was above her but from her senses. Let’s mix it up and make Tiffany hopeless by using words like sank, dark, dank, heavy, and danger. I used the same process as above to choose my words.

Example two:

The dark mist swallowed the sunlight and Tiffany’s heart sank. Light faded so she could barely see the trees and with it some of her hope. Dank earth tinted the air. Tiffany found her steps heavy with the danger of being lost forever.

Similar paragraph but by changing the words used to describe the moment, I’ve changed the mood. I didn’t need half a page of description to do it either. From this point the story can continue.

Any questions?

Monday, July 5, 2010


Writing 101 classes have been temporarily post poned until Annie Nicholas finds her brain. Sorry for the inconveince.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Independence Blog Hop

There is a lot promoting I could be doing but I'm taking a break from it and going to sit back and enjoy the view. These hotties are my five top favorite pictures and I wanted to share them with you.

He's my favorite. *sigh*

Have a fun weekend. I'm giving away a copy of The Omegas away at this hop.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Alpha Releases Today!!

New Blog look with a new release!


Someone is about to get some Spice in his life.

Spice has nothing but the clothes on her back when she returns to Chicago. She's looking for a better life, and that means reuniting with her estranged twin sister, Sugar. She isn't thrilled to find out Sugar's boyfriend is a vampire. But then she meets Eric, once the bottle-cap-glasses wearing nerd next door - now grown into the kind of man she'd love to snuggle with on this cold winter night...and he’s offered her his room in Sugar’s house.

Eric can’t believe Spice has returned. He’d given up hope of ever seeing her again, let alone having her stare at him as if he’s sex on a stick. But now that all of his fantasies for them are coming true, reality rears her ugly head and Eric must tell Spice his intimate secret; he’s actually an Alpha werewolf looking for his mate and he thinks he’s found her.



Sugar had everything Spice wanted; a loving man, friends, and a home.

“Daedalus let you cut your hair?” A short man built like a bodybuilder approached her.

The awe in his voice snapped Spice out of her self-pity and the protector inside reared its head. This was the second reference to someone allowing her little sister to do something. “What do you mean ‘let me’?”

What kind of relationship did Sugar have? She needed permission to cut her hair? Maybe destiny brought her back to Chicago to save her little sister from some monster. Again. All those bad things happening to drive her here couldn’t be coincidental.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Where is my sister, and what are you doing in her house?”

They glanced at each other, confusion apparent on their faces. “What?”

The man in the kitchen stuck his head out of the door, chocolate brown eyes wide as he stared at her. “Spice?” The smile he’d given to her when he thought she was Sugar returned but wider.

Her heart skipped a beat. In the light his face seemed familiar as well. “I know you.”

“You should, we were only neighbors forever as kids.”

“Eric!” He had grown. Stupid, of course he’s changed. But she never expected that the skinny, lanky bottle-cap-glasses-wearing nerd would develop into a charming, handsome I-wanna-snuggle-you-on-a-cold-night kind of man. “Hi.” The jobs as a hostess, a bartender, and the most recent, a stripper taught her how to talk to men the way they liked. But with him grinning at her like a happy puppy, her mind went blank.

He swept her into his arms in a bone-cracking hug.

“Wow, I’d forgotten Sugar had a twin.” The redhead scratched his chin. “You look exactly alike, except your hair is short.”

Eric set her back on her feet. “Let me take your coat.” He tugged on the belt and untied it. To her surprise, the small action sparked warmth between her thighs. Not like he took off her clothes but she began to wonder what it would feel like if he did.

Their eyes met. His pupils dilated, the chocolate brown faded to amber, and something feral peeked at her.

She gasped and stepped back.

The pretty oriental girl took her arm and dragged her into the living room. She chattered about making tea, but Spice’s attention riveted on Eric as he stood with the men surrounding him.

What the heck? She’d seen need in men’s eyes before but this was darker, deeper, and so much more alluring.

The redhead tried to take Eric’s arm, but he shook it off and stomped out of sight.

Spice sat on the overstuffed couch. “What did you say your name was?”


A dainty, petite girl with long black hair to her knees, yet she gave Spice the impression of great strength. Life in Vegas taught her to be an excellent judge of character. Too bad it had taken her so long to learn.

“I’ll be back in a minute. You stay while I make tea.” Katrina slipped away to the kitchen.

Every flat surface in the living room held a book. Soft cover, hard cover, tattered, or new, Sugar loved her books. The walls were lined with shelves filled with them. Spice picked up the closest one and smelled it. The scent of paper always reminded her of her twin.

The large, square coffee table in front of her held the game Risk. Different colored pieces lay scattered on the thick blue carpet.

Game night at Sugar’s house. She glanced at the hallway. With Eric. Many questions formulated in her head. What happened to her reclusive sister over the past two years? When did she get friends? Probably when her only one, me, left town. Did she hook up with Eric?

Hope sprung in Spice’s heart. Her attraction to him was out of character. She usually loved them tough and bad. Maybe he could be the new beginning she’d come home for.

To celebrate my new release I'm giving away a copy of The Alpha at Paranormal Romantics on 6/21. Be on the look out for my other guest blogs because I'll be giving other copies too!

Annie Nicholas

Monday, June 14, 2010

Point Of View

When I first started to hang out on the net with other writers, I kept wondering what a POV was? Point of Venue? Practice of Verbs? Once, I found it stood for Point of View I realized I hadn’t a clue what it meant.

A little google search told me the definitions.

• a mental position from which things are viewed
• the spatial property of the position from which something is observed
• the narrative mode used by writers to convey the plot to the audience

Narrative mode? I did a little more digging.

-First person: is a point of view in which an "I" or "we" serves as the narrator of a piece of fiction. While first person point of view can allow a reader to feel very close to a specific character's point of view, it also limits the reader to that one perspective. The reader can only know what this character knows.
Example: “I loved the way he struggled to keep his eyes from wandering over my body as he lectured about the pros and cons of the insurance policy.”

-Second person: the narrator tells the story to another character using "you". The story is being told through the addressee's point of view. It is the least commonly used POV in fiction.
Example: “You opened the door to find an orange cat on your doorstep.”

Third person: uses third person pronouns such as "he" or "she." It’s the most versatile form of pov and can be sub-divided into omniscient and deep.
Example: “He ran around the corner, surprised to find the vampire waiting for him.”

Omniscient: in which both the reader and author observe the situation either through the senses and thoughts of more than one character, or through an overarching godlike perspective that sees and knows everything that happens and everything the characters are thinking.
Example: “He ran around the corner but he didn’t know a vampire had been waiting for him there all night.” (I find this the hardest pov to write in.)

Deep: is being so immersed in a character's head, his or her thoughts color everything in the story. It's got 1st person depth in 3rd person format.
Example: “He ran around the corner, his heart stopped as he came eye to eye with his worst nightmare, a vampire.”

So, point of view simply means where is your reader observing the story. If they ‘are’ the character then you want first or deep third. If you want them sitting on the characters shoulder as if watching then you want second or third. If you want them above as if on the ceiling or sky then third omniscient.

Once you chose a point of view, I recommend sticking with it throughout the story. I’ve read some experimental stories where the writer would switch from first to third depending on the character but it knocked me out of the story and I found it too distracting. The best writing allows the reader to get caught up in the story and not even notice what pov they are in.

Next week I’ll discuss deepening your point of view. Don’t forget we’re celebrating our first year anniversary at Paranormal Romantics and having daily give aways.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Show vs Tell

The nemesis of all new writers and, you know, even the ones who’ve been writing for awhile. LOL
To start I want to mention that I think how much you show your story versus how much you tell lends to your voice. It gives your stories a fingerprint, if that analogy helps more.

In my opinion, writing is about forging an emotional link to the reader. While some good fiction functions on a higher intellectual level, it’s the visceral stuff that sticks in our memories. The ones that made you feel the characters’ losses and joys. We’re drawn to these stories because it touched something deep inside and took hold. One of the best ways to grab someone with your story is by creating vivid images that immerse them in the world— by not merely telling readers what’s happening, but showing it to them.

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~Anton Chekhov.

Like I’ve repeatedly said in this blog series, everything in moderation. I believe in showing more than telling but it’s not written in any writing rules book that is the way it has to be. This choice is part of my voice as a writer.

Every time I find emotional adjectives such as angry, sad, happy, etc in my WIP, I step back and ask if there is a way I can show what my character is feeling instead of telling the reader. This draws the reader emotionally closer to the character.

Ex: Angered by Sheila’s betrayal, Tom left the room. (TELLING)

Tom squeezed his fists until the nails bit into his palms. He stomped from the room and slammed the door behind him. How could she betray like this? (SHOW)

Another suggestion is to show time passing without telling the reader. This is simple but I didn’t get it until another writer told me, so for those like me here you go. LOL State what meal the character is eating, where the sun is in the sky, mention the stars or moon, piles of mail can grow, or have them check their watch. There are plenty of things that can be done and it’s better than stating, “three days later.”

Describing the setting can be considered showing as well but I’ll be discussing this at length in its own blog.
Use of everyday things you observe from people around you will help with showing. If my character is anxious, I’ll make her dialogue short and fast and sometimes it won’t make sense depending on how upset she is. See how this kind of ties in with sentence structure, which I discussed in another blog. Show isn’t an easy concept to jump onto. It’s not 1+1=2. It’s more like 3+2=7 except when there’s a full on the 4th of May but then again you can minus 1.

Once you do get it, I promise it will snap in your head and you’ll see all the possibilities.

When I finally grasped the power of show, I realized I told my readers too much in the aspect of my plots and decided to show them clues instead. Even if they didn’t pull them all together and solve my story on their own, when my heroine did figure it out the readers would have an ‘AHA!’ moment and hopefully think, “She wrote something about this in chapter three. OH! She also mentioned that clue in chapter seven.” I know as a reader, I LOVE those ‘AHA’ moments.

Let’s use an example for this. I’ll make up a plot for this example. Say the end of your story is that the hero saves the heroine by mixing a magic potion to cure her from an evil spell. He needed to gather all the rare ingredients to make it and use a recipe from his great grandmother’s spell book. Mention the spell book in ch 1 or 2 as hint. Have him notice ingredients here there in context with the rest of the story but not too obvious. At the end of the book when he’s in the process of saving her, the reader is more involved in the story because you showed them pieces of the solution. Mind you this is just a simple example to give you an idea of what I meant.

Last but not least, do not go crazy on the showing either. If your character needs to cross the kitchen and get a glass of water and if it is not relevant to the story, then by all means, just tell us. Megan walked to the sink and poured a glass of water.

I hoped this helped more than harmed your understanding of show vs tell.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Release by Ciar Cullen

Available now at Amazon!.
Emily Fenwick, former NYPD, is now reluctant defender of 1890 New York. Unfortunately for Emily, who hates "the creepy stuff," she ignored her inner voice, went to a carnival in Central Park, and entered a Victorian tent in hopes a psychic would have some encouraging news about her woefully boring love life. The guarantee she receives of meeting a tall, dark, and handsome stranger comes with a huge catch--he lives in an alternate dimension of the past.

Jack Pettigrew leads a quirky band of lost souls in a battle to save New York circa 1890. Nightmares have come alive and threaten to terrorize a fragile era. Jack leads the "punks," who have been sucked back in time through a vortex. Each has a fleeting memory of their own death--or near death--and must determine for themselves why they have been chosen for this mission. Is Steamside their Purgatory? Could an Egyptian obelisk in Central Park be the cause of the time rift, or is Emily herself to blame for the goblins, zombies, and other nightmarish scenes plaguing them?

If the Punks want to return to 2010, they must ensure there's going to be an 1891. If they conclude they're really ghosts, then it might be time to party like it's 1999.

Dear Reader, Please note that while this book has some adult content, it is not ultra steamy romance. If you prefer hardcore gadget laden steampunk--look away. While this book has some steampunk elements, it is primarily a fantasy romance. Best wishes!

Monday, May 31, 2010

To Was or Not to Was and Format Basics


The verb “To be” is said to be the most versatile of the English language, constantly changing form, sometimes without much of a clear pattern. Considering that we use it often, it’s really too bad that the verb “To be” has to be the most irregular, slippery verb in the language.

Present tense:

I am

We are

He/She/It is

Past tense:

I/He/She/It was

We were

Past participle- I have been

Progressive participle- I am being

To use these types of verbs makes a weak sentence. You should try to avoid them. Note that I am not saying “do not use them.” These are wonderful words and you need to use them, but try to limit their use. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.

So how do I get rid of my ‘to be’ verbs? How do I make my writing read stronger and more interesting?

1) Change the to be verb to a strong verb:   (Here is a list of 1000 Active Verbs)

Example: Rurik was afraid for Connie.

Rurik feared for Connie.

Example: She was alarmed by the proximity of the vampire.

She ran away from the vampire.

2) Eliminate the be verb by writing one or more showing sentence. (I’ll be covering Show vs Tell next week)

Example: Werewolves are mean.

The werewolf growled when they stumbled into his cave and woke him. Lurching to his feet, he swiped at them with its claws before they could turn and run.

3) Combine sentences to eliminate the be verb.

Example: The zombie is hungry. He heads to the allies, disappointed, despite having eaten his fill of brains .

The zombie heads to the allies, hungry, even after eating his fill of brains.

4) Eliminate the entire sentence if its omission does not change the meaning of the passage.

5) Leave the be verb if changing it alters the meaning, diminishes the passage, or makes the structure unworkable.

As to formatting, every new writer asks about this at one time or another.

1. Check the publisher’s submission guidelines and follow them.

2. If there are no guidelines use a clear font like Courier New or Times New Roman, size 12 is standard. Double space or, if you understand you word processor (WP) enough, make the lines exactly 25 per page. Number your pages by using your WP program, upper right hand corner is standard. I prefer a header with the title of my MS and my name on each page. Not so necessary in a digital age and for e-pubs but some contests and agents still like paper so if a page is lost they know where it belongs. Title page with your Pen Name, Real Name, snail mail address, e-mail address, title, word count, and genre is a good idea if, like I said, you have no guidelines to follow. Most submissions require a query letter and synopsis with each submission. I will cover those two dreaded subjects when I get the nerve to write them unless I can find a sucker—er—knowledgeable writer to guest blog for me.

This concludes the basics to writing 101. Next week I will start the next steps to taking your skills seriously and hopefully won’t confuse further.

If you have any questions please ask. I don’t bite, not unless you ask me too and say please.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Punctuation by Caroline Adams

Punctuation is part of any serious writer’s craft. When used properly it helps guide your reader through your words, so they pause, stop, and start the way you meant your story to be read. Consider punctuation the roadmap for writing.

The following sentences provide guidance ‒pay attention not just to the words, but the punctuation as well‒on some of the things that punctuation can do:

Some punctuation can emit emotions: Excitement! Pondering?

Ellipses pause or dwindle off…

The em-dash stops abruptly‒

The semi-colon links two independent clauses together; as one, they create a deeper meaning than either statements does alone.

Commas segregates your phrasing, each special and unique, into readable components, which is especially vital in longer sentences, but never, under any conditions, allow a single comma to separate the subject from the verb, and don’t put a comma between two independent clauses; that’s semi-colon’s job.

The em-dash allows you to insert‒we all love to do this‒a totally independent thought into our sentence.

In summary, you have this great tool to guide the reader through your words: proper punctuation

Learn it; use it!

Now that I have you all excited to learn punctuation, let me throw in a caveat and my nomination for the stupidest punctuation rule of mankind.

While you would think punctuation rules should be black and white, not all of them are. I’ve no doubt someone will disagree with some of what I’ve written here. So my best advice is to pick a reliable source and stick to it. Personally, I try to follow The Chicago Manual of Style.

When you acquire an editor, they may go by a different standard, so you might need to tweak a few things. However, editors are aware of the ‘grey areas’ and a difference in usage will not bring shame upon you and your children. However, using blatantly wrong punctuation shows you have failed to learn an important tool of your trade.

Grey areas aside, English and American punctuation do have some differences. So make sure you learn the punctuation of the country where you plan to publish.

Now to the most illogical rule known to mankind: The Crappy Printer/Fragile Punctuation Rule.

That may not be its real title, but it should be!

The story concocted to explain our stupid rule is as follows: Long ago, our first printing equipment was, to be blunt, shoddy. Thus, the publishers made a change to the English punctuation rules to solve a printing problem they were having.

“Fragile punctuation will always be on the inside of any ‘quote marks,’” declared the grumpy printer, tired of fighting with a tiny half-blocks at the end of the sentence.

“But what if it’s an ‘internal quote’ that logically should be inside the sentence?” his apprentice asked.

“I don’t care if it’s an ‘internal quote,’” the grumpy printer replied. “If it ends in a period or comma, put those quote marks on the outside!”

“But if the sentence ends in an exclamation point or question mark then I can use ‘logical punctuation’?”


The apprentice rubbed his temples, feeling the anger of centuries of writers bearing down upon him. “So we will not just be illogical, but inconsistent in the way we treat the’ internal quote’?”

“Yes. I’m just making this change so I can print using this crappy machine. Logic and consistency be damned!”

And while the printer’s life improved, American writers have been pulling out their hair ever sense.

Which leaves me to ponder why, in our digital age, where nary a half-block can be found, does this illogical fragile punctuation rule still exists? And when will the madness stop?


Aaron de Coeur arrives at his father, the Marquis’ deathbed to hear his father’s confession that he had married a sixteen year old English heiress five years prior to get himself out of debt. The young woman was allowed to remain in England and shockingly opened a ‘gentleman’s club’ becoming the mistress for half the men of society. The Marquis holds himself responsible for ‘stealing her life’ and begs his son to honor the promises he made to the girl. Aaron gives his word, but upon investigation discovers that matters are not as they seem.
 Buy now


While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the inspiration of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that he cannot be fired for three months and then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn. Xavier endures ‘the impudent pup’ because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist. As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome assistant, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.

Buy Now

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sentence Structures by a Dummy

When I refer to a dummy, I mean me. Like I stated in my first post, I don’t have any education in grammar, barely passed it in school, so if you’ve come here to be enlightened by big words describing each aspect to a sentence. Stop here.

I know a sentence starts with a capital letter, ends with a punctuation mark, has a noun, and a verb. There’s more to it than just that but I don’t think I need to know more. If you can’t wrap your mind around all the rules of the English language don’t sweat it. Try to write anyway.

What I do stress is to read and re-read your favorite books. Not for enjoyment but for study. Read what you liked the most and figure out why you like it so much. Pick out your favorite scene and dissect it. How did the writer use words to make it touch you?

Words are like music, they have a beat. When you watch an action movie the notes are fast and strong or a love scene can be lyrical and slow. How you construct your sentences affects the reader. Short to the point sentences can be used in high stress situations in writing, just like longer more poetic ones can be used to slow the mood in a story. The following example is an action scene. I’ve highlighted the short sentence to show the higher ratio.

            Ex: Rurik carried me back toward the wall. I could see Dragos' thugs fighting. A glimpse of a tall man with short, blonde hair in army fatigues between these warriors caught my breath. Colby was about to get creamed.

The smash of glass breaking made me twist around. Rurik had broken one of the small windows. He cleared the big shards away with his hands and winced as they cut through his skin. They barely even bled. He lifted me up to the hole, shoved me through it, then shouted, “Run, Rabbit, run!” A hard slap landed on my rump and pushed me through the rest of the way through the window. It stung.

The beat is made faster by the short sentences. It gives a sense of urgency and anxiety to the reader. This technique should not be used all the time, only in plot defining scenes, like this one where the story takes an unexpected twist. You will also notice I dispersed a long sentence in between these short beats. I call this a ‘take a breather’ sentence. If you have too many short beats in a row it sounds too desperate, like a racing heart, and not a good read.

Which brings me to my next point, don’t write boring. How is sentence structure connected to all of this? It’s everything. Readers need variety. Not just in characters and story but sentence structure too. Let me bring your attention to the red sentence above. I could have made all those sections short beats instead.

He lifted me up to the hole. He shoved me through it. He then shouted, “Run, Rabbit, run!”

How boring. It would have followed my short beat rules for action but it gave three similar sentence structures in a row, which is why I switched it. How can you tell what to do and when? Read it out loud. Listen to rhythm of the words.

Here are some quick simple rules to keep the reader’s interest. Don’t start following sentences with the same word or structure.

Bad ex: She walked to her desk and picked up a notebook. She wrote his phone number down.

Better ex: She walked to her desk and picked up a notebook. With a crayon, she wrote his phone number down.

Or: She walked to her desk and picked up a notebook. Writing his phone number down, she noticed her hand shook.

You’ll notice I’ve followed these same rules throughout this blog. Same goes with paragraphs, don’t use the same word or sentence structure to start succinct paragraphs.

Another rule, which I think most authors would agree with me, is EVERYTHING in moderation. It’s okay to use a LITTLE adverbs and –ing verbs, like the above example.

Try to start each sentence with an interesting word, be it verb or now. You won’t be able to do all of them but those that you can, then should be. Vary the, a, with, it, and pronouns starting sentences. I’ll use the same example from above.

EX: He carried me back toward the wall. I could see Dragos' thugs fighting. A glimpse of a tall man with short, blonde hair in army fatigues between these warriors caught my breath. Colby was about to get creamed.

The smash of glass breaking made me twist around. Rurik had broken one of the small windows. He cleared the big shards away with his hands and winced as they cut through his skin. They barely even bled. He lifted me up to the hole, shoved me through it, then shouted, “Run, Rabbit, run!” A hard slap landed on my rump and pushed me through the rest of the way through the window. It stung.

Each sentence started differently.

I hope this blog helped and didn’t make you more confused with my music analogy. It’s difficult to teach and learn this part of writing. This is one of the first steps of how to grip a reader’s attention. Like I mentioned before, re-read your favorite parts in books and examine the technique used.

Any questions?