[Release Day] New York Minute by Melinda Dozier #Excerpt #FacebookParty

I'm so happy to present my newest book release!  NEW YORK MINUTE Title: New York Minute Author: Melinda Dozier Release D...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guest Post: Reading, Writing, but for Gosh Sakes, No Arithmetic! by M.J. Schiller (Abandon All Hope Book Spotlight)


It was one of those mornings for newspaper-writer/photographer Hope Creswell.  The alarm clock didn’t go off and she cut her finger on broken glass.  Not one to let such things get her down, Hope headed into her assignment meeting with excitement, only to leave it stunned.  Her new assignment is to trail the sensational rock-star, Chase Hatton, for an article.  Chase Hatton!  No one knows the power that name holds for her.  No one knows of the childhood friendship that blossomed into romance, only to abruptly die on the night of Hope’s senior prom.  No one knows of the ache that still fills her heart. 

What starts out for Chase Hatton as an average publicity trip to Chicago suddenly becomes complicated when his manager tells him that Hope Creswell will be interviewing him in the morning.  He had spent eight years trying to forget Hope, and now she would be in his penthouse in a matter of hours?

When Chase opens the door to his penthouse and finds Hope on the opposite side, his heart begins beating a rhythm the rocker has yet to capture in any of his music.  The smoldering embers of their former romance are fanned by their mere proximity.  Will they both be burned again?  Can Hope ever trust her heart to Chase after what he did?  Can Chase bear to see her walk out on him a second time?  And what about Hope’s boyfriend, Phillip?  Where does he fit into the picture that Hope is developing?

AUTHOR BIO: MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh, can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has an eighteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and sixteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.

LINKS: You can find MJ Schiller at www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com, MJ on FB, twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
You can find ABANDON ALL HOPE at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

TRAILOR: 
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EXCERPT:

When Chase opened the door, Hope was looking down, her thick, black eyelashes contrasting with her fair skin as she examined her shuffling feet, waiting for someone to answer her ring. There was an innocence in her face that was captured in the first millisecond before realizing she was being observed. But hearing the noise of the door opening, she glanced up quickly. Their eyes locked, and they both froze for several seconds, unable to speak.
            Although he had seen her brilliant eyes a hundred times in his dreams over the past eight years, seeing them here, now, even though he had mentally prepared himself for her visit, took his breath away. His heart, which had been beating wildly in anticipation of her visit, now seemed to stop, and then a second later, charge ahead, as if trying to beat its way out of his chest. His palms on the doorframe became sweaty, and he tried to gather his wits so as not to appear like the lovesick whelp he now felt himself to be.
            Hope looked very much the same as she had eight years prior. She wore her long, golden-brown, straight hair in two braids dangling past her shoulders. He was barely able to suppress a desire to touch the feathery tips below the rubber bands holding them together. Her hands were stuck deep into the pockets of the slouchy tweed coat she wore over a tight-fitting, baby-blue, v-neck t-shirt, which fit snugly over her hips and dark blue jeans, hanging slightly lower than the bottom of her jacket. As in high school, she had a camera slung carelessly around her neck, like an Olympian’s gold medal, and nearly as valuable to her.
            Slowly, a smile spread across his face, and he forced himself to exhale, saying, “So, it is you.”
            She smiled in return, a little shyly, he thought, responding, “Hello, Chase.”
            She held out her hand and he was taken aback, the gesture seeming too stiff and formal considering their intimate past, but after a second, he took it and shook it warmly, covering it with his other hand as well. His touch and smile seemed to relax her a little. Maybe this wouldn’t be so difficult after all. They both were adults now; they should be able to act maturely.
            “Come in,” he invited, standing aside to allow her to pass. He never took his eyes off her as she entered, soaking in the details they offered. Her short jacket, coming just to her waist, permitted him a clear view of her tight tush and shapely hips. She had filled out some since her tree-climbing days when they had first met. She still had the muscles of an athlete, and the tomboy she once was, but now, time had added the soft, tempting curves of womanhood. Though her t-shirt hugged her hips temptingly and covered the tops of her jeans’ pockets, he still fantasized about sticking his hands in those pockets and feeling her warmth.
            He watched her face as she gazed about, seeing the glow of excitement that was sweetly familiar to him. He had almost forgotten just how lovely her face was. She had a clear complexion, delicate features, and big, expressive eyes. Whatever she felt could be seen on her face; she had no gift for pretense. Her eyes were unique, a pale blue with thin rays of yellows and browns radiating out from the center, like a starburst, the outside of the iris a thin circle of black. The mix of colors was not a distracting feature. In fact, it was something that wouldn’t be noticed at a distance, but up close, they were mesmerizing.


READING, WRITING, BUT FOR GOSH SAKES, NO ARITHMETIC!!!

I am a reader and a writer, but don’t ask me to balance the checkbook! Numbers? So NOT my thing. What I want to talk about today is the correlation between reading and writing. Now THAT’S my thing! I believe reading influences writing in two ways. It first makes you a writer, then, determines what sort of writer you will be.

I’m not sure why I’m such a reader. I don’t remember anyone ever reading to me, but my mom and step-dad are both readers, so that example was set for me, for sure. Growing up, I moved around a lot, so I found it hard to make friends. Books were my companions. I advanced from Dr. Seuss, to Curious George, to Nancy Drew, to the Chronicles of Narnia. 
Naturally, when I had children, I wanted to pass that down to them. I have four kids, one eighteen-year-old and three sixteen-year-olds. Yes, that’s right. Triplets! I’ve read to my kids since they were babies. Classic like Moo, Baa, La, La, La. I can still recite it to you. “The cow says moo, the sheep say baa, three singing pigs go la, la, la.  No,no, you say, that isn’t right! The pigs go oink all day and night!” Now that’s literature at its best. Slap that up against Huck Finn!

Now all of my children are not only readers, but writers as well. My oldest writes phenomenal poetry and her reading comprehension skills are off the charts. (Unfortunately, her math skills are also off the charts, in the opposite direction! As you see, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) It seems when we read, it’s only natural that writing follows. You read everyone else’s stories, and then you want to take control and make the story happen the way you think it should for a change. Reading can make us want to write.
But, once writers, how does reading influence our writing? I can tell you one way it influenced me. When I started reading Nora Roberts’ novels, I began writing like her. Not necessarily picking up her best-selling kind of skills (darn it!) but some of her bad habits. Nora Roberts is a head-hopper. She switches from one person’s point of few to the next frequently. I love that, because I find the way people can see the exact same thing from different angles, interesting. Done well, it’s effective. Obviously Nora does it well. Done poorly, you lose that deep point of few. You can’t stay in the character’s head long enough to be able to identify with them, feel with them, and that’s what makes a book good.
In college, in one of my English education classes, we had to interview each other and ask questions designed to identify what kind of reader we were. Do you know that some people will pick up a book and read the last chapter first? You’re not one of those, are you? This is completely incomprehensible to me! Even if I’m dying to know the outcome, I don’t peek ahead, even a page ahead, to see what happens. And that is also how I write. Some people will write the first and last chapters before the middle of the book. Not I. I write from beginning to end, in order. The story grows organically. A suggestion often given for writer’s block is skipping ahead to another section and coming back to the place where you are stuck. If I experienced writer’s block, that wouldn’t work for me. Luckily all it usually takes is a warm bath and time to mull it over and I know where the story goes next.

What about you? What kind of reader are you? Do you skip large sections of exposition and just read dialogue? Do you peek ahead? And if you write, do you write in order? Ever been influenced by another writer? Say you’re reading Hemingway while you write. Would your book turn out differently than if you were reading say, Fitzgerald?
Another thing that influences my writing is my love for rock music. Hence my newest release, the second in my ROCKING ROMANCE COLLECTION, ABANDON ALL HOPE. 

A blurb follows:
It was one of those mornings for newspaper-writer/photographer Hope Creswell.  The alarm clock didn’t go off and she cut her finger on broken glass.  Not one to let such things get her down, Hope headed into her assignment meeting with excitement, only to leave it stunned.  Her new assignment is to trail the sensational rock-star, Chase Hatton, for an article.  Chase Hatton!  No one knows the power that name holds for her.  No one knows of the childhood friendship that blossomed into romance, only to abruptly die on the night of Hope’s senior prom.  No one knows of the ache that still fills her heart. 

What starts out for Chase Hatton as an average publicity trip to Chicago suddenly becomes complicated when his manager tells him that Hope Creswell will be interviewing him in the morning.  He had spent eight years trying to forget Hope, and now she would be in his penthouse in a matter of hours?

When Chase opens the door to his penthouse and finds Hope on the opposite side, his heart begins beating a rhythm the rocker has yet to capture in any of his music.  The smoldering embers of their former romance are fanned by their mere proximity.  Will they both be burned again?  Can Hope ever trust her heart to Chase after what he did?  Can Chase bear to see her walk out on him a second time?  And what about Hope’s boyfriend, Phillip?  Where does he fit into the picture that Hope is developing?



7 comments:

  1. Good morning, Melinda! And thank you for allowing me to guest post today and tell your readers a little bit about ABANDON ALL HOPE!

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  2. I am more of a math person than a language arts person. Answers a lot of questions for you, huh? haha And people read the last chapter first? Who does that? The horror!
    Now, a good M.J. Schiller book? That's my pace. I loved Trapped Under Ice and adored Abandon All Hope. Get writing, girl. I'm ready for the next one!
    -R.T. Wolfe

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  3. Yeah, I don't get that! How can you be a numbers person and yet write such fantastic books? You know what I hate more than someone who can do numbers? Someone who can do numbers and words! Except for you. And my husband. And my dad...

    Thanks for breaking away from your own writing to say hello! Here's to a high word count day!

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  4. HI MJ and Melinda!
    Great post and I love your trailer. Rock music isn't my go to, but I do love it now and then.

    I'm not a math person either, but I raised two math lovers who read like crazy. So I guess the math gene lives in me somewhere. Now as for reading, my kids get that from me. I can still remember our weekly library trips, three bags stuffed full--a good 50 books a week. Reading is my absolute favorite thing to do. A perfect mother's day is a day where the world leaves me alone so I can read. But now that I'm a writer, my reading has really reduced...which isn't a good thing.

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  5. I hear you, Nancy! It's so nice to escape somewhere else sometimes. Like when you go on vacation. A little change in scenery is refreshing, even if it's only in your mind. Thanks for coming on by and sharing your thoughts!

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  6. Hey there, MJ - I'm sorry to have to confess that if I hit a point in a story that feels a little slow or boring, I'll peek ahead to see if any good parts are coming. :-) I am even an end-peeker. Sometimes I skip around so much, I forget where I was and have to go back to an earlier part! :-)

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  7. *Gasp!* She's one of THOSE, RT! Just kidding! We all have our way of reading! This made me think of those books they used to have where they had alternate endings. You know, "If you think Johny should stay in the pit, go to pg. 43. If you think Johny should hightail it outa there, go to page 342." Those were so cool!

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