Monthly Archives January 2008

Don’t Drink the Punch: An Adventure in Tantra

Don’t Drink the Punch: An Adventure in Tantra
by Kamala Devi

* Paperback: 303 Pages
* Publisher: Zendow Press
* ISBN-10: 1879097990
* ISBN-13: 978-1879097995

Let’s face it, who is not at least mildly intrigued by the word: Tantra?

I saw the book, was intrigued by the title and that word Tantra in the subtitle, and truly did not know what to expect when I picked this book up to read it. The cover managed to capture my attention, even though it’s not a genre I would typically read.

Several pages into the book, I knew I would not be disappointed! I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn’t stop reading it until I finished it, even fighting sleep to stay up late into the night to read the rest of the story.

Don’t Drink the Punch is well written, but in a style that is rather unexpected–first...

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Author Interview – Michelle L Devon


Michelle L Devon began writing at a very young age, and by jr. high, she was writing for the school paper, had won several poetry and prose contests, and had completed her first novella by age 13.

Life managed to get in the way, and amidst cries from her family that, ‘writing is a hobby, not a career,’ Ms. Devon put her writing dreams on hold and pursued an education and then a professional career.

Michelle attended high school in a small West Texas town in the Permian Basin, and then went on to pursue a college degree in psychology, with a minor in sociology.

Her career centered around social services, advocacy and criminal justice for victims of violent crime in the non-profit sector, before she finally moved to the corporate world as a contract negotiator for a mult-billion dollar...

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Dialog Tags

For some reason that I cannot figure out myself, many of the writers for whom I have edited have had trouble with dialog tags and formatting. I guess it’s that I just ‘know’ how to do it so I don’t understand the confusion, but dialog is frequently done incorrectly in the manuscripts I see.

The biggest problem I have with dialog in fiction writing I edit is that many writers do not know that each change of speaker requires a new paragraph.

For example, you cannot write:

“Joe, do you want a piece of cake?” Mary asked him. “Yes, Mary, I’d love some cake. Thanks.” “No problem, Joe. I’ll get you a slice.”

The proper way of doing this would be:

“Joe, do you want a piece of cake?” Mary asked him.
“Yes, Mary, I’d love some cake. Thanks.”
“No problem, Joe. I’ll get you a slice.”

If your ...

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Naming Characters in Fiction Writing

I am not good at naming characters in fiction writing.

It’s really not surprising. When my son was born, I couldn’t come up with a middle name to save my life. Eventually, his middle name came from an episode of Dragnet the night I was in labor with him. For my daughter, don’t laugh, she literally went an entire week with no name, and my grandmother gave her the middle name.

I don’t do well with names. If I couldn’t even name my own kids, I don’t know how I am supposed to name my characters in fiction writing.

I guess it’s because I think names are very important. I love my name, Michelle, and I kinda like the nickname someone gave me in high school that I use to this day, Michy (pronounced Mickey – or Mich for short… yes, I have a nickname for my nickname apparently)...

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Fast Food Fix: 75 + Amazing Recipe Makeovers of Your Fast Food Restaurant Favorites, by Devin Alexander

Fast Food Fix: 75 + Amazing Recipe Makeovers of Your Fast Food Restaurant Favorites, by New York Times bestselling author, Devin Alexander, is moving its way up in sales, and it’s no wonder either.

American culture has integrated fast food into the mix as a sort of staple in our diets, but we are paying a high price for this ‘fix’. First, fast food is expensive, and secondly, it is usually not very healthy. Yet, Americans like the flavor and taste of all our favorite fast foods. There has to be a solution to this growing trend of eating unhealthy, fattening, greasy and expensive junk fast food.

Enter Devin Alexander with a possible solution to the American fast food craze, with her cookbook and recipe guide entitled Fast Food Fix...

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Interview with a Children’s Book Author – Bo Savino

With books the likes of Harry Potter increasing in popularity, many authors, both new and seasoned, have delved into the realm of fantasy writing for children and adults alike. Let’s face it, what child doesn’t like to drift off into the realm of fantasy where fantastic creatures, magic, mythology, and reality all merge into an experience that allows a child to escape from the mundane? However, with a proliferation of children’s fantasy books, it has become increasingly difficult to weed out from the ordinary those few, rare reads that are simply extraordinary.

A good fantasy novel does more than just tell a story...

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Keeper of the Flame, by Catherine Chase

Keeper of the Flame, by Catherine Chase

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Oculus Media Group, LLC (July 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934677019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934677018

Book Description

The mystical land of Draecus-a land closed off from all others for generations. In Mikaelia, it is remembered only in bedtime stories passed down through the ages. With the war for the lands of Mikaelia now over, the human female Jarnell fights her family’s wishes of marriage to unite two noble houses and strengthen the family holdings. Running away, she seeks out her elven friend, Dekion, and gains a startling traveling companion in the form of a half-orscha warrior, Sahri-tah...

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The EX Factor: Justified Endings to Bad EXes, by Anderson et al

The Ex Factor
A Book Review from Accentuate Services
By Michelle L Devon

Most of us have had an EX somewhere in our past. Whether it’s an EX best friend, EX lover, or EX spouse, we’ve all had an occasion in which someone left out lives (became an EX), and quite often, not under the best of circumstances. Seeking justice, revenge, and evening the playing field are fantasies we all may have had during those moments of anger after experiencing a loss, a betrayal, a broken promise, or a broken trust, yet most of us only entertain the fantasies in our minds, until time heals the wound to a point where we allow the universe to deal justice as deserved.

However, the nine (9) authors of The Ex Factor have actually taken those fantasies and thoughts of justified endings toward an EX and turned them i...

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Powerful Punctuation – Misuse and Over Use of Exclamation Points in Professional Fiction Writing

Ah, punctuation!

One of the most frequently misused forms of punctuation is the exclamation point or the exclamation mark. As an editor, I have frequently told authors with whom I work that I am going to remove the exclamation point from their keyboard. Don’t get me wrong here, the exclamation point has its place in writing, but it is frequently overused or misused. When the exclamation point is misused or over used, it lowers its power.

The exclamation point is most frequently used in dialog, and it is usually used to denote a strong command:


An exclamation point almost always comes at the end of a sentence, but occasionally, it can come in the middle when using dialog that has text tags behind it, such as:

He said, “Stop!” before he reached out to grab the file from her hand.

An ...

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Its / It's – Commonly Misused Words

Its / It’s

Again, reviewing my article on apostrophes, you will learn more about possessives and contractions. One of the reasons Its and It’s are commonly misused is because they don’t exactly follow the rules on possessive words. Generally, to make a word possessive, in other words, to say it belongs to someone or something, you would include an apostrophe S at the end of the word.

Its is a word that is a bit different, because it is one of the rule breakers for possessives. Because the word It’s is a contraction, which is short for IT and IS, using the same word for a possessive would be confusing at best, so instead, the grammarians decided to confuse us even more and make the word ITS without the apostrophe to indicate possession.

You really don’t need to know the rules on this one is...

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