Category Archives: Literature

Fall Favorites Giveaway Hop


Fall Favorites Giveaway Hop 500x292

Thank you for joining us on the Fall Favorites Giveaway Hop!

Don’t forget to hop on over to the Booktrope/Runaway Goodness Prefunk Sale and grab your FREE eBook copy of my Jewish medieval fantasy, Serpent on a Cross, and more than 200 other great titles in various genres, now through November 14th!

For my stop on this Hop, I’m giving away a $15 Amazon eGift Card to one randomly selected lucky winner, and a print copy of Serpent on a Cross to another! To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below and away you go! 🙂 Then come back and visit all the other pages in the Hop. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. ~Book Liaison 16. Benjamin Levi Seims
2. Danielle Ione 17. ~Sandi Brackeen
3. ~Author Ryanne Anthony 18. ~Stephanie Phillips
4. ~K. Williams 19. ~Misha Elliott
5. ~Allison Whitmore 20. Wendy C Garfinkle
6. ~Stephanie Kepke 21. ~PageCurl Publishing and Promotion (INT)
7. A.M. Willard 22. ~Jennifer Sivec
8. Meara Platt 23. ~Susan Arden
9. S.K. Wills 24. Author Holly Hood
10. ~Amanda Mariel 25. #Minxes Love Books
11. Lisa Douthit 26. Author Kristyn Eudes
12. Lady Amber’s Reviews 27. ~Patti Fiala
13. ~Lynne Barron 28. ~C.S. Kendall
14. ~Tina Donahue 29. ~MAD Hoydenish
15. E.C. Moore

 

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Filed under Blog Hop, Booktrope, Event, Literature, Serpent on a Cross, Writing

This is the Reason Editing Your Own Work is a Bad Idea


Source: Unsplash.com/AlejandroEscamilla

Source: Unsplash.com/AlejandroEscamilla

I’d like to share writing no-nos (aka Turtle Editor Wendy’s writing pet peeves) I’ve “collected” during my years of editing and proofreading. I’ll be gentle (I hope) and no names will be mentioned. This isn’t intended to be a “roasting” session, rather, a humorous, helpful post about some things to avoid when polishing your work before sending it off to your Editor. It’s easy to miss some things after writing your new Shiny and reading it a bazillion times (even we editors make mistakes *gasp*) , but if you do any of the things I mention here, trust me, you’ll be more aware of them next time. 🙂

Let’s dive right in, shall we? 😉

  1. Twelve Noon & Twelve Midnight. Really? So Noon & Midnight need to be specifically at “twelve?” They can’t be “One Noon” and “Three Midnight?” If they’re always the same – twelve o’clock p.m. for Noon & twelve o’clock a.m. for Midnight, then WHY in the name of all things holy do we need to specify that they are at “twelve?” Please break yourselves of this habit. Twelve p.m. is noon and twelve a.m. is midnight. Period. End of story. If your readers don’t know that, then they may need to go back to elementary school to learn the basics.
  2. “She nodded her head.” Well, what else are you going to nod, your finger? I suppose that’s possible, but why? When you NOD, it’s a given that the item being nodded is your head. You don’t need to say “her head.” You don’t usually “nod” your finger or your hand; you wave a finger, wave a hand. Nodding is usually reserved for your head. Contrarily, “He shook his head no.” In this case, you’ll need to add “his head” because if you write it as “He shook no,” it makes no sense. Many things can be shaken – heads, feet, hands, etc., so you need to specify WHAT was shaken/shook.
  3. “Every step you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.” Please don’t tell the reader every move your character makes. Unless they have a disability or infirmity that keepIf you don't like my edits...s them from walking upright, we know they stepped inside the room, shut the door with their hand (as opposed to their foot, maybe?), turned into the room away from the door, walked across the room to the window and opened the curtain to let in the light. We just don’t need all of that; it’s over-sharing (like telling us about the tinkling of urine in the pot as your heroine emptied her bladder…okay, maybe THAT’S more in the vein of TMI, but surely you get my point), and boring. It doesn’t further the action and frustrates the heck out of your editor. Simply tell us that “She entered the room, closed the door behind her and walked to the window, drew back the curtains to let in the sunlight.” See how much cleaner and succinct that is? And your editor won’t scream at you in her head…or leave lots of red marks all over your manuscript.
  4. Stood, not “stood up.” Now this is a personal choice. It seems obvious to me that if a person stands/stood, then they’re standing “up.” But they could also be standing down. This is most common in military or paramilitary (law enforcement) settings. “I said stand down, soldier!” Rarely would someone not affiliated with either military or paramilitary tell someone to “stand down.” Therefore, whenever you write, “She stood up and walked across the room,” the “up” isn’t really necessary. “She stood and walked across the room” is sufficient. Now what I mean by this being a “personal choice.” I’ve edited manuscripts in which the author wrote “stood up” and I’ve left it in. For me, it’s about how the sentence flows around “stood up.” If it seems awkward and “stood” trips easier off the tongue (yes, I often edit aloud), then I’ll edit out “up.” But if it doesn’t mess with the flow of the action, then I’ll often leave it alone. 🙂
  5. Wake me (up) before you go. Another personal choice. Sometimes you need to tell us your character “woke up” and other times, “she awoke” or “please wake him.” Similar to “stood” and “stood up,” whether or not I give the writer a slash of the red pen (metaphorically speaking, because often my edits appear in blue or purple…) depends on how “wake him up” flows with the action taking place within the context of the phrase. If your character is yelling in someone’s ear, “Wake up!” then yes, we want to keep the “up.” If your character “wakes each morning with the sunrise” then “up” is just unnecessary window dressing and red-pen worthy. 🙂

Now go forth, intrepid writers, better armed with tips to help you polish your work, make your editors proud and your manuscripts even more awesome! 🙂

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Filed under Editor, Literature, Proofreader, Writing

Review: Fortitude by Apryl Pooley


TRIGGER WARNING: This memoir contains rape experiences in much detail, various types of abuse and addiction.

FORTITUDE is Apryl Pooley’s honest and sobering account of living with PTSD and the shame of rape. A “good Christian girl,” Apryl had planned to save herself for marriage. She was raped the first time at age 17, waking up in a strange bed in a fraternity house, paralyzed from the neck down, with no recollection of the previous 16 hours. Having taken the abstinence pledge promoted by the sex program at her school, which hadn’t prepared her – or any of her peers – for the reality of rape, how to respect sexual boundaries and how to say “no” to sex, Apryl took the shame – and fault – upon her own youthful shoulders.

Shattered by this traumatic loss of innocence, and the ensuing ostracization by her peers at school and church, Apryl fought to survive and understand what had happened to her, outwardly portraying the life of a successful college student, while experiencing recurrences of the paralysis, struggling through eating disorders, drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide attempts that dominated her life for the greater part of the decade following her first assault, exacerbated when she was raped a second time just two and a half years later.

With candor and aided by ten years of unedited blog and journal entries, Apryl details her labyrinthine journey to her discovery as a neuroscience doctoral student that PTSD is more than a military issue, leading to her own PTSD diagnosis after nearly a decade of living with the disorder.

By turns funny, heart-wrenching, angry and contemplative, Fortitude is one woman’s frank discussion of rape, PTSD, healing, love and new-found purpose. Highly recommended.

5 of 5 Stars.

 

________________________

 

Fortitude: A PTSD Memoir

Anchored by ten years of unedited blog and journal entries, Fortitude illustrates a real-time account of an outwardly successful college student living with secrets of rape, childhood molestation, a closeted lesbian identity, PTSD, alcoholism, addiction, eating disorders, and suicide attempts. In her first year as a neuroscience doctoral student, Apryl learned of PTSD as more than a military issue, which led to her own PTSD diagnosis after nearly a decade of living with the disorder. She devoted the remainder of her life’s research to understanding the effects of trauma on the brain but learned that healing from trauma was so much more than a scientific experiment. Fortitude describes Apryl’s unrelenting attempts to hide her shame by escaping her mind and body, only to find that what she needed was to openly share her story and travel deep within herself to find the healing answers that were there all along.

“It’s easy to compare Pooley’s book to some of the great addiction-themed memoirs like “Smashed,” “The Basketball Diaries” or “Drinking: A Love Story,” but [Fortitude: A PTSD Memoir] stands alone for its forthrightness and the author’s scientific bent. Her story deserves everyone’s full attention, and it definitely deserved a book.” –Bill Castanier, Lansing City Pulse literary journalist and editor of Mitten Lit blog about Michigan authors.

Genre: Memoir
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing
ASIN: B0160IPNGQ
ISBN-13: 978-1-51370-445-6
Available on Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback versions http://amzn.com/B0160IPNGQ
Available on BarnesandNoble.com in Nook and paperback versions http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fortitude-apryl-pooley

 

Apryl E. Pooley was raised in Charleston, Illinois–a small, rural college town where she stayed to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the biological sciences department at Eastern Illinois University. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Michigan State University Neuroscience Program where she researches the effects of traumatic stress on the brain. A scientist by training, a writer by practice, and an artist by nature, all of Apryl’s work is inspired by the drive to make sense of the world around her and to help others do the same. Apryl’s first publication outside the scientific literature was a short story called Dichroma in author/editor Troy Blackford’s “Robbed of Sleep” series (2014). Her second trade book, released on February 17, 2015, was the culmination of a three-year writing project that became her memoir, “Shadow Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Journey Through PTSD and Womanhood.” All profits from this memoir are being donated to local organizations that help survivors of sexual assault/abuse. Apryl lives in Lansing, Michigan with Mandy and Lady, her wife and dog, respectively.

Author Site: http://www.aprylpooley.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AprylPooley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aprylpooleyauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10905430.Apryl_E_Pooley?from_search=true&search_version=service

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/aprylpooley

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Apryl-E.-Pooley/e/B00TPCNBCS/

Blog: https://eggheadagenda.wordpress.com/

 

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Filed under Book Review, Booktrope, Gravity Imprint, Literature, Mental Health