Flotsam & Jetsam

What set Ellie off anyway? A thought intruded. No, couldn’t be. He checked her profile. Nah. But his mouth formed a hopeful smile, and he leaned back, humming his favorite tune. Flotsam & Jetsam

The dashing Frenchman or the handsome handyman? Who will she choose? For the Love of a Spy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memories into Stories: M. S. Spencer Blogs at RBRU

What’s the Kaleidoscope Effect? Come visit me at Romance Books R Us today, May 23, to find out. Hint: it’s not a toy, it’s a tool. Here’s the link to the site:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Please Welcome Chris Redding

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism. When she isn’t writing or giving workshops, she works part time for her local hospital. She belongs to Liberty States Fiction Writers and International Thriller Writers. Her latest thriller, Blonde Demolition, is available now.


Three-Act Structure

This is a brief summary of my workshop “Lights! Camera! Bestseller!” which I’ll be presenting for www.savvyauthors.com on June 15 and for www.writersonlineclasses.com on October 1, 2012.

This structure was inspired by Aristotle. Act One is the beginning. Act Two is the middle. Act Three is the end. But there is a little more to it than that.
The second act is usually twice as long as the other two acts.
I’m a pantser; in other words, I write by the seat of my pants, but even so, my books naturally fall into this structure. Some authors think structure is a creativity killer. If I plot, I’m not interested in writing the story, but that’s me. Many people plot and this can be one of those devices used. It’s really an outline. Consider it the structure of a sculpture. Or the dowels that hold up several layers of a wedding cake.
Knowing the story’s structure helps you to make the story clear to the reader. You can now create a story with emotional depth because it has a foundation to it.
Begin with the Inciting Incident. You must have all the events in Act One leading to this point. This point is inevitable and there can be no changing the hero’s mind.  There is no turning back at the end of Act One. For example, when Dorothy landed in Oz, there was no turning back.
The Shaping Force comes in the middle of Act Two. Remember Act Two is longer. So if your novel is 300 pages, Act Two is about 150 pages long.
At the midpoint of Act Two, your character should have undergone some change. He should now be on the offensive rather than the defensive. The last scene in Act Two should send the character in a new direction. He should be prepared to resolve the conflict. Your character is at the second turning point and is prepared to defeat the villain and reach his goal that began at the Inciting Incident.
Act Two is the meat of the book, just as in the movies, especially with action flicks.
Act Three can be short. All must be wrapped up.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Win a Free Copy for Mom

Mother’s Day Blowout! Win a free copy of my latest romantic suspense Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders at Tabitha Blake’s wonderful contest. Check it out and enter here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pet Peeves & A Prize

Please stop by Shannon Leigh’s blog today, for a free discussion of my pet peeves and the bucket list I’d have if I were in charge of the world.

The first commenter to name one of my idols wins a pdf copy (your choice) of either Losers Keepers, a tale of love, lust and treachery set on the island of Chincoteague, or Triptych, a tale of lost artworks, jealousy, sex, larceny and genius set high above the mighty Potomac River.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Featured at New Romance Site

Come visit the new romance review website Love Writers Romance. I’m the featured author today. Read about my new romantic suspense/murder mystery Artful Dodging at:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Correct Link to Nice N Naughty


Paige Tyler and her cronies…er…colleagues welcome me today, May 7 to their delightful site Nice N’ Naughty, where I get to talk about my latest romantic suspense murder mystery Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, in which Milo Everhart, artist, meets her match in lawyer Tristram Brodie on the battleground of the old munitions factory turned art center called the Torpedo Factory. Excerpt included no charge!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

And more news: FREE READ

Tired of reading just the blurb, or worse, the ad line? Longing to really get into the story? Here’s your chance: the entire first chapter of Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, is available for free reading at D. Renee Bagby’s aptly named D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters. Get it while it’s hot here:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Artful Available at Amazon

Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders is now available on Amazon and allRomanceEBooks! See it spotlighted in the New Release section of the May Marketing for Romance Writers newsletter: http://issuu.com/mfrw/docs/05-12_mfrw/1 

Buy it at Secret Cravings Publishing or here

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lights, camera, action! Spotlighted at Dawn's Reading Nook

Hop over any time this month to Dawn’s Reading Nook where I’m the centerfold…er featured author for May.  Also, if you click on “Friends’ Banners” you can find my brand new banner as well —thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Slash & Burn at Savvy Authors Today

What do you do when your editor says, “We loved all the words in your manuscript, but could you maybe put them in a completely different order?” Slash and burn, thin the forest, cultivate the plants and not the weeds, cut to the kernel of the story.  Those are a few thoughts I have on editing your manuscript in my blog May 1 at Savvy Writers entitled: EDITING: OR, HOW TO RIP YOUR MANUSCRIPT TO SHREDS AND LEARN TO LOVE THE PAIN.