From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ePublishing - The Cover Image

As you all know we at Fiction Flurry have recently been working on publishing our first anthology of short stories. During this process we've learned quite a few things which we'd like to share with you.

Seven of us chose to write short pieces for inclusion in our first publication. During the conception of this project we batted around a bunch of ideas, carefully wrote out a to do list and bravely got started. Each author forayed into their own imagination to create a short story.

At our next group meeting we shared a short synopsis of our personal creations. Then we set out on the Herculean task of a cover concept. One author stepped forward and undertook the task of perusing sites that offer photos for publication use. Several eMeetings over email later we all agreed on the summer beach theme.

Introduce Jennifer Unruh, my wonderfully creative sister. Jen has worked in the advertising industry for several years. She has a natural eye for photography and an artistic sense of design. Frequently she will walk into our father's enormous farm shed and emerge with works of art worthy of any showroom. So, as sister's do, I begged a favor for our first self-publishing endeavor. And, well, she agreed.

Now, my sister is no stranger to the creative arts by any means. She has tackled multiple projects for my job that pays the bills at a real estate and mortgage broker. She has created commercials, videos, light shows and much, much more. So, this was a relatively easy assignment. True to form, she gave us a finished project more beautiful than we could have imagined.

Thank you Jen for the amazing cover you cobbled together from the ideas of seven creative individuals!

Please keep checking back for more details as we get nearer to publication in July 2011.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fiction Flurry Announces Anthology

Big News! 

Fiction Flurry is excited to announce the publication of a very special e-book:  A collection of short stories that will warm your heart like a sunny day at the beach. Tales of falling in love and finding romance that mends the broken heart, romance that's just for fun, romance from days gone by, and romance that lasts forever.

Dip your toes into Tales of Summer Romance from the writers of Fiction Flurry with titles ranging from "The 'I Do' Blues" to "Washed Ashore" to "Full Circle," and featuring one short by our very own Susan Gee Heino (author of Mistress by Mistake, Damsel in Disguise and her new release, Temptress in Training)!

Summertime is heating up, so grab a cool drink, kick back, and get swept away by a flurry of summer romance

Check back for downloading options and more details...
arrival date July, 2011. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Magic of Books

I've been taking a lot of flack over the last few weeks from my fellow Fiction Flurry bloggers about the fact that I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series for the five-thousandth time. The others are getting great amusement by trying to "confiscate" my books at group meetings and teasing me if I say something too British in an email. It's all in good fun, of course. I'm not offended or annoyed by it, not the least because they're not the only ones to pick on me over my nerdiness. But it has gotten me thinking.

I have a collection of books that I can re-read any number of times and never grow tired of them. It's a habit of mine that seems to baffle some people in my life (namely, my parents). I have been asked on numerous occasions how on earth I can read books so many times--doesn't it get boring? I already know what's going to happen. Some of the books, I can practically recite verbatim. When I re-read these books, I'm just as invested and I walk around with my nose stuck in them like it's the first time I'm reading them.

When these questions come up, I always think of a quote from one of these books that I love. It's from The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray: "We sit and listen and are enthralled anew, for good stories, it seems, never lose their magic."

I think there's something magical about any book that holds that kind of intrigue over its readers. There's something to be said for a story that you can read over and over again and it never gets old. When I pick up Harry Potter, I read it like I've never read it before--I still stay up until the early hours of the morning because I can't put it down; I still want to know what will happen. I hope that the books and stories I write will one day hold that same magic over people.

Some of the books that hold this magic over me are:

1. Harry Potter (obviously)
2. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
3. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
5. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
6. The Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy by Michelle Zink
7. The Hollow trilogy by Jessica Verday
8. The Dawn Rochelle Novels by Lurlene McDaniel
9. On Writing by Stephen King
10. Grania by Morgan Llywelyn

Are you one of the people who can read the same story over and over again and never get bored? What books hold this magic over you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Romance Novels

Today I'd like to discuss the finer points of the romance novel.
1. Romance
2. Conflict
3. Romantic Interlude
4. Misunderstanding
5. Romantic Interlude
6. Resolution and forgiveness
7. Romantic Interlude
8. Happily Ever After

That about sums up every romance I've ever read, regardless of genre. So, here is my question. What is your favorite part of a romance novel? I have a few favorite authors that I go to for certain types of entertainment to accompany my Romance.
Stephanie Laurens - 1st Lady of Drama & Suspense
Sabrina Jefferies - Mistress of Intrigue and Hilarity
Nora Roberts - Queen of Mystery

I could go on but think I've made my point. Notice a pattern yet? My favorite romance writers all have a sub-plot. As a reader I need a bit more entertainment than the 'he loves me, he loves me not' merry-go-round. Anyone else share my complexity out there?

Now, don't get me wrong. Sometimes I want to put on the swimsuit, pick up a book, then lounge in my backyard carefree for an hour or so before I'm thrown back into the chaos of my life. Those times, though few and far in between, I do want a quick read. But, by and large, I prefer to be invested in the main characters of any novel I read. I want to feel their need for each other grow as much as I want to solve the mystery.

This is a personal preference, of that I am aware. I'm just wondering if I'm as much in the minority as I feel. I'm not saying I don't love reading through the sensual scenes, but I don't always want an entire book of them. See list of favorite authors above as proof.

So, sound off. What is your favorite part of a Romance? Pet peeves??? General thoughts?

Monday, June 13, 2011

First Line Winner Is......

FictionFlurry would like to thank everyone who participated in our first line contest. We had a hard time picking just one. That being said, we would like to congratulate Miranda Hardy. Your first line made us want to read more....keep up the good work. Miranda, please email your snail mail address to, and we'll send out your gift card.
Happy Writing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

FictionFlurry First Line Contest!

I love first lines. Some novels start with such a great first line, it's embedded in my memory. "Sisters are overrated." From A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman. In honor of great first lines, FictionFlurry is going to sponsor our first ever first line contest.

Here's the rules: * You must be a follower of FictionFlurry.

* In the comments, leave the first line from your WIP.

* Contest starts today (6/9/11) through (6/11/11).

What do you win? Well....bragging rights, and a $10.00 gift card to Starbucks. After all, what writer doesn't love his or her coffee? The winner will be announced on 6/12/11.

Have fun....hope to see lots of comments.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paranormal Book Review - First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, Book 1)
by Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson has a gift - she sees dead people. They are drawn to her - because as the Grim Reaper she is bright and shiny - and her job is to point them to the light. However, those who have been murdered want her to make sure their killers are caught first. Which is why her police-officer father and uncle began consulting her for help in solving murders when she was five-years-old.  Charley's latest recently departed clients are three personable lawyers, all murdered by the same person on the same day. Charley must use all of her beyond-the-grave resources to solve their murders - before she becomes the next victim.

And when she's not helping ghosts with their ultimate closure, Charley is trying to figure out who her sizzling-hot dream lover is.

This novel won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart for Best Paranormal Romance - and I can see why. A friend of mine gave me this book to read, saying "It sounds like something you'd like." She was right. (Thanks Annie!)  If you like paranormal or romance or detective stories - or some combination of those, you are going to love this book!

 Charley Davidson is Mary-Janice Davidson's, Betsy meets Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita with a dash of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mixed in for good measure. Sassy and sarcastic, Charley takes crap from no one - which is why this is a fun, flirty, grab-you-by-the-throat read.

As with all good books, there's a cast of support characters who are worth getting to know: Uncle Bob, who doesn't want to know how Charley does what she does, just as long as she solves the case; Garrett Swopes, who is by turns funny and irritating - but is there to back her up when the shit hits the fan; and Cookie, her "neighbor-slash-best friend-slash-receptionist" who is equally snarky and has an unhealthy obsession with coffee. And let's not forget Mr. Wong, the uncrossed soul who lives in the corner of her living room.

Despite being a quick read (anyone looking for a book for the beach this summer?), this is a well thought out plot, that leaves you both satisfied and wanting more (more Reyes, please!). The good news is that the next in the series, Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, Book 2), will be out in August - so we don't have to wait long.

For those of you, like me, who like to know a little more about the characters you read about, check out Darynda Jones' blog. She talks about how some charaters came to be - plus there is a smokin-hot picture of the actor she based Reyes on. One word....Wow!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace: The Insomniac's Cure

The Pale King  So perhaps it was my morbid curiosity.  I  decided to read a posthumously published novel of a celebrated, intelligent, literary fiction writer and essayist.  David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008, but his editor pieced together a "novel" from the boxes and computer files full of Wallace's latest work-in-progress.  I shouldn't really say it's a novel.  It seems to be more a string of vignettes, some with recurring characters, some not.  The setting of some of the scenes, but not all, is an IRS processing center.  Yawn.

I think that was Wallace's point...yawn.  Life can be monotonous, boring, seemingly pointless at times. Get up, eat, go to work, think about what you'd rather be doing than working, go home, eat, watch a little TV, go to bed, start the process over again the next day. The author successfully captured the inane, self absorbed, neurotic little worlds we create for ourselves.  

Perhaps, though, Wallace was holding up a mirror, begging us to take a look at our pathetic selves.  A character in The Pale King describes a play he's written.  A man sits at a table writing, writing, writing, sitting, sitting, sitting.  Nothing happens.  Only when the audience gets bored and leaves does something happen, though the playwright doesn't know quite what.  The Pale King is like that play, only in novel form.  I readily admit that I didn't make it to the end.  I got bored and walked out.  Maybe Wallace wanted his readers to get over themselves and go do something.

The irony of Wallace's book is that we escape the barrage of minutiae that life tosses our way by reading, but his book purposefully leads us right back to the boredom we were trying to run from in the first place.  Don't get me wrong, there are some brief portions that are amusing in a neurotic kind of way.  But I think I would actually have rather been reading the IRS code than most of The Pale King.  At least by reading the IRS code I might have discovered some underutilized loophole to save myself a few bucks on next year's returns. 

I couldn't shake the feeling that perhaps I'm not intelligent enough or deep enough to "get" Wallace's book, which the turned-up-nose literary types have praised.  I guess "stupid is as stupid does," in the immortal words of Forrest there's a guy who got up and did something.

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