Sunday, February 23, 2014

Give Your Characters Emotions

Many of you may not know it, but I received my second round of edits on the 11th of February.  I had to mull the information over for a few days because they were the same as the first round edits, need more emotion, but with more details of what my editor wanted. 

Because of the problem I'm having with this story, I decided to re-read the comments my mentor made on previous works I had written.  Yikes!  I have had this trouble since the beginning of my writing career, so why is emotion so hard to write. 

The only thing I can think of is that we're taught at an early age to (try) control our emotions.  I remember being told for most of my life of being a toddler throwing a temper tantrum on the floor and having a glass of water thrown in my face.  My mom said it shocked me and stopped my tantrum. 

Okay, a story is easy to tell, but it's not always simple to show, or get deep into the character's thoughts.  I'm going to give you a couple of samples, and you tell me which one is the best. 

Sample 1:  The curly headed blonde two-year-old kicked her heels on the kitchen floor, screaming at the top of her lungs.  "No! No!" Tears streamed from her blue eyes down her round pink cheeks.

Sample 2:  The curly headed blonde toddler kicked her heels on the floor, her eyes and face scrunched in anger screaming.  "Stop this nonsense, Sandra," her mother said. She watched for a few seconds.  What can I do? She couldn't bear to spank her, or hurt this small being, but she needs discipline. She grabbed a glass and stuck it under the faucet filling it full. "I'm warning you young lady. This is your last chance." Without hesitation, she threw the water in her daughter's face.  Quiet!

These examples aren't perfect, but which one do you think works best?  In the first one, you see the child's anger, and in the second one you still see the child's anger, but you also feel the mother's frustration and desire not to hit her toddler.  Both show emotions, but one has more details and lets you know the child isn't alone. 

Thank you for reading.  Now, I must get back to my edits and do a lot more revising.  I'm so fortunate to have a great editor because when this story is ready to be published it will be super good. 

I forgot to tell you the title has changed from Hitting Bottom to All Bets Are Off, and really the new title is a better fit for the story. 

Have a great week, and I'll be back next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, author @
Eirelander Publishing

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Is The Monuments Men Movie an Actual Account of Events?

For historical value this movie doesn't portray the actual events, but what it does is bring to light that historical pieces of art were stolen by the Nazis from their rightful owners during WWII.  It lets us know that a young woman kept track of the paintings and sculptures and who the owners were - this is true and this is why I liked this movie. 

The Monuments Men movie has drawn attention to something that happened during WWII that most people didn't know about.  There were actual people involved (many more than depicted in the movie) in going to Europe to save historical buildings (saving the art was not the job they were sent to do, but a by-product).

The names of some of the characters in the movie were changed from the actual figures that were involved.  There were also some characters added who didn't participate in saving the buildings.

Here are some things I do know and didn't know before is that the Madonna of Bruges sculpture by Michelangelo and the Ghent Altapiece by Flemish artist, Jan Van Eyck's were recovered from the Altaussee mines in Austria.  Works by da Vinci, Rembrandt and Vermeer were recovered and 5 million stolen items were eventually returned to their owners.  However, thousands more and even millions more still have not been found.

Madonna of Bruges

Ghent Altapiece by Flemish artist Jan Van Eyck's



 Below are sites where you can find factual information about this enterprise:

Also, read The Monuments Men:  Allied Heroes by Robert M. Edsel, which was used to help write the screen script for the movie.

I'm not a movie critic, and I'm not going to slam a movie for taking liberties with the facts.  After all, they are in the business of movie making and want to sell tickets.  I enjoyed the movie, and I was glad to be made aware of some of the things going on near the end of the war having nothing to do with war.  These people were still in danger and two did die, and maybe even more we don't know about. 

Seeing the movie will not hurt anyone, unless they believe it's totally factual, but I still believe people should see it. After seeing it I recommend reading the book by Edsel and the sites above for the facts. 

Happy President's Day!  See you next Sunday!

Sandra K. Marshall  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Valentine's Day: First Kisses

It's almost Valentine's Day, and we all know it's the day to tell someone you love just how much affection you have for them.  What better way to tell your loved ones you love them than with a kiss and a hug.  Of course, you can add in flowers, candy, jewelry, tools or anything else you think she/he would like.  With this cold weather you might decide to create some steamy heat.  Wink!

Here are some samples of first kisses by the characters in my Riverboat Mysteries trilogy.

The Catalyst:

Walt chuckled and sat on the edge beside her. “It was easy. I just rubbed your feet and you were blown out like a candle.” He leaned down and brushed her lips with his.

“Well, you certainly know how to wake a woman.” She smiled sleepily and pulled him back for another longer kiss


She swooped down, kissed his mouth, and forced his lips apart. The touch of her hands pushing up his shirt and her fingers stroking his abs and chest nearly undid him. When she pressed her core against his penis, he couldn’t hold back his groan.


The Deceived: 

Without realizing what he was doing, he pulled her close and bent down to her lip glossed mouth and kissed her. At her gasp as his tongue entered her mouth, he remembered she wasn’t experienced, and he stopped just embracing her as he tried to calm his breathing.  Holding her, he chastised himself.


As you can see these kisses are very different, and the reason is because the characters are different.  In The Catalyst, Carolyn Madison was a rape victim, so Walt goes very slowly with her.

In Addiction, the heroine has been married before and she's been in a relationship since her divorce.  She's a take charge kind of gal.

In The Deceived, the heroine is a virgin, so the hero, Mike, tries to calm his hormones and take it as slow as he can. 

What was your first kiss like with your husband/wife, or significant other?  Do you even remember?  Mine started out sweet and slow and became very sensuous.  Smile!  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. 

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  Enjoy the day with your loved ones. 

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Contest! Contest!

Hi Everyone,

Everyone knows February is the month of love, and what better time than the middle of winter for Cupid to shoot his arrows at you.  Wink!  This is the time of the year to snuggle up with Mr. or a good book and a cup of hot tea, or beverage of your choice. 

Romance Books for Us, is having their monthly contest and you can see the list of prizes below.  What better way to spend your time during the freezing temperatures than entering contests to win prizes.  It doesn't cost anything to enter other than a little time.  Have fun.


It's Cupid's month to shoot his arrows at lucky couples. Who knows when he'll strike...or WHO he'll target next? Our February contest will have 2 winners who will each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N, and will split the remaining prizes...random choice by RB4U. Are you lucky in love? Will your luck help you be one of our 2 winners? Contest runs 1 Feb. until midnight ET 22 Feb. To enter: Find the 20 pages that have the Kissing Couple like the one you see above (this page doesn't count). Make a list of the names of those pages (ex: Marianne Stephens, Desiree Holt, etc.) and send your list to: NOTE: Snail mail prizes only shipped to US or Canadian addresses.


1. $50 Gift Card for Amazon/B&N; one to each winner.

2. Ebook copy of Valentine Masquerade by romance author Margaret Sutherland.

3. 2 audio books, one per winner: Accidental SEAL Book 1, and Fallen SEAL Legacy Book 2by romance author Sharon Hamilton.

4. 2 ebooks, one per winner: Triad of Power and Texas Heat, in whatever format the winners need: ePub, Kindle, or PDF by romance author Denyse Bridger.

5. Ebook copy of Shared by romance author Lily Harlem.

6. Ebook copy of Better She Die by romance author Judy Baker.

7. $10 SCP Gift Card from Secret Cravings Publishing.

8. Digital copy of Dance of Love by romance author Anna Markland.

9. Autographed copy of LORD OF SWORDS by romance author Ann Lawrence.

10. 2 ebooks, one per person: Intimate Temptations and Intimate Confessions by romance author Nicole Morgan.

11. Ebook of Matrix Crystal Christmas by romance author Janice Seagraves.

12. $10 Amazon card from romance author Melissa Keir.

13. Ebook copy of Quarterback Sneak by romance author Desiree Holt.

14. Ebook copy of Dreamscape by romance author Rose Anderson.

15, Ebook of reader's choice to be picked from website of romance author Jean Hart Stewart.

16. Ebook copy of It's You & Me, Baby by romance author Rose Gorham.

17. Download of DISCOVERY by romance author Cris Anson.

18. Download of Endless Love by romance author Molly Daniels.

19. Ebook of Beautiful On by romance author Kerry Adrienne.

20. Ebook copy of Family Secrets: A Vengeance of Tears by romance author R. Ann Siracusa.

21. Pdf copy Mason's Mark by romance author M.S. Spencer.

22. 2 ebooks: one per winner - Book 2, Agent E2: Aidan and Book 3, Agent T3: d'Artagnan by romance author Joni Hahn.

23. E-copy of Time Will Tell by romance author Sandy Loyd.

24. RB4U tote or tee to even out gifts if necessary.
Here is the URL for the contest:

Good luck, and I hope everyone wins something.  Have a great week, and I'll see you back here next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, author