Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Unending Devotion" by Jody Hedlund | Nikon Camera Giveaway and 9/18 Facebook Party!

Enter and RSVP today. Celebrate with Jody by entering to win a Nikon Camera Prize Pack!

See what folks are saying about Unending Devotion!

One “devoted” winner will receive:
  • A Nikon COOLPIX Digital Camera
  • $25 Shutterfly gift certficate
  • Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 17th. Winner will be announced at the “Unending Deovtion” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/18. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Unending Devotion and join Jody on the evening of the September 18th for a chance to connect with Jody and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Conest by Rita Sawyer

The holidays are here. To celebrate I'm doing a little giveaway, well two actually.

Are you spoiling everyone else this season ? Why not spoil yourself.

Enjoy this bounty of bath supplies and a bottle of bubbly.

Or how about a cozy cup of cocoa for two?

In this basket you'll get to have your choice of peppermint cocoa, pumpkin spice latte, vanilla latte, peppermint mocha, cocoa supreme, carmel cocoa, mint cocoa, and french vanilla cocoa in to fun holiday mugs. Oh and the little visitor is going along for the ride.

How do you win? It's easy. Like my fan page on facebook then comment here so I can verify and you'll be entered. The contest will run until December 25th with the winners being drawn, announced and notified on the 26th.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Fun.

I'll be the first to admit that the shopping and running around is much fun, but I enjoy the giving of gifts. So to get in the spirit I decided to throw a contest on my blog. There's 3 parts and I just chose the winner for part 1. Part 2 starts today. It's been great fun. Stop on over and see what's happening.

Other than that I just want to wish everyone the happiest of whichever holiday it is you celebrate.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting motivated when motivation is lost

I struggle with motivation sometimes, especially when the seasons change and the days get shorter and colder. Everyone has their own ways of coping, and I've prepared a list of mine:

1) Exercise! Physical activity gets the blood pumping and allows my mind to wander freely. Once that happens I not only reduce my stress levels and feel good afterward, but often will think up ideas on trouble spots with writing and/or plot thoughts.

I highly recommend yoga for this.

2) Music! Sometimes I just need to listen to good, soothing music--or whatever suits my mood.

3) Treat yourself! Go out, go see a movie or read a book. Do something which removes you from your usual routine.

What are some of yours?

Love & Magic,

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The character drives the story, but before she can react to her surroundings, its necessary to find out what is going on in her life.

Historicals nearly have the outline done for you. Research what was going on during the time you want to put her in. If the character lives in a world of your creation, what goes on in this world?

In HARRY POTTER there were quidditch matches all year and the Yule ball once a year. These are events utilized in the books. In Harry's world, the events centered around school. The problems were resolved before year's end when he got on the train home. The school year was her timeline.

What time of year events happen add to the story. Spring is symbolic of renewal. It's a good time to find resolution, lost loves, or inner strength.
Autumn might be a time when old habits or ideas die, or change to allow for something new.
Getting a feel for what occurs in your characters year will give you a ideas for the events in her life. Conflict is created around those events.

Kindertransport caught my attention because I never heard of it. Grafeneck Castle became one of six killing centers. These two factors made me wonder what kind of hero would defy the law and rescue a child targeted for termination.

Since Nazi's are never heroes I found the idea of a SS resistor interesting. My hero needs to defy the Reich, protect the heroine, and save the child while not blowing his cover and earning the trust of a woman with no reason to trust him.

Where to start?

The Nazi's took over Grafeneck in October of '39. She would have to get the children out before then. Prior to October, she needs to meet the hero, the villain, and the children of Grafeneck.
To start my time line I need to outline things the heroine needs to do.

My introduction needs to explain the "feel" of the people under Nazi rule and how this affects my heroine. I used the Christmas story. "Take the baby and flee; the king wants to kill him." This opening hook generates interest and foreshadows my heroine's conflict. My hero and heroine are introduced by a mutual mentor.

I also needed to introduce my villain, so I used a social event. The League of German Girls hosted several, accommodating my story nicely. It also allowed a resistance protest.
The heroine, Erika, gets a job at Grafeneck castle to care for handicapped children. Now, to give her challenges fitting the times. As a Catholic, Erika holds life sacred. She sees the attitudes people have against the attitudes. At work, a monetary reward is given for those nurses who turn in the names of "defective" babies to the state.

Any issue can be made into conflict. There are always those who agree and those who disagree. Making up her own mind sets up the conflict and goal. She has a certain length of time to reach these goals.

Decide the main story events and plot them on a timeline. Give her problems to solve and keep her reactions within her character experience, belief system and ability.
Erika's faith demands she resist Nazi policy. her problem now is about trust. There are those so indoctrinated they have no problem turning over dissidents to the state. Trusting the wrong person can mean her arrest.

Conflict will arise when each character tries to reach their goals before the story ends.

Once you have the major events down there is always time to add more and layer the story.
The outline lays the groundwork for events and what order they occur. It can change as your ideas change, but its always there for a reference point.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where do writers find the time?

I am a writer, but I'm also a mother and a wife. I work part-time at a local community college. So along with writing I cook, clean, run errands, go to work. It's no wonder I'm so tired. So recently when a co-worker asked me where I find the time to write I laughed. Then I explained:

Last year I managed to write 4 novellas averaging about 20k words.

I also wrote 3 full lentgh titles all over 50k words.

Along with writing there was a lot of promotion being done too. I joined a few groups that I think are really helpful. and
Granted I lost a lot of sleep, but it was worth it. And yeah the house may not have been at it's cleanest. As for kids and husband they've all pitched in so I have more time to write. I've my younger sister tell me I spent way too much time on my laptop, but it's not like the stories are going to write themselves.

In just about every room in my house there's a notebook for jotting stuff down. There's one in my car too. Even if I'm not actualy writing I'm plotting in my head. That's kind of a bonus beacsue the next time I sit down it all flows out onto the page.

At some point I'd love to quit my job and write full time, but I'm not there yet. The more I write the more ideas I get. As long as that keeps happening then I'll keep finding ways to write.

That's it for now.

Rita Sawyer
Giving You It All
Romance Passion Laughter

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plagiarism V Imagination

It was called copying back in grade school. Being labeled a copy catter was a terrible fate; a thing best avoided.

Inspiration often grows from events and stories of days gone by. How thin is the line between inspiration and copying?

Plagiarism is defined as: A piece of written work someone has claimed as his/her own. (This definition was copied from the Bing search engine.)

Bram Stoker's widow sued over a 1922 remake of DRACULA, claiming the movie maker neither asked permission nor paid royalties on the piece. NOSFERATU was a near duplication of the vampire story minus the renaming of the main character from COUNT DRACULA to COUNT ORLOCK. Stoker won the suit and all copies of the movie were destroyed.

TERMINATOR was criticized for being too similar to two OUTER LIMITS episodes titled THE SOLDIER and THE MAN WITH THE GLASS HAND. The stories had to do with soldiers going back into the past and a robotic human with a computer device in a glass looking hand.

ROMEO AND JULIET has been remade dozens of times. The theme of forbidden love is favored both in Hollywood and among romance authors.
Our heroes may indeed be from the wrong side of the tracks, or fall in love with the "wrong" woman during a family feud, but we are careful not to duplicate the story. Though the idea of family conflict, and running away together is too tasty to ignore, we always put a new spin on classic ideas.

Romance writers believe in love conquering all, so we do like our happy endings. Human experiences, and universal themes have remained the same over the centuries, so there is bound to be some similarities among artists.

I had to laugh when I listened to a pod cast about Santa Claus. "He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake." The man responded "It sounds like the Gestapo." I used a similar joke in my book KINDERTRANSPORT. I won't accuse him of plagiarism; I'm sure others have made the same observation.

Inspiration hits us in a variety of ways, through news articles, overheard conversation, even dreams. We may find ourselves improving stories of old, or remaking history to our liking. Inspiration is simply a creative response to stimulus.
With our brilliant imaginations and natural talent?
Perish the thought.

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