Snippet Sunday – A Valentine’s Excerpt

Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey


Who would have thought finding a romantic excerpt would be so difficult?

I’m sure for anyone that has read Red Wine you are expecting hot and steamy . . . .this isn’t that kind of book!

Keep in mind that this is during revision and prepublication. I shared a snippet from chapter 1 HERE.


Discovering our true destiny is revealed

by our deepest passions.


Helena leaned backwards over the back of the chair stretching. “What do you say we go into Roskilde before the undergrads show up?”

Scott startled. “You mean just the two of us?”

“I don’t bite Scott. Come on we’ve been in the department since we were sophomores together.“ Then she grinned and added, “Well, I won’t bite too hard anyway.”

“Sure, if you can drive.” He shifted slightly. He’d wanted her that long, yes. He wanted her the first day of class, but decided that he’d get to know her better. By the third week of the semester, Bryce had already asked her out. He’d been kicking himself ever since.

“No problem. Let me wrap up here. I’ll meet you at the Land Rover in about ten minutes ok? I’ll just go change into something less grimy.”

He could have done back flips! He hurried to his tent, and quickly changed into a fresh shirt. Scott stood, leaning against the Land Rover when Helena walked towards it, talking on her cell phone. His heart instantly sank. It was probably Bryce.

When she closed her phone and tucked it away, she looked irritated. She climbed silently into the vehicle. He did likewise. She turned the ignition on, then slammed it into gear and sped away, throwing gravel behind them.

“Whoa there Speedy. Want to talk about it?”

She sighed, a very loud exhale before slamming on the brakes and pulling over on the side of the road. “It’s just everything, alright? First Bryce gets alll with me as I’m getting on the plane, now Dr. Montgomery wants to make a camp inspection tomorrow and he’s scheduled the Denmark officials to visit Friday. Hell, we don’t even have the place mapped yet. We just freaking got here! We’re not even fully staffed and he wants everything done now!”

Scott leaned over and took her hand in his. “It’s OK. We’ll do what we can. Brad is holding down camp with his cyber chick. We’ll get on the mapping first thing in the morning.” He squeezed her hand. “Tell you what, I’ll buy. You need to unwind!”

They drove the rest of the short trip discussing the site, the undergrads, rumors about the professor, and reminiscing about their first two digs together. By the time Helena parked the car at Gimle’s, they were laughing together. The shared a quick meal, then headed downstairs to the nightclub area.

Somewhere between the second and third Carlsberg, they shared a slow dance together. Scott held her close, but was cautious about making her feel pressured or obligated.

“You know what Scott?” She laid her head on his shoulder.

He hugged her tighter, his hand gently caressing her back. God she smelled good and felt so good in his arms. “What Helena?”

She lifted her head and looked him in the eyes, leveling a serious look at him. “You are a true gentleman.” Then she kissed him softly. Her lips barely brushing against his, but lingering as she gently sucked his lower lip.

Scott was instantly hard. His body wanted to walk her to the back wall and take her right now in a frenzied fashion. His head said she deserved so much more. As she started to pull away, his hand flew to the back of her head and held her there as he deepened the kiss, his tongue teasing, swiping against her lips, requesting access. Slowly she parted for him. As they stood together in their embrace kissing, the room surrounding them seemed to disappear.


Are you curious yet?

You can skate on over to VL Locey’s sinful pleasures  with hot hockey players on and off the ice at VLLOCEY and then skip on over to Cathy’s Romance, where you can find your next book boyfriend then check out Author Misty Harvey!

Write on my friends, write on!



What’s In A Name?

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”

William Shakespeare; Romeo & Juliet

How do you decide on  names for your characters? Do they come to you fully formed introducing themselves to you or do you have to play twenty questions to figure out the mystery guest?

If you are writing a   regency romance then your leading man is not going to be called Herbie or Sam or Vladimir. If you are writing a tongue in cheek erotic  work of fiction, Vlad the Impaler might indeed be your main man but otherwise, no.

For an action adventure type the leading man probably shouldn’t be named Rip or Timmy or something cutesy.  He should be named something macho, uber sexy, with loads of machismo. Clarence just doesn’t instill sexiness vibes while Dirk, Rocco, Kane sends ripples of pheromones rippling through our bodies in anticipation of  their testosterone overload.

If you are a fan of Clarence,  go for it but for me I  cant’ help but think of  the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life. Not  my idea of sexy.

Keys to making  your leading characters endearing begins with  their name. Consider your genre, consider your time period. Regency period characters  shouldn’t go by shortened  nicknames. Charles Joseph Axminster the Third should not be called Chuckie.  But if the character was the new kid in town, in a Young adult romance he might go by Chuck. The bullies might call him Chuckles. Close friends who have gotten to know him might call him Axman, since he is a whiz at martial arts. Maybe his mum calls him Joey, because dad is Chuck and Grandpa is Charles. Or maybe he is the ultra cool new guy that is amazing on guitar and he goes by Chaz.

So what’s in a name? The whole character that’s what!

Write on my friends, write on!


Snippet Sunday – Valkyrie’s Pt 2

Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

Getting the words down for the first draft is  a major accomplishment. I have to admit a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that I have FINISHED not 1,  not 2, not 3,  but 5 full manuscripts! Red Wine & Roses; Kiss of the Dragon (which still needs to be revised), Faere Warrior (which needs more revisions and expansion based on 3 beta readers), Valkyrie’s  Curse: The Awakening and VC: Trial of Aegir.

Big Deal right?  For me it is HUGE. Finishing a project,  this has been the bane of my existence.  I have a full file drawer,  an external hard drive, and two flash drives  full of partially completed projects. I’ve been writing for a long time.

Last week I mentioned that  in the middle of  the debris lies the occasional gem, right?  I guess in part it has to do with my excitement for the full story. I can only hope that my readers will find the bits and pieces interesting and  will pique your interest for the bigger picture.



I started this a couple of times in 2015 and agreed with a few writing friends to carry it through as a regular feature for 2016.  Keep in mind that this is during revision and prepublication. I shared a snippet from Chapter 1: The Viking HERE.  This is the prologue.


Discovering our true destiny is revealed

by our deepest passions.

My second snippet gives you a feel for the main character, Helena Eskildson.  You can find that snippet from chapter 2: The Journey Begins HERE.

This week as my editing and revisions continue I am sharing a nugget that introduces you to  my leading man, Mr. Scott Thompson.  It may just be that I find the intellectual man  sexy, but I prefer a man who has a lot going on upstairs to one that  doesn’t have an original thought in his head.

Scott made his way to Leroy’s office. “Leroy my man.” He stated as he knocked. “You in here?”

Slowly Leroy’s head rose from behind the workbench. “Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass you are Scott?”

“Me? What’d I do?” He moved to the stool next to the oscilloscope that he hoped would be his for the summer.

“This list! The equipment that you’ve ordered. Do you have any idea the acquisition forms, red tape, the bullshit I had to wade through to get this stuff? And if you so much as bring it back with one scratch, I’ll fine you the full price of replacement.”

“Umm, well no but if anyone can get it I knew it would be you.” He flashed his brilliant smile at Leroy.

“Oh stop it. That doesn’t work on me as it does the chicks. I’ve been in the bathroom after you douche-bag. By the way, we need to wash those towels. Major funk.”

Scott made a disgusted shrug. He picked up one of the Helium Vector Magnetometers, turning it in his hands.

“No fondling without proper introductions.” Leroy crossed the small area and grabbed it from Scott’s hands. “Scott Thompson meet the divine Gaussmeter. Manufactured by the same company contracted to NASA and our United States NAVAL FORCES. This baby can be used as a metal detector, can detect variables  at .001, can practically map your site for you. Combined with this little number.” He set down the HVM and picked up the ground penetrating radar. “You should get every read out that you can possibly dream up.”


I know there isn’t a physical description in there yet, that comes  a little later in the chapter. I hope that I’ve piqued your curiosity at least a little bit.

You can skate on over to VL Locey’s sinful pleasures  with hot hockey players on and off the ice at VLLOCEY where she is sharing her latest novella in progress and then skip on over to Cathy’s Romance, where you can find your next book boyfriend. You know, since you can’t have mine yet.

Write on my friends, write on!


Snippet Sunday – Revising Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening

Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

Working through my first draft of Valkyrie’s Curse I am finding  lines and scenes that I really like as well as some that I wonder . . . what in the wide, wide world of literary abandon were you thinking? There is a great deal of pantsing during NANO even though I  always work with an outline.

I know many authors who  feel adamant that outlining is restrictive but I disagree.  My outline is simple a framework.  The skeleton  that supports the  fleshed out matters.

One of the courses I took in college was Osteology –  the study of human skeletal remains.  There is much that can be learned from skeletal remains even if you don’t have a complete skeleton.  For instance,  you can determine age, sex,  race,  how athletic they were, their weight, and  sometimes the cause of death. The finer details however, are a mystery such as hair color, personality,  intelligence, or their eye color.

My mother was wrong when she said that I’d never use that information. It’s almost as if my college career was custom tailored for a writing career even though the degree is in science. Think about that, you’ll get it.

I started this a couple of times in 2015 and agreed with a few writing friends to carry it through as a regular feature for 2016.  Keep in mind that this is during revision and prepublication. I shared a snippet from chapter 1 HERE.


Discovering our true destiny is revealed

by our deepest passions.

My second snippet gives you a feel for the main character, Helena Eskildson.

The rune stones and markers of the ancient village aligned themselves perfectly with the equinox according to research from Dr. Lundquist. She had gathered as much pertinent information about the region that she could find, anything relating to the site, the history, geography, culture, and mythology. If it was available, she had researched it.

This had been her obsession since that trip. There was something here that called to her; she just had to find it. Failure was not an option. She had to know the truth and the reasons behind her crazy dreams.

According to the research from Dr. Sune Lundquist combined with the corresponding findings of Dr. Osmund Bell, this small village held a key. Dr. Lundquist determined that it was a key to buried Viking treasure, while Dr. Bell hypothesized that it was a key to unlock the portal to Asgard. She had spent her high school years researching everything she could get her hands on and the first three years of college piecing together this puzzle. Now, she finally had her chance to explore and she hoped to God, to find something remarkable.

She sealed the first storage bin and put her labels on it.

“Have a great summer Helena. Take lots of pictures to share with us.” It was Dr. Sempkins, the department dean.

“You too Dr. Sem. I hear you’re going back to Macchu Piccu?” She continued to work.

“Yes. I will be glad to get back there. It has been ten years you know. Going to investigate the viaduct system this time.”

“Sounds very interesting.” He was a nice enough man, aside from being dull and self-absorbed. It seemed a common trait amongst professors. He left just as quickly as he had poked his head in.

“Hey!” She turned, realizing it was not Dr. Sempkins. This time it was Leroy, their tech guru.

“Hey there Leroy, you got my drives?” He moved to the table she had her stuff laid out on.

“Yup, got them right here. Both identical. Got your laptop and tablet cleaned and ready for you as well.” He set the items down onto the table. “Everything is loaded into your laptop and hard drives. I suggest you do an incremental backup daily and a complete backup every Thursday on this hard drive. He set out another that looked very similar to the others except it had a metallic Decepticon sticker on it. It wasn’t much bigger than her phone.

She laughed. “I see you’ve made it easy for me.”

He grinned. “Yeah, well I know you and you get excited and don’t pay attention. This way you’ll remember and use the right one.”

“True enough.” She continued packing the equipment into the padded aluminum cases.

“Send me your updates on Thursdays.” He continued rattling off specific instructions but she didn’t her them. The photo of her dad holding her on his knee in front of the Roskilde stone caught her eye. There was no way she was not going to take it with her. It was her inspiration. She tucked it into her purse after wrapping it with a sheet of bubble wrap.

“And since you tuned me out about five minutes ago, here are your written procedures and schedule for backups.”

She blushed, Leroy knew her too well.

“Right, well that’s everything then.”

She leaned over and hugged him. “Thank you Leroy. I would be lost without you.”

He stood perfectly still for a few seconds, eyes wide before he made a move to hug her back. It was stiff and awkward at best. “Right so. I guess this is goodbye then,” He quickly adjusted his glasses and hurried from the room. He was always nervous around any girl that he thought was attractive.

Helena shook her head wondering about why he acted so nervous around her. She had always been nice to him.

Are you curious yet?  How does a Viking warrior and a modern-day college student have anything to do with Valkyries?  Stay tuned and you’ll find out the answer to that question!

YOu can skate on over to VL Locey’s sinful pleasures  with hot hockey players on and off the ice at VLLOCEY and then skip on over to Cathy’s Romance, where you can find your next book boyfriend.

Write on my friends, write on!



Memorable Characters


Characterization is the concept of creating characters for story. A literary element that is used in dramatic works of fiction.  Characters may be presented by means of description, through their actions, speech, thoughts and interactions with other characters.

Characterization is the way in which an author chooses to convey information about their characters. It can be direct, as when the author tells the reader what his character is like.

Ronald was a cunning lad. Both desperate and greedy, what he lacked in integrity was made up for in boldness. Determined to rise above the class of his parents he set lofty goals that he would reach by any means necessary.  Thievery was his personal expertise.

It can also be conveyed indirectly by showing what the character is like by portraying his or her actions, speech, or thoughts.

Ronald stood on the platform watching the travelers until he spied a gentleman wearing an expensive wool coat, carrying a leather briefcase.  He tugged on his cap and shoved his hands into his pockets following a safe distance behind. He wasn’t going to spend his life working the mines like his father, being ground into nothingness at an early age. He had gone without dinner for the third night in a row and he wasn’t about to make it a fourth. 

He sniffled, pulling the collar of his jacket closer to lessen the effects of the chilly air. He moved casually next to the man, who had taken up conversation with a curvaceous woman with blonde hair.  While the man engaged in conversation with the woman, Ronald stealthily slipped his hand into the man’s pocket and withdrew his leather wallet without him feeling it.  Head down, he moved towards the next car, tucking the pilfered wallet into his own coat.

Indirect Characterization shows things that reveal the personality of a character. There are five different methods of indirect characterization:

Speech What does the character say? How does the character speak?
Thoughts What is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings?
Effect on others toward the character. What is revealed through the character’s effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in regards to the character?
Actions What does the character do? How does the character behave?
Looks What does the character look like? How does the character dress? What is their general appearance?

Descriptions of a character’s appearance, behavior, interests, manner of speaking and other unique quirks are all part of characterization. For stories written in the first-person point of view, the narrator’s voice is essential to his or her characterization.

This is a crucial part of creating a compelling story. The characters need to seem real.  Authors convey this by revealing details about their characters that make them appear as a real person, not a fictional creation. It gives readers a strong sense of the character’s personalities, complexities and motivations.  It makes them come alive and become believable.

How do I create great character and avoid the flat Stanley or Mary Sue?

I think everyone knows what these terms mean, but let me clarify.  A flat Stanley is a two-dimensional character that is no more than a cardboard cutout. Readers do not relate to flat Stanley, they are perceived as contrived puppets that the reader hears the author’s voice from behind the curtain.

A Mary Sue is a ‘too good to be for real’ character. They have no flaws, they are able to overcome ridiculous odds, and can do just about everything imaginable. Lara Croft, Harry Potter, Nancy Drew are all examples of a Mary Sue.  You can test to see if your character is a Mary Sue here.

In creating your characters, choose details that make them life-like.  Show the little quirks, the annoying habits.  Does your self-conscious female character twirl her hair, or try smoothing the fabric over her tummy to not show a bit of a tummy bulge?  Does the male MC clear his throat constantly?  Does he comb his fingers through his hair? Think about memorable characters and what they did that made them memorable.

Tell the reader directly and indirectly about your character.  Let them develop; don’t force your author’s views on them. Describe their appearance in some manner even if you want to leave it vague for the reader to fill in a face on their own, they will at least need a framework.  For instance if your character is a skinny computer geek,   you want to give the basic body shape and personality instead of having your reader imagine some shadowy shape of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  You still want the m to be able to fill in some things from their imagination.

Portray your character’s thoughts and motivations.  What makes them tick? Their inner thoughts will convey who they really are. If they are behaving out of character then why?  Use their actions to further show their personality and temperament.  Are they a hot head? Are they easygoing?  Are they talkative or shy and quiet?   Show your other character’s reaction to your protagonist’s words or actions.

Use their dialog to reveal something important about his or her nature. Is the antagonist misunderstood or truly evil?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does the character look like?
  • How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?
  • What does the character care about?
  • What adjectives does the author use to describe the character’s personality?
  • What does the character think or say?

Weaknesses like vices, imperfections or flaws, make him or her appear more human-like, causing the audience to identify him or her with that specific character. This is a good characterization for a character in most fiction and non-fiction stories.  Indiana Jones was afraid of snakes so of course later on in the story he is going to have to face snakes.

Make the effort to create fully developed characters in your story.  Characters can make or break a story,  and can kill an otherwise great story.  Most readers  would say that characters are the most important aspect of any good story.