Saturday, November 26, 2011

Welcome Lila Munro Today

Building Block or Stumbling Block?

I’d like to thank Dawn for having me over today. She’s a real trooper in inviting people into her space for everything from guest posts to blatant promotion. I’ve been over a few times in recent months either alone or with a group that I was involved in anthology writing with, and I thought today I’d stir things up and do an actual informative piece, well, I guess it borders on opinion. But nonetheless. J
Seems like one of the most frequently asked questions when a writer is interviewed is what our writing advice is to others or newer writers. One of the most shocking forms of this question came to me once in the form of how important is grammar and spelling…ummm. This question seemed odd to me at first, then slapped me in the face and demanded an answer. How could it not be the most important thing? Grammar and spelling are the building blocks of writing. They are the very foundation in fact. We are supposed to learn this from an early age. Let's just put aside the fact that I write romance novels for a living for a bit. Grammar and spelling are not just important in the world of books and publication. They are important in writing of all types. Letters, professional correspondence, research papers, letters to the editor, even filling out an application for employment, and the list goes on. These all demand appropriate grammar and spelling.

Now, as I have had to frequently do lately, here is my "disclaimer" of sorts. Before I go any further, let it be known that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. I am far, far from perfect or from being an expert. I am not claiming to be perfect or an expert, I am merely expounding on some simple observations. Believe me, I am the first one to sweep my own door step. Furthermore, this is not targeted at anyone personally, therefore do not self-patronize or brood because you become paranoid. If you find yourself questioning your own writing ability follow the old adage "if the shoe fits, wear it."

While it may be true writers have editors to watch their backs, these ladies and gentlemen are not miracle workers, nor are they magicians. Line reading and marking mistakes takes time. I would much rather save my editors time on these mistakes that I can easily fix for myself and allow him or her their precious time to work on the meat of my story. I want to know if my story holds water, if my plot makes sense, and if my characters are fully developed. What editor has time for that against a deadline when they have to worry if I used my commas properly and if I know the difference between they're, their, and there? And just a bit of clarification…commas are my worst enemy and my editor and I at Rebel are still trying to figure out how an English major can’t figure out where to put one of those wiley buggers. Back to the question…what editor has that kind of time? They don't. That's why so many mistakes are left behind flying just under the radar screen ripe and ready for a reader to pick out and get annoyed with. Or a reviewer to find and tell the entire world about.

If you're a writer and you constantly get edits back for poor grammar and spelling, take it upon yourself to fix your inadequacy. It's very simple really. The internet is full of resources for learning the basics of the proper use of grammar. If you're really industrious, go sign up for a basic English class at your local community college. If you are indeed listing writing as your profession on your taxes, I'm sure it can probably be used as a business expense, although the tax code changes so frequently one never knows, so don't quote me on that. I don't claim to be a tax expert. There's another organization that could use some lessons in conveying thought to paper, the IRS. If all else fails, and spelling is your issue, for God sake buy a dictionary. If you cannot afford one, well, Google one, I know everyone knows how to do that.

So, building block or stumbling block? Which is it for you? If you find yourself stumbling, figure out why. Nothing says I'm a professional like a solid foundation. If you're lacking, shore yours up.
Now, I’m sure I left a comma error in there somewhere. And it’s okay to point it out to me, as I said I’m certainly not perfect.  With Dawn’s permission, I’d like to share a bit about my latest release now...Three for Keeps…

Zoey Matthews is in love. She’s been in love since the day she was dropped off by a social worker at yet another foster home on a back country road miles from nowhere, Missouri. At age ten, she met the men of her dreams. Over the course of sixteen years, Dane Cardwell, Jack Devereux and Ryan Wilkins fell in love with her, too. They’ve each told her they love her, they’ve shown her and each man has gone so far as to ask her to marry him. But what they don’t know is Zoey loves them all.

Her game of kiss and not tell all comes crashing down around her the night of her graduation from veterinary school and Zoey runs for the mountains. Of Colorado. Hoping to outrun her obsession with three men and forget them all together, she stays gone for ten years. But the wound has never healed. In fact, it's done nothing but fester. Needing to clear the air, Zoey agrees to spend a few days back home with the boys never imagining it would turn into a week filled with comparison sex as Dane, Jack and Ryan each try to get Zoey to choose between them and their varied tastes.

When she finally tells the truth, a truth only one of them has known all along, Zoey fears the foursome will never be able to make a sharing relationship work. After all, aren't there just too many personalities and desires to sort through? Add in the kink factor and things get really complicated. Zoey’s not convinced the truth has any merit, but there's one thing she knows for sure…this time she's playing for keeps.

Please enjoy a short excerpt:

“How long has this been going on?” Zoey asked hanging her bag over the door.
“How long has what been going on?” Jack looked everywhere but at her.
“This vigil.” She waved a hand around the room. “This shrine.”
“It’s been here since you left. We did all this as a graduation gift. We thought you might come home, you’d need a place until…” Jack stopped and took a breath. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?”
“For driving you away.”
Jack turned and left her standing there with her mouth hanging open.
How on earth could that man ever think for a minute he’d driven her away? He’d never once hinted that he held any guilt over what happened. Zoey didn’t blame him, not in the least. It was a moment of weakness on both their parts and in that moment was when she figured out she couldn’t live with one of them and couldn’t live without them all. So she’d put on her coward’s cape and fled, but not before confessing everything to Jack between crying spells.
Zoey pulled her cap off and tossed it on the sink then tugged her tank top up and over her head letting it fall to the floor. She glanced in the mirror at the artwork that Ryan hadn’t seen as she unsnapped her bra and tossed it on top of her shirt. After toeing off her ropers she shed her jeans and stood there in nothing more than a pink G-string brushing her hair out.
“Zoey Matthews,” Ryan growled and sent her a few inches off the floor squealing. “Oh my God. That fuckin’ hummin’bird wasn’t all of it? What the fuck? Jesus Christ!”
Before Zoey could cover herself, Ryan was in the bathroom with her spinning her in a circle looking her over from head to toe. His eyes lingered a while on the wild stallions galloping across her lower back.
“Who the hell did you let do that?” he demanded, pointing at her nipple.
“None of your business,” she said. “I told you earlier, I’m grown.”
That piercing had come on the heels of a stint with a bull rider who liked to play rough. Zoey found she liked a little rough too and after a few too many Patrons one night had had one of the vendors administer a little gold ring in her right breast. Of course what her next lover never knew was that the whole time he was flicking that little gold ring with his tongue she was imagining someone else’s tongue rattling her cage.
“And I told you I could see that.”
Zoey opened her mouth to give him an earful but before one word escaped her Ryan had run his hands up her nape and grabbed two handfuls of her hair, wrapping it around his fists, then literally devoured her mouth. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t move, hell she couldn’t even think. Desperate was the only way to describe what Ryan was doing. He bit, sucked, licked and inhaled her over and over again until they were both breathless, forehead to forehead heaving for air.
“Ryan?” she gasped.
“Shut up, Zoey.”
That was all he had to say before feasting on her mouth again then moving down and grabbing her little gold ring with his teeth and tugging until a zip of pain ran out and across her breast sending her heart into an irregular rhythm and her clit into a spasm.
“Oh, shit,” she squeaked.
“I’d have never guessed, Zoey. Why didn’t you ever tell me?” he breathed across her throat before taking her earlobe and grating it between his teeth.
“There’s a lot of things you don’t know, Ryan,” she groaned.
“I want to know, baby. All of it.”
“No you don’t.” Zoey squirmed and pulled away. “Stop, Ryan. I can’t…”
“Goddamn it, Zoey. Shit!” Ryan backed up and ran his hands over his head. “I’m sorry. I…that’s not what I came up here for. I was supposed to ask if you were hungry.”
Thanks to you and Jack I’m starved.
“No, thanks anyway.” Zoey yanked her G-string down, threw it at him and got in the shower.
If you’d like to keep up with me I can be found at
Thanks, Dawn for allowing me to take over your blog today!

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