Audio Book: Stein on Writing

Stein on Writing - Sol Stein An excellent resource for anyone who writes fiction (or non-fiction for that matter), Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies is a book that will hold a place of importance on your writers’ bookshelf.

This unabridged audio book edition is read by Christopher Lane, who is credited with a "professional and sincere" narration of Stein’s material.

Buy the Stein on Writing audio book download

At eleven hours and sixteen minutes, the book addresses issues of characterization, dialogue, pacing, flashbacks, revision, and more. Stein also touches on the topic of writing non-fiction, making this a complete resource for writers. Stein on Writing is meant for both beginners and professionals, whatever your level, and offers writing instruction to help you solve your writing problems for stronger, more interesting writing.

The audio book is a great place to start, but later, you might want to pick up the print copy so you can refer to the parts you find most helpful.

Paperback: Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies


Changing Reading Habits

I’ve read a few good books lately, though I’m still not reading the volume of books I used to read. I went from a book a day to about 2 books a month. That’s a significant difference and I still haven’t really decided why that is. I just found that most books stopped appealing to me.

However, I’ve recently found a series I like and am interested in following. I read [listened to] Storm Front about two and a half weeks ago and really liked it. It’s the first book in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series.

I’ve been working my way through the Stargate Atlantis novels, the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, and the Psych books too. I’m starting to realize that I like TV as much as I like books these days, but I enjoy the extra enjoyment I get from reading books from those TV worlds.

I’m sure the authors have a much harder time of it too because they have to stay within the confines set by the series in most cases.

I picked up a copy of Naked Heat recently too that I want to read, set in the fictional fictional series written by Richard Castle of the TV series Castle. One of my current absolute favorites on television. :)

Have a comment about things you love or hate about reading, or writing, tie-in novels? Feel free to comment.


Too Funny Not to Share

Terescia Harvey (@terescia) has shared a Tweet with you:  “NathanFillion: Identifying bears: Climb tree. If bear climbs & kills you, Brown Bear. If bear knocks tree down & kills you, Grizzly Bear.” –


New phones make posting simple

I bought a new phone last night and immediately installed wordpress on it. I can’t say my grammar will be perfect when I use it but I do hope it means I’ll be posting a lot more often.

My device is a droid device and it makes it easy to write using the touch keypad. I decided to go with an android device because that’s what my nook uses and I wanted to stay consistent.

Do you like to post to your blog from your phone?  What phone do you use?


Reading On the Hunt Anthology

I have a soft spot for romance anthologies. It’s not often though that I recommend a book containing several stories based on the strength of just one story, but I’m doing it now.

ON THE HUNT book cover

Click for ON THE HUNT prices, formats, or to read reviews


by Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Andersen, Deidre Knight

Signet – February 2011 – Anthology

Over the The Erotic Reader blog, I discuss a bit about the book, why I like it, and why I’m going to end up recommending fans buy On the Hunt even if the rest of the stories don’t turn out to be as good. Because I will. I LOVED Ever Night (Gena Showalter’s story) and think the book is worth the price for that story alone. (And I’m not a Showalter fan, or I wasn’t until now.)

In Ever Night, Rose meets Vasili on the night of her eighteenth birthday when she discovers she’s a Dimension Walker, someone who travels between our dimension and another involuntarily once a year, every year. The other dimension is a nightmarish place.

The story is short, and because of that, I’m not going to give away anything else about the story, except to say that Vasili was spectacular and Rose was a heroine I could care about, strong, but not overdone, and interesting. I enjoyed all the characters in Ever Night and I hope to see them again in a full-length novel sometime‚Ķ

The book really is off to a great start. I’ll update this post when I finish the book.

Click for ON THE HUNT prices, formats, or to read reviews.


Into the Crossfire by Lisa Marie Rice starts a new series from Avon Red

I received a copy of Into the Crossfire last week from Avon Red. This one appears to be an action-packed, sexy romance that starts a new series for Lisa Marie Rice and Avon Red called Protectors.

Into the Crossfire will be released on July 27, 2010 but it’s available for pre-order right now.

About the book

Former Navy SEAL Sam Reston keeps to himself. His world is dangerous, uncertain, violent…and there is no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves in next door to him….

Nicole Pearce’s life is complicated enough–with an ailing father and a new business to worry about–and the last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hardheaded neighbor. Yet Sam leaves her breathless–her body tingling with erotic desire–and it takes every ounce of her fabled control to resist offering herself to him, no strings attached. What she doesn’t know is that Sam Reston is on an undercover assignment…and she’s about to step into the crossfire.

Never has Sam ached for a woman so badly, and he’s never fallen in love before. Now that Nicole is in grave danger, he will become her shield, and guard the tempting body he longs to touch and taste. Because a terrorist plot hatched half a world away is heading to their doorstep–and it can only be derailed by one man and one woman.

Preorder Into the Crossfire by Lisa Marie Rice

You can see more Lisa Marie Rice books on the Lisa Marie Rice booklist at The Erotic Reader and more Avon Red books on the Avon Red page at The Erotic Reader.


Dark Embers Review

Tessa Adams is a pseudonym for Tracy Wolff, a popular Harlequin Superromance and NAL Heat author. Although I have never read a Tracy Wolff book, I decided to give Tessa Adams’ new book a try because it was a paranormal romance about dragons and I’ve developed a soft spot for dragon romance after reading a few. I posted my review of Dark Embers on The Erotic Reader, my site about sexy romance books and erotic romance.

This was one of those books that I can’t quite make up my mind about. I liked it, but then again, I didn’t like all of it.

Dark Embers by Tessa Adams is a book about dragons, romance, magic, and a deadly disease that’s killing the people of the Dragonstar clan. Dylan and Phoebe come together when Dylan seeks out a scientist specializing in autoimmune and nervous system disorders. He wants her to work with his clan’s doctors to discover the cause of and a cure for the disease that’s killing the members of his clan.

Dark Embers has a strong story propelling it forward, with writing strong enough to overcome a few big issues I had with the book. Read the review for Dark Embers on The Erotic Reader website…

The thing is, this was a good book, but it just wasn’t my kind of story. Although I enjoyed the hero, I didn’t enjoy the heroine’s character as much. She seemed…inconsistent…in her actions. I would still recommend the book specifically to readers who enjoy dragon tales, but watch out, because there’s one big "it just so happens…" plot issue that kept me from adding this book to my recommended reading list on The Erotic Reader.


Seducing the Highlander Review

I wrote a review of a really good book I just read. Emma Wildes has just become an author I’m going to have to read more of in the future. Her book, Seducing the Highlander, was very appealing and I truly enjoyed the three stories in it.

In Seducing the Highlander, Emma Wildes introduces three Scottish heroes who can’t help but come to the rescue of three damsels in distress. The included stories are Seducing Ian, Seducing Robbie, and Seducing Adain, and although each story is a stand-alone novella, this anthology is actually made up of three connected stories that make this book hard to put down. Read the review for Seducing the Highlander on The Erotic Reader website…

She has a few other books that are currently on my bookshelf, including Lessons from a Scarlet Lady and An Indecent Proposition. I’m thinking Lessons might be the next one I pick up. :)


Remember your backups on International Backup Day

Several years ago, Simon Haynes, author of the Hal Spacejock series, and creator of fabulous software for writers and readers including yWriter, declared November 3rd to be International Backup Day. Since I completely agree that I, like most people, never back up as often as I should, I decided I would promote the day as widely as possible.

It’s important to make regular backups. I’ve lost work, although never so much that I couldn’t recover gracefully, but I know people (and of people) who weren’t so lucky.

Make a backup of every book you’ve written and every book you’re working on. Back up your research. Back up your financial data.

Back it all up because the day will come when you’ll be thankful you have those backups!

As for me, I back up to DVD, Flash Drives, a partitioned drive, gmail, google docs, and my laptop. I always make sure to include my appdata so I get copies of my Outlook and Thunderbird email and other files it’s easy to forget about.

Do you do your backups?


Character Flaws Make Our Characters Strong

Character strengths are what draw us, as readers, to the characters we love, but without flaws characters cannot be the multi-dimensional people we need them to be.

Giving a character a flaw is about more than making them physically or emotionally imperfect. Flaws must be thought out to show opportunities for growth and development, to give us something to hope for or to show us something that will lead to the character’s ultimate downfall.

It’s not usually a good idea to sit down and randomly pick a flaw to give your character. Fleshing out your characters might start with physical appearance, but the substance of your characters’ traits will come from what they’ve done or dealt with in the past. Flaws that are the direct result of a character’s past are the most powerful flaws to give your characters.

Your heroine was burned by a good deed in the past, so she’s developed a certain amount of cynicism that the hero can’t quite understand until he gets to know her better. Take it a few steps further and you can create strongly driven characters who have something of a dark side to them.

Creating character flaws is an important overall part of your character creation. Without their flaws, their strengths won’t mean very much.


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