Or, The Weather This Weekend Was So Nice I Went To The Zoo
My all time favorite song “A Drop in the Ocean” by Ron Pope:
“Drunk on You” by Luke Bryan
“Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
A piano cover of “A Thousand Years” (originally by Christina Perri) by Nef Pagtakhan
The one song I think encompasses Holden Clark is “The Right Way” by Ron Pope, but I couldn’t share it. If you’ve never heard it, check it out. Every time he sings “I just want to live” it gives me goosebumps.
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Title: Spell of Summoning
Author: Anna Abner
Publisher: Mild Red Books
Source: Author Request Review
Holden Clark walks into Rebecca Powell’s life, a tall, blue-eyed stranger who stirs long forgotten desires. But nothing, including this man, is what it seems. A dark necromancer is targeting Becca for a full-blown demonic possession. She is thrust into a world she never knew existed—a world where dark casters create chaos and necromancers talk to the dead.
Holden has no faith in his power. A necromancer, he communicates with the dead, but he has never embraced his gifts. Now, he has no choice but to stop the dark caster attacking Rebecca, but accepting this mission means he’ll be delving into dangerous magics he’s never used before.
Under the protection of the damaged and mysterious Holden, Rebecca will question everything …
This book starts out dragging you into a world with magic and demons and spells attached to Rebecca Powell and it’s up to Holden to save her. While Rebecca is very resistant to this idea, all she knows about magic is about how it’s make believe and doesn’t exist when Holden shows up she assumes he’s some crazy stalker but there are things happening to her that she can’t explain or even fathom.
I loved this book so much it was a great paranormal adventure with many twists and turns letting you wonder who is putting a spell on Becca. I also loved the romance and watching Holden connect with Becca and the way he was able to set his Grams free. Awesome job Ms. Abner did telling this story!
David’s kiss wasn’t anything like the fumbling, dry-mouthed kisses Cody Reynolds had plastered against her mouth in that closet ten years ago. Oh, no. David kissed like a guy who knew how to take his time.
Spell of Binding, ms pg. 108
The man on his knees said one word, “Constringo.”
Fricking necromancers and their hard-ons for Latin. Regardless of the word’s definition, his spell hit Dani hard, burning from her fingertips to her elbows. A dark spider web tattoo crawled up both forearms.
He’d bound her magic.
Spell of Binding, ms pg 17
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There are dozens of types of scene cards and twice as many ways to use them to improve your writing, either in pre-writing or in the editing stage. I took ideas from different sources and designed a scene card that suits my style perfectly. If you’re having trouble visualizing how each individual part of your story works together as a whole, try this.
Each scene gets its own card. Each POV (point of view) character gets his or her own color. Blue for my hero and pink for my heroine (to make it simple). Purple or green for my villain or any secondary character with their own POV. Then, because my novel, Spell of Summoning, is a paranormal romance I also wanted to track how often magic was used or how often a character communicated with a spirit. So I taped a yellow card behind any scene that had magic in it.
Now comes the time consuming part of this exercise. Starting from the beginning of your manuscript, read each scene and note the following details:
Here is an example from Spell of Summoning:
I included notes on costume because I never want to forget my hero wore a charcoal gray suit and black tie in the morning and then pulled off a black suit and red tie at the end of the day. Keeping the information on my scene card makes it easier for me to track costumes through multiple scenes in multiple locations.
The GMC (Goal-Motivation-Conflict) on each card is simplified. In my more elaborate pre-writing notes I have written both external and internal GMC for each character in each scene, but the size of the card does not allow me to express all this. Instead, I jot down easy to remember notes that trigger in my head the more complex workings of my characters. However, even having to fill out a simplified GMC chart for each POV character was extremely rewarding.
For example, I got to one scene around the middle of the book that had no conflict at all. I had written a cute little scene where Rebecca is flinging witty dialogue at her receptionist as she marches through her office. When I tried to write her GMC I had quick answers for her goal and her motivation, but I couldn’t think of a single hint of conflict. To give the scene more punch I re-wrote it, took Rebecca’s employee out of the office, and added an awkward phone call, instead. After the re-write, Rebecca doesn’t get what she wants and a new layer is added to her overall arc.
If I hadn’t practiced this scene card exercise I might not have found that scene and I imagine anyone who read the original would have skimmed quickly over it to get to something more exciting.
Finally, because I’m a visual learner, I made space on my bedroom wall and taped each scene card under its chapter heading to see the whole story. Posting the scenes helped me see which characters were getting too much attention and which weren’t getting enough. Plus, I could see how often my villain popped up with his own POV and whether I was using too much or too little magic.
This is a note-taking and scene tracking system that worked for me, and I will use it again on the sequel, Spell of Binding. If I was very organized I would be able to write out scene cards before I started writing the manuscript and lay out every scene, every chapter, and every act exactly as it needs to be in the finished novel. But I’m not. Maybe that will be my next writing goal.
I didn’t think anything would come of sending press releases to my local and hometown newspapers, but I’m thrilled to say my story was reported in the Hesperia Star Newspaper in my hometown of Hesperia, California today.
Link to the online version here.
Here is a scan:
Here is a photo taken by a fan in Hesperia.
(Book 2 in the Dark Caster Series is a romance between the witch Daniela Ferraro and David Wilkes, the man she can never have. However, this scene I wrote for the novel in Cole Burkov’s point of view excited me so much I wanted to share it first.)
Cole drew the knife across his forearm, avoiding the raised scars laid out like tally marks. A running count of accessed power. Necromancy had never belonged to him, just lived in his veins.
Blood bubbled up from the new wound and rolled down the length of his arm. Power sizzled into his fingertips.
Spell of Binding, ms pg. 22
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