Sep 29, 2010

Short Story, Big Impact

Anna Hackett is a member of the LoveCats and is a popular Nocturne Bites author, with a number of ‘bites’ stories (shorter length paranormal) published through Harlequin. She has previously taught an online course, “Short Story Big Impact” and is teaching this fabulous online course again in October!

Anna, I’ve had a squiz at your online course, and it looks fantastic!

Thanks, Mel! I love sharing the tips and techniques I've learned as a reader and writer of short stories. If I can help some other writers avoid some of the mistakes I've made, then it's worth it.

What are your key goals with this course?

There is plenty packed into Short Story, Big Impact. Here are the objectives of the course:

Learn how to structure short stories

Learn the key elements to writing short stories

Discover tips and techniques to include (and what to limit) in your short stories

See examples of winning short story techniques from successful authors

Learn how short stories can help craft full length stories

What seems to be the biggest mistake writer’s make when attempting a short story?

Packing too much into the story — too many characters, too many sub-plots, too many explanations, too many words. If a novel is a cake, the short story is a slice of it. You need to focus in on a single incident, single relationship or single moment. There's no room for lots of plot, shorts tend to be character-driven stories and focused on a particular intense moment or incident.

As an author of multiple 'bites' stories, what do you think makes short stories, and in particular, paranormal short stories so popular?

Excellent question, Mel! I think readers pick up short stories because they're the perfect length to fit into a busy lifestyle. In between work and family, many people don’t have the time or energy to immerse themselves in the complex worlds of longer stories. Instead, they want a quick fix.

Short stories are about INTENSITY. A lot happens in a very short time and we get to the good stuff straight away. When I pick up a short story I want: a quick read, not too complicated and a quick hit of emotion (whether it's love, shock, horror or excitement). I think paranormal stories in particular deliver this with a bang -- life and death situations, danger, action — the paranormal aspect amps up the intensity of an already intense short story.

Anna, thanks for the chat! Last but not least, what is next for you?

In October I'll be busy teaching Short Story, Big Impact at the RWA Online Chapter. I'll also be teaching it again online in February at the Colorado Romance Writers.

On the writing front, I have a new Bites coming soon (no set date yet) called One Night with the Wolf — it features a duty-bound female alpha who wants one night of passion with a wolf in his prime...and she knows just the wolf she wants.

Thanks for chatting with me, Mel!

For more information on Anna’s course, go to:

Sep 28, 2010

A vulgar tongue -- quiz answers and winner!

I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the quiz! I hope you had fun!

The answers (taken from the
1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue) are:

An 'abbess' is the mistress of a brothel

To be 'betwattled' is to be surprised or confounded

To be in a 'brown study' is to be lost
in thought

A 'bone box' is a person's mouth

To 'sho
ot the cat' is to vomit

And the winner is ... Suzi Love. Congratulations Suzi!
You got every answer right!

Suzi, you've won a
copy of my October release Beauty and the Scarred Hero. Can you please contact me by email at worldaroundthecorner(AT)gmail(DOT)com? Congratulations -- and thanks for participating!

Sep 26, 2010

A vulgar tongue!

by Emily May

Reading: 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Listening to: Fat Freddy's Drop

Watching: Midsomer Murders

Making me smile
: The trees are in blossom!

Hi everyone! My second Regency romance Beauty and the Scarred Hero is out in Australia and New Zealand in October, and to celebrate, I'm giving away a copy of the book!

The beauty is Lady Isabella Knox; the scarred hero is Major Nicholas Reynolds (or The Ogre, as Society has taken to calling him). There's a runaway bride, stray kittens, a risqué masquerade ball, and much more!

(For excerpts and behind-the-scenes info, visit the
Beauty and the Scarred Hero page on my website.)

To be in to win a copy, have a go at the Regency Slang quiz below and post your answers in the comments. The correct answers and the winner's name will be announced on Tuesday evening. (The words are taken from the
1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.)

Regency Slang Quiz

An ‘abbess’ is:

-a very pious woman

-the mistress of a brothel

-a catholic

A person who is ‘betwattled’:

-looks like a turkey
-has their hair dressed very high on their head

-is surprised or confounded

To be in a ‘brown study’ is to:

-be lost in thought

-be drunk

-have a stomach ache

A 'bone box' is:

-the ribcage
-a person's mouth

-a coffin

To 'shoot the cat' is:

-to gossip

-to practise target shooting

-to vomit

Good Luck!

Sep 25, 2010

Caturday Fun! Free Reads

For our Caturday pleasure, I thought I'd round up a list of Lovecat free reads. I love free stuff. =)

First we have Nikki Logan's entire book, Their Newborn Gift, available at And while you're there, have a look at the other 10 category books for free, including fellow downunders, Kelly Hunter's Sexy Sensation, Exposed: Misbehaving With The Magnate (I *loved* this book) and Carol Marinelli's Medical, Emergency: Wife Lost And Found (which I haven't read, but Carol is fabulous!). Here's the blurb for Nikki's Their Newborn Gift:

Lea Curran was raised in the tough Western Australian Kimberley region. She will do anything to save her four year old daughter's life, even if that means persuading a man she cheated out of one child to give her another so the baby's cord blood can be used to treat its sister.

But sexy ex-rodeo star Reilly Martin isn't interested in just being a sperm donor. The two children are the chance at family he thought he'd lost forever. Lea may only want his genes but for Reilly it's all...or nothing.

Also, if you're a fan of paranormal, Tracey O'Hara (a distant relative of our own Tracie Sommers) has a short story on her website, Dante Rising, which is a prequel to Night's Cold Kiss, but a story on its own. A little taste:

Sixteen years ago — Rural France

ANTOINETTE sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes to look around the dark bedroom. She tilted her head and listened carefully for the noise that woke her. The gentle spring rain pitter-pattered against the bedroom window. Her little brother, Nici, breathed soft and steady beside her in a deep sleep. His arms were thrown above his head and he’d kicked the covers of his left leg. She smiled and pulled the quilt up then listened again.

Down the hall her grandmother’s snores rattled through the house. She was used to the sort of snorting gargle the old woman made, so it was doubtful that’s what woke her.

Then it came again—a distinct knocking noise from downstairs.

Someone’s here.

And very soon (to be released Nov 1!), we'll have Mel Teshco's free erotica Discovering Sophia from Ellora's Cave. In the meantime, here's the blurb:

Sofia is a divorcee, struggling to deal with the infidelities of her ex-husband. Then one day she sees a man hitchhiking. A muscular, sexy, younger man with a beautiful ass. Impulsively, she pulls her car to the side of the road and picks up the scrumptious hunk.

Jake is an adventurous guy who believes in living life to its fullest. He lets Sofia know that he thinks she is a beautiful, desirable woman, and he wants her. Jake makes her feel sexy and confident. Sofia just has to get up the nerve to go for it because she suddenly knows just what she needs to do to end all the pain and unhappiness that has consumed her.

I see I have some reading to do!

And to put a big smile on your face for the weekend, I'm posting a clip that answers the age old question once and for all, can a Labrador dance the Merengue?

Sep 22, 2010

Believe it...or not?

I discovered a passion for paranormal writing relatively late on my road to publication, but my love for the genre hasn’t faded one bit over time. I love reading the world building that goes into any paranormal/fantasy book, love uncovering an author’s vivid imagination. Conversely I hate it when none of that works for me, when it all falls flat or just short of believable.

The same goes for paranormal movies. Actually the idea of this blog all started after watching ‘Fourth Kind’ where a small Alaskan town has experienced the highest number of unsolved disappearances in all of Alaska. Spliced with apparent ‘real’ footage, it makes for a very scary, very believable movie about alien encounters. For me at the time, it was frightening. (I realised this after I picked up stepson from work at midnight, trying hard not to think about said movie!)

To experience such intense emotions in a book (and I’m not talking only fear—though Stephen King does a superb job of that) the author has brought the characters to life...they clearly aren’t 2 dimensional cardboard cut outs. The reader is living through the hero and heroine, experiencing their every up and down moment, feeling every bit of their love and torment.

‘Fourth Kind’ had me questioning —is it possible?—is it real? I felt every bit of Abbey’s trauma, imagining how she must feel, wondering how she coped. The live footage had me wondering too, is this another ‘Blair Witch’ type of movie...? I’ll let you be the judge! LOL

Anyway, all this got me thinking, what makes a book or a movie, real? What movie or book has made you scared, sad, happy, made you cry? And why?