Wednesday, January 4, 2017

FREE EBOOK - LIGHTNING CRIMES + IWSG CONTEST WINNERS


FREE SHORT STORY EBOOK!

I self-published my first ebook! I also designed the cover art myself, so don't hate on it. lol And I've made it PERMA-FREE!

 Title: Lightning Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes 2.5
Genre: Romantic-Suspense

NOTE: LIGHTNING CRIMES is a teaser story that takes place between Seismic Crimes and Tsunami Crimes.


BLURB:

A freak lightning storm unleashes its energy on Central Florida. Bolts of lightning crash to the ground. Torrential rain soaks everything within seconds. And the power goes out, casting Beth and Donovan’s apartment into darkness. Beth is already on edge after receiving a menacing phone call several months ago, and this storm doesn’t help with her nerves.

Donovan tries to distract her from Mother Nature’s tantrum, but someone else has other plans. When they find the front door to their apartment wide open, they soon realize that it Isn’t an accident. Someone is in their apartment with them.

What crime can happen as fast as lightning?


DOWNLOAD FOR FREE:
Barnes& Noble / Kobo

FREE IN ALL AMAZON STORES!


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers.


QUESTION: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

I wish I never heard that passive voice is wrong. Although active voice is better, and I do eliminate as much passive voice as possible in my work and the work I edit, I (for one) don’t think it’s entirely wrong. 

Another rule I struggled with (only because I stressed out about eliminating it from my writing) is that comma splices are incorrect. Comma splices are super common in most books. It's apparently acceptable in some languages, but in English it's an error. Go figure. :P

These two rules gave me the biggest headaches when I first started publishing. Why? Because I had to learn to change the way I wrote. Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds are FULL of passive voice. I'll admit it. And comma splices can be found in my stories up until recently as well. Since then, however, my writing has grown. And I am proud of that! :D


OPTIONAL FEBRUARY 1ST QUESTION: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Reminder: The questions are optional and meant as a prompt if you struggle with what to post. You don't have to answer a question if you don't want to. :)





And the moment we've all been waiting for...the anthology winners!


Anthology Title - 

Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life


L. Nahay - Breath Between Seconds

Roland Yeomans - Sometimes They Come Back

Elizabeth Seckman - Mind Body Soul

Olga Godim - Captain Bulat

Ellen Jacobson - The Silvering

Erika Beebe - The Wheat Witch

Yvonne Ventresca – The Art of Remaining Bitter

Sean McLachlan - The Witch Bottle

Sarah Foster - The Last Dragon

Renee Cheung - Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight

Tyrean Martinson - Of Words and Swords


And the grand prize winner:

Jen Stanton Chandler - The Mysteries of Death and Life


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!



114 comments:

  1. Just downloaded your short story and looking forward to reading it. I think you did a wonderful job on the cover art. Your new author pic is great as well.

    Thanks for all the hard work you put into the IWSG contest :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      I hope you enjoy my short story :)

      Delete
  2. Loved your cover and will in time download your story.
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that this year you will achieve your ambitions.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I did have a nice Christmas. I hope you did, too. And I hope this year is good to you.

      Delete
  3. You did it - your book is out!

    I didn't like that passive rule either. It messed with me for years.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations on getting your book out. I don't like the passive voice rule either. It bugs me no end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rachna!

      It bugs me, too. Still. ;)

      Delete
  5. Passive rule I have rolled my eyes at a few times, if it fits, go for it. Commas, meh, they work when they work haha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats on the ebook!

    I still struggle with comma issues. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have to limit passive voice in my writing as well. Congrats on the ebook. I'll have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations on the eBook!

    Oh passive voice and I are best friends. It's hard for me to use active voice. Another rule I hate is "backstory is bad". I LOVE backstory!! I suppose that's why I love passive voice so much :D

    Thank you for all the hard work you did on the Anthology. I know it was a job reading all those entries. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this year's Anthology and I look forward to reading all the entries!

    Happy New Year,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      Oh, yes. I hate it when I hear that backstory is bad. And I seem to hear that so much these days. I don't mind backstory.

      Congratulations on being the big winner!!!!

      Delete
  9. Yay for the winners and the eBook!

    LOL! You only hate the rules because they made you stretch. =) You know you're totally grateful for them in the end. (P.S. There is a time and place for passive voice, just not very often.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally do! LOL! And you're right, I am grateful for them in the end, but I still don't think passive voice is bad. As you said, there is a time and place for it.

      Delete
  10. Congrats to the winners!!!

    I remember kind of freaking out when I heard about the passive voice rule - but, boy did it make me stronger too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations!
    Comma splices? I guess I still don't know that rule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      It was a newer rule for me as well when I learned about it. lol

      Delete
  12. Congrats on conquering e-book publication! That cover is great - very powerful.

    The thing about the rules is that they're not always appropriate. Sometimes passive is what's required, and sometimes a sentence is so looong that it requires an extra comma, even if it's technically considered a splice. But I guess we must learn the rules so that we can confidently break them, heh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!

      That is so true. Writers shouldn't be restricted by so many rules. We should break them when we have to.

      Delete
  13. Our English language is full of exceptions to everything!! Ugh. Congrats to all those winners!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't mastered the comma either.

    Thanks for co-hosting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Commas are tricky. I still take pause every now and then.

      Delete
  15. Yikes, comma splices. Guilty! It all started years ago when I read this quote by Kurt Vonnegut (I just looked it up):
    “Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing."
    If we can't use commas, and we can't use semicolons, how the heck are we supposed to punctuate? Periods are not always appropriate... sigh.

    Congratulations on Lightning Crimes!


    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use whatever punctuation mark I want. I even use semi colons. ;)

      Thank you!!!

      Delete
  16. I haven't completely mastered comma usage. Sometimes I overuse them and other times I underuse them. This is why we have copyeditors.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Passive voice has some very useful functions, so I never think about that rule. Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, you did an amazing job on that cover! I'm so impressed. Congrats and I hope you get lots of downloads for this story.

    Also congrats to the IWSG winners!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!!! :D I had fun making it.

      Delete
  19. As with most rules, there are few absolutes. Sometimes, the best choice is using passive voice. Occasionally, fragments are better than complete sentences. I guess the best course is knowing the rules before you try and bend them...or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well put, Ryan. I agree that most rules aren't absolutes. There are times when they should be paid attention to and times when they should be ignored. :)

      Delete
  20. Oh, cool! I had no idea you did the cover art, too. Great job!

    I have a feeling you already know what I think about passive wording. :) It's never WRONG to use it; I just think active phrasing is more engaging and makes for stronger writing. (And yes... I DID use a semi-colon.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure did. :) Thanks!

      It is more engaging, certainly. And I still use semi-colons. ;)

      Delete
  21. Sounds like a great book! The cover art looks great! :)

    I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who hates the passive voice rule. I struggle so much with it. And you are totally right with comma splices too. These are some of the trickiest rules in writing because, like you said, you have to learn to write differently. Oh the struggle… Perhaps through practice writing in active voice without comma splices becomes easier? Or at least that's my hope anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!

      It does become easier. I've can catch comma splices now before I write them. As for writing in active voice, I don't always do this. I fix as much as I can, but I don't stress anymore if I have passive voice in my writing. I think it's normal and just fine to have passive voice. :)

      Delete
  22. Congratulations on your release, and to the winners!

    I don't know why Word thinks passive voice is always wrong. I had to turn off my grammar check, when I still used Word, because it kept underlining passive voice. Sometimes it's more effective, or works better with a particular scene or passage.

    It's hard to read as just a reader anymore, particularly when revisiting books I loved when I was younger. I'm constantly thinking about how there could've been more character development, less superfluous adverbs, more action, or a glossary, list of characters, and pronunciation guide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      You're right. Passive voice can be more effective or it works for a scene. That's why I stick to passive voice when I need to.

      I know just what you mean. I struggle big time with silencing my inner writer/editor when I read.

      Delete
  23. Congratulations on your new Ebook, Chrys. Commas can be tricky things to master sometimes!
    Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cheers to your cool new free story! I grabbed my copy of Lightning Crimes. I'm eager to check it out.

    I understand why comma splices is a rule, but I don't understand when people say NEVER use this, or NEVER use that, like with passive voice. It's like with adverbs; so many writers say to NEVER use them. But my personal rule, as with passive voice, is to use them sparingly but make them count when you do. Make it a strength, not a weakness.

    Happy 2017!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I hope you like it. :)

      Make it a strength, not a weakness. I really like that.

      Delete
  25. Congrats on the short story release! I think the cover looks great.

    I try to avoid passive voice, but there are times when I think it actually works better. And commas...try as I might, I never seem to actually get them where they actually need to be. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, M.J.!

      Commas never like to be where they should. :P

      Delete
  26. Congrats to the winners! And yeah the passive writing voice rule is another rule I wished I've never heard. Yes, using words to make your story pop is ideal. But I just wished these rules didn't create this all or nothing tension with words. Why does it have to explicitly one or the other? Why not find a semblance of balance in using active and passive voice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? That's what I do. Just like with showing and telling. I don't do one or the other. I do both when needed. And it's the same with active and passive voice. :)

      Delete
  27. Congratulations on publishing your first E-book, Chrys!I read the rule about passive and active voice elsewhere as an example today as well! As a Belgian native, rules are indeed very different when it comes to punctuation in the Dutch and English language, it seems like. I struggle with that at times and don't want it to get in the way of inspiration and progress too much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Liesbet!

      Rules should never get in the way of inspiration or progress. All a writer should be allowed to worry about is writing.

      Delete
  28. Heheh, yeah, my eye gets caught on passive voice and comma splices as well. I'll sometimes shout it out, but a lot of the time I'll let them fly as a reader. At least rules give you something to think about, even if you ignore them. :)

    Grats on your release!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a reader, I've learned to let a lot of things go that I pick up on. Passive voice and comma splices seem to be a writing style for most.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  29. Congrats to all the winners! Happy to see some familiar names on the list. It's a great title.

    And I think you did a fantastic job with the cover, Chrys. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's also great to see new names. We wanted to get more people from the FB group to participate and we did. :)

      Thank you so much!!!

      Delete
    2. Good point. Most of the names on the list I didn't recognize.

      Delete
    3. I didn't know a few of them either. It was a nice surprise. :)

      Delete
  30. Congrats on your new release and the cover is good! Wish I could learn to do covers. And that darn passive voice. I didn't even know about it when I started writing. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gwen! I didn't either. I just wrote. lol

      Delete
  31. I just downloaded your story and can't wait to check it out. Yeah, passive voice isn't as exciting as active voice, but sometimes a change of pace is nice. If I look through any of the books I enjoy reading, I always find passive voice. Readers don't mind it nearly as much as editors do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Ken!

      A change of pace is often needed. Your last sentence is so on point. Readers don't notice passive voice. Or comma splices, Or telling. Editors and other writers do.

      Delete
  32. Oh I love teaser stories! Gosh, the pretty girl on the cover looks a lot like you ;-)
    I really don't mind rules when they serve as guidelines. I feel like more than a few are added to perhaps stifle a style or writer's voice though. It gives my muse the pouty face ;-)
    Happy New Year, lady Chrys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the same thing...that the model looked like me. So strange. It's not me, I can assure you of that. :)

      Rules should never stifle a writer's style. Some writers' styles involve passive voice and comma splices, and there's nothing wrong with that.

      Delete
  33. Congrats on your ebook! I try not to think too much about writing rules and focus on what works for the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! Congrats to you again on making it in the anthology. :)

      Delete
  34. Congrats on your new release. Of the rules you mention: I never used the second one, so it doesn't bother me. But the passive voice - yeah. I try not to use it in my writing if I can help it. Sometimes, it is unavoidable, but much more often, the active voice replacing it makes the narrative better, punchier. I think it is a valid rule and I'm very strict about it when I edit others' works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a valid rule, but I don't think it's wrong. That's just me. :)

      Thank you, Olga!

      Delete
  35. Congrats again on your new release, Chrys! I struggle with passive voice as well. Happy New Year!
    Best,
    Adrienne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Adrienne!

      Happy New Year!

      Delete
  36. The cover looks nice and congrats on getting it published. Ya dun did it! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I was sweating bullets during the whole self-published process, though. Wow. lol

      Delete
  37. Show Don't Tell has always bugged me. So much is lost when only active voice is used. It's a lot for a young writer to digest. Thanks for the free ebook, Chrys. It doesn't work outside of the States.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't realized it didn't work outside the states for Amazon. That's odd. I contacted Amazon to find out how I can get it free for other countries. Thanks for letting me know!

      Delete
  38. Congrats, Chrys! I love the cover of this self pub e-book. Nice work!! the one rule that drives me cray is the single space after a period. I was raised to use two spaces after and it's so ingrained. I've had to go back and take away spaces. It annoys me because it seems silly but then it looks wrong when there's a big gap between sentences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!!! My mom used to do two spaces after periods, too. It's what many people were told was proper formatting.

      Delete
  39. Great Cover design work. You offering that option too?
    I hope my writing has gotten better. Although, I'll be honest, I'm still learning as I go! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still learning, too. There's nothing wrong with that. We should keep learning.

      Thanks! It's nice to know you like it enough to ask if I'm doing that service. Unfortunately, I can only manage simple covers with one large image and an image layered over it. Christine Rains has the skill to really take imaged and knit them together. :)

      Delete
  40. Sometimes passive voice is necessary. But used in excess...

    Congrats on the new book.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Your author pic is real pretty Chrys. That cover is lovely. Trust me I've seen $200 premade covers that didn't look as good as this does. Great job. If you ever decide to go into selling premades I know some cool facebook spots to refer you to so you can meet fellow sellers and writers looking for covers. Rules are best when used with a side of caution. Congrats on your new book which I one clicked and your writing growth Chrys.

    QueendSheena
    2017 IWSG January Co-Host

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm happy to here you like the cover. I'm no where near a pro with covers. I can only do simple covers, but I never thought of selling premades. Hmm. That's a good idea.

      Delete
  42. Congrats on the book!! I actually like reading passive voice, so hey, other readers probably do as well. I say there's nothing wrong with throwing a few in if the scene calls for it. Congrats to the winners as well :)

    Jess
    www.jessicatherrien.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I agree. I like reading passive voice and don't even realize it's passive.

      Delete
  43. Congrats on the book! It sounds pretty exciting, too!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Have you noticed, what is correct also varies from editor to editor?
    Huge congrats on your new release. I LOVE your cover.
    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  45. PS Your profile photo is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your site is looking good. Congrats on the new e-book. Happy New Year.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Happy New Year!!!

      Delete
  47. Rules, rules, rules. They change not only with editors, but with the times. The style of writing 100 years ago is quite different from what it is now. Some of the newer ways of writing are okay, but I think things could/can/do get so simplistic and sterile that books all begin to "sound" the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only we could keep the most basic grammar rules and forget everything else.

      Delete
  48. Hi, Chrys,

    Happy New Year!

    I agree, I don't think passive voice is SUCH A CRIME.... Telling has it's merits and almost all Children's fiction from days gone by has been TOLD.... all our beloved fairy tales, etc.

    How AWESOME!!!! CONGRATS to all the winners in this years' anthology! Can't wait to read their stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year, Michael!!!

      That's a great point about children's fiction and fairy tales.

      Delete
  49. Thanks for popping by to visit at my blog and for the encouragement. I'm with you on "never ever" rules like that one about passive voice. You need to do what the piece demands. And while it's good to think about overuse of things like passive voice or certain gestures or any number of things, "never ever" is "never ever" right :-)

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome!

      "Never ever" is "never ever." We should let our story dictate how it should be written, not rules.

      Delete
  50. Happy New Year to You! I am reading your book, enjoying it...
    Congratulations to the winners and thank you for posting next month's question, I can start thinking about it:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year!

      That is wonderful! Thank you for letting me know. :) And you're welcome for next month's question.

      Delete
  51. Congrats on the e-book! I love the cover!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thanks for the free story! I'm not too great with following writing rules. That's probably the reason I didn't include this month's question in my post :) With comma splices, I usually replace the comma with a semi-colon; I often overuse it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I love semicolons. :) At least fixing comma splices are generally easy. Even adding a couple words tends to fix it.

      Delete
  53. I have my copy of your story now. :) Congrats to the IWSG winners! I have cut down on my passive voice too. I'm still working on the commas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you! Commas seem to always be a work-in-progress. ;)

      Delete
  54. I like the new look to your blog. Cool. Congratulations to the winners. The anthology should be a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beverly! I had fun tweaking my blog over the holidays. :)

      Delete
  55. I had someone in one of my critique groups that would mark every. single. example. of passive voice. There could be one sentence they felt was passive in an entire story, and they would feel the need to mark it. You know, sometimes it's going to happen. Yeesh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! That would've driven me bonkers.

      Delete
  56. looking forward to your blog hop =)
    congrats to the winners!

    and thanks for supporting my cradle rock release tour!
    happy 2017!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tara!

      And you're welcome. :)

      Happy 2017!!!

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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