Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole Delacroix

I have another guest for you today, this one an up and coming Science fiction/ fantasy author I met via the Bewitching Book Tours, Ms. Nicole Delcroix. Grab a copy of coffee or your favorite cup of tea and get ready to take a few tips about one of my favorite subjects: Research. :) Nicole, take it away!

Research… It’s Not Just for Journalists Anymore!
By Nicole Delacroix

Say the word research and most writers’ eyes will glaze over like a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but the truth is every writer has to do some sort of research to get their story off the ground. Done well, research can help make a writer’s job easier, help the writer broaden the scope of their writing and make a writer more knowledgeable. While most writers will relegate research to the realm of academia, every writer can benefit from well done research.

Research is For Journalists and Academia
Professional writing is the realm of journalists or news organizations, blogs and magazines, and requires research to give both the writing and the writer credibility. Articles must be well researched to spark interest in the subject and properly target the intended reader. Professional writing is directed at a particular demographic and the writer must know their audience to keep them engaged. There is nothing more destructive to a writing career than misquotes or sloppy research. Know your subject and know it well and your reader will rave about your subject matter. But mislead or misquote and you’ll never earn the readers trust back and you’ll be demoted to gossip mags and labeled a hack writer. Readers of professional writing are a fastidious group; they won’t trust easily and won’t forgive a breach of that trust.

Fiction Writing Doesn’t Need Research… Does It?
Research is equally as important in fiction writing as it is for professional or academic writing. An author who wants to write better fiction can benefit from a little market research. Knowing what the audience looks for in a story or in a novel can help an author write fiction that will be well read. Similar techniques of market research for professional writing can be used for fiction writing.
Also, researching locations will help an author chose appropriate settings for his or her fiction and describe them well. A little research helps an author keep historical or current facts within the writing correct. Researching for fiction writing can also be as simple as “people watching” for inspiration and character development ideas. Studying the actions and attitudes of real people helps with creating interesting characters.

In closing, research is an invaluable tool for any writer; it helps the writing remain informed, authoritative and credible. Moreover, it helps a writer reach more readers with better writing. You simply wouldn’t attempt to write a non-fiction piece if you knew nothing about the subject and expect it to come out well written; fiction should be approached in the same manner.

Your world should be flawless; you need specific knowledge and facts to ensure your concepts work. Remember, research isn’t about you; it’s for your readers. Good research can sweep your readers up into a more wonderful, strange, terrifying and real new world or it can make them question your dedication to your craft. Build an epic world for your readers and they will flock to your stories. It boils down to credibility and realism. In a fictional world you need even more research, how else can your reader suspend their disbelief?

 

Thank you for your informative post, Nicole. I do agree–but then, I am a geeky research nerd fan of researching, myself. Folks if you’d like to check out  her work, Nicole’s novel,

Glimpse of Darkness.

Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole DelaCroixSynopsis:

Charlene (Charlie) Bennett is a simple waitress in the wilds of Hyder, Alaska whose father has just gone missing. Isolated and alone, her fathers’ disappearance is nothing new to her, but this time things are a little different.

For starters, there is a handsome stranger, Daniel that has come to town and while Charlie has never taken more than a passing interest in strangers, she has an immediate and intense attraction to this one. Secondly, she’s soon to find out that this stranger isn’t what he appears. He’s about to throw Charlie’s entire world into a major upheaval.

Now Charlie has to decide if she believes this strangers’ incredible story and follow Daniel or if she wants to stay in the only home she’s ever known for an uncertain future and an absentee father. As she comes to terms with what Daniel shows her, she realizes that he’s the only true thing in her life and leaves everything she knows behind to follow the handsome stranger.

Glimpse of Darkness Available now at Amazon and in paperback from Createspace.

Nicole is also doing a giveaway for her tour.

 Up for grabs are:
5 sets of signed paperback copies with beaded bookmarks
5 beaded bookmarks
Open to US Shipping

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form here.

 

“Freaky Friday”: Old Ringgold Cemetery

One of the things I like about being a writer is my tendency to be bitten by the curiosity bug. The whole bit about the history I put in my books from time to time stems from that. This past week, I spent out of town visiting family but we took a little detour in our trip and visited Chattanooga, Tennessee. While there we met with  military historian Brigadier General (RT) John R. Scales, who wrote a book about Sherman’s Invasion of Georgia during the Civil War and with him toured the battlefields on Lookout Mountain (*cue Drive-by Truckers’ song here* ;)) and at Chickamauga. Reading about history is good for the brain, of course but actually seeing these places, especially this way, was really beyond neat. :) He took us all the way around the route the battle took and in the course of that to a little church that served as a hospital. Unfortunately, the church wasn’t open to visitors this day, but the cemetery next to it was open exploring. So I poked around because old cemeteries are always so atmospheric. The older the better, right? Unfortunately, when they are so old, the names are, oftentimes, rubbed off the tombstones. This one was no exception and I got some great shots.

But this being “Freaky Friday”, I had to show you this:

Old Ringgold Cemetery
See anything weird there? I don’t know what that is–(it looks like an old piece of plastic to me–or is it an odd smudge on the lens? Who knows?) but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there when I snapped the picture!

William Shakespeare, Demon Hunter–#newrelease by S.G. Rogers

Painting depicting the Weird Sisters, by William Rimmer (February 20, 1816 – August 20, 1879) courtesy: wikipedia

S.G. Rogers has a new release today combining two of my favorite things, classic literature  and fantasy. :) So when I found out about Dancing With Raven, I asked her to come tell my readers a little more about it. Suzanne, take it away!

William Shakespeare, Demon Hunter.

by S.G. Rogers

Shakespearean plays were often populated by paranormal creatures, such as witches, ghosts, and monsters, but did you know William Shakespeare was secretly a demon hunter? That’s the premise of Dancing With Raven, in which a secret demon hunting organization, The Shakespearean Institute, is named after one of the most famous demon slayers of all time.

Comprised of the Nephilim (descendants of humans who had children with angels), Shakespeareans have one particularly critical prohibition: they are forbidden to bear a child on Leap Day. Such a child, if demonically sacrificed on his or her eighteenth birthday, will usher in the Apocalypse.

The violation of this prohibition forms the basis for Dancing With Raven.

 

Here’s the blurb: 
Tori has spent the past seventeen years trying to ignore her ability to see unnatural creatures. As she prepares to transition from high school to the world of professional ballet, however, seismic activity in Los Angeles is increasing and the number of demons is multiplying at an alarming rate. After a new student from London transfers to her performing arts school, she soon discovers her life has been a lie and someone wants her dead.

Raven’s father, a renowned British demon hunter, has tasked him with guarding the one person who can inadvertently bring about the end of the world. Unfortunately, Raven’s record of success has fallen short lately and his confidence is shaken. Worse, Tori seems determined to freeze him out. Can he win her trust quickly enough to prevent the Apocalypse?

Dancing With Raven is the first book of a series, and I’m having a wonderful time with it. If you like magical realism, the paranormal, and the performing arts, this book is for you! ~ S.G. Rogers

Dancing With Raven is available at Amazon.

Ooh! This sounds intriguing! Will Raven stop the Apocalypse, I wonder? The author wouldn’t tell me. What do  you think, readers?

Mila A. Ballantine: Best Sellers & Other Worthy Mentions

 

Best Sellers

 

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Thin Skin Soul Pinned  

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Blurb:

Exotic items are invaluable and some only come around once in a lifetime. Marie Tousant, a native of the Bayou, finds herself in a dilemma when practitioners of the dark arts embark on an eternal hunt. An opposing force materializes and shares secrets that may save her from the grasp of evil. Fortunately, her allies are willing to protect her, even if it cost them their lives.

 

 Book Trailer:

 

 

Download a copy here >>  B&N / Smashwords / Amazon 

 

 

 

THIN SKIN SOUL PINNED has a sequel:

 

 

 

 

Download a copy here >> Amazon / B&N

 

 

Blurb:

 

While on a road trip, two friends make a pit stop in a quaint town. They spend more time there than they anticipated. It’s debatable if they’ll ever reach their destination or if they’ll live.

 

Download a copy here >> B&N / Smashwords / Amazon 

 

desolate terrain

 

 

Author Bio

Mila A. Ballentine is a mystery writer who doesn’t shy away from writing about things that grasp the core of her imagination. Her writing is an extension of her mind’s eye and there is always an element of truth in each of her books. She studied Creative Writing and Communication Arts at a City University of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling or doing anything that allows her to put her creative energy to use.

What can you expect from a book written by Mila A. Ballentine?

“Author Mila A. Balletine’s originality shines through all of her stories. She is creative, adventurous, and honest about everything that goes into the pages of her books. If Mila were to get lost in the woods, she would use her time wisely. Her senses would be alert and her creativity would skyrocket through the roof.  Mila would find a way to write a story on a leaf. Besides Mila being a good author, she is bubbly, outgoing, and extremely shy, but don’t let her coyness fool you.  Her characters are strong, honest, and ready to jump into an adventure without hesitations.” ~ S.J. Dennery

In her own words…

My writing style is an extension of my wide-ranging imagination. I try to write my stories as if I have walked in the character’s shoes. Like most of my characters, I have many-sides. I enjoy exploring the struggles, triumphs, and vulnerabilities in their lives. After all, they are an important part of the story. Therefore, I strive to make the reader care about what happens in their lives.

She’s also graciously included me in her giveaway, so for another chance to win a copy of my latest book (ebook only), Changeling’s Crown, fill out the form at this rafflecopter link below. Giveaway ends June 20.

 

My stop in a paranormal hotel.

Another freaky Friday is upon us and this time, I have a personal story for you. So, if you’ve poked in here at all the last week you know I recently took a little vacation to North Florida. I was scouting historical locations and information, it’s true, but I also hoped for a little paranormal encounter. On the way home, because a friend who went with us was from there, we stopped by Cedar Key for breakfast. She took us to a pretty little restaurant all decked out in ’50s charm, I had a close encounter with a pelican (well, he was outside my window!)

cedar key pelican

Take my picture, lady!

Meanwhile, sightseeing continued, and my friend pointed out all the little places she loved. One of them was the Island Hotel, an historic hotel built in 1859.

The Island Hotel

A hotel she claimed was haunted. Well, my mom wasn’t having none of that, but after breakfast we begged her convinced her to stop in. Come through the door and around the corner and there’s a phone booth off to the corner. While the innkeeper was telling us how someone stole the phone, mom gasps. I peer into the box to see this fella:

island hotel dummy

We continued through and the innkeeper chatters on telling us about a Civil War soldier’s ghost the guests sometimes see upstairs. Okay, I’m hooked now. :)

Mom eventually found a framed article on the wall that occupied her.

My friend and I settled into the living room while she read. All of a sudden, we hear footsteps in the room with us. (Not from upstairs, mind you, in the room we sat in).

We look around, Mom’s standing still, the woman at the desk is standing still reading her computer. My friend and I look at each other. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Mom says.

My friend smiles in a  “Told ya” kind of way. So we left and Mom took a picture of us on the porch, just for good measure. This guy steps out on the balcony above. Mom pauses and says, “Um, are you real?”

*g* Poor Mom.

Unfortunately, he said yes! But was his the footsteps we heard in the parlor? To spare Mom’s sanity, I’ll say yes, ;) but I’d like to think not. I’d like to think the soldier was checking out the newcomers!

 

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll send my character Caitlin there on vacation and hunting ghosts!

So…how was your weekend?