For writers who are stuck.

There will be many trials and many errors.There will be many failed attempts.Many experiments will go wrong, while some go nowhere at all.There will be false positives and silver linings.Frustration and hours of dullness and darkness will prevail, for a time.There will be lonely, listless days and electric, sleepless nights.Stay authentic, whatever you do.Don't write … Continue reading For writers who are stuck.

Meet the Hero: Robin

Meet Robin Photo by William Carlson. Courtesy of Unsplash. Full Name: Robin Watkins Featured in: The Red Pearl by C.K. Brooke From: Innía, Otlantica, World of Jordinia Status: Adventurer on a treasure hunt Distinguishing characteristics: Auburn hair and beard, blue eyes.  Has a black dog, Maverick, that goes with him everywhere. Motivations: Chasing down his … Continue reading Meet the Hero: Robin

Meet the Hero: Miers

Meet Miers Full Name: Commander Miers Redding Featured in: Commanding His Heart by C.K. Brooke From: New Haven, Connecticut. Post-Revolutionary War 1780s Status: Commander in the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War Distinguishing characteristics: Tall. Dark curls; gentle, patient, slightly distracted demeanor. Motivations: Rescuing the innocent and protecting those he loves. Miers’ Story:A goodhearted Quaker … Continue reading Meet the Hero: Miers

Meet the Hero: James

Meet James Full Name: Captain James Morrow Featured in: Capturing the Captain by C.K. Brooke From: Outer Hebrides, Scotland in 1720Status: Privateer, pirate catcher. Captain of The Indomitable Distinguishing characteristics: Muscular, broad shouldered, shaved head with a scar going up the side. Motivations: Atonement, the quest for freedom and pardon for himself and his shipmates. … Continue reading Meet the Hero: James

Meet the Heroine: Shell

Meet Shell Photo by Emily Goodhart. Courtesy of Unsplash. Full Name: Roshelle Featured in: Shell: A YA Mermaid Short Story by C.K. Brooke From: Eastern shore, Maryland Status: Middle school student Distinguishing characteristics: Beachy blonde hair, an alleged “skin condition,” according to her mom, that prevents her from submerging in water. Motivations: The sea…it beckons … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Shell

Meet the Heroine: Lori

Meet Lori Photo by Karoline Soares. Courtesy of Unsplash. Full Name: Lorileen Masters Featured in: Fool Moon by C.K. Brooke From: Cree Status: Daughter of an orchardist Distinguishing characteristics: Long dark hair that she wears in a braid. Was cursed by a wicked witch and now sees ghostly shades. Motivations: A normal life. Freedom from … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Lori

Meet the (Anti-)Heroine: Tàlia

Meet Tàlia From: The Kingdom of Dorsett Featured in: The Golden Dove by C.K. Brooke Status: Crown Princess of Dorsett Distinguishing characteristics: Slight, blonde, ill-tempered and intimidating Motivations: Preserving her crown and her kingdom the way she likes them, and keeping subordinates in their place. Tàlia’s StoryPrincess Tàlia is perhaps the most despised person in … Continue reading Meet the (Anti-)Heroine: Tàlia

Meet the Heroine: Guinevere

Meet Guinevere Full Name: Guinevere Pendrakon From: Camylot Featured in: I, Guinevere by C.K. Brooke Status: Queen-to-be of Camylot Distinguishing characteristics: Long blond hair; has a special, innate connection to the sword, Exkalibur Motivations: Fighting for the ones she cares about, becoming the queen her kingdom needs. Guinevere’s StoryOn the winter solstice, a mysterious sword … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Guinevere

Meet the Heroine: Artemis

Meet Artemis Full Name: Artemis From: Mt. Olympus and the island of Crete, Ancient Greece Featured in: Secrets of Artemis by C.K. Brooke Status: Olympian Goddess, Daughter of Zeus Distinguishing characteristics: Always carries a bow and arrow; expert hunter. Short dark hair; eternally youthful. Motivations: Discovering her own sense of identity and purpose as a … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Artemis

Repost: Handling the touchy topic of feminism in historicals

The following is a repost of a guest article I wrote for Jennifer M. Eaton's blog in December 2016, originally entitled "Handling historical attitudes in a millennial feminist world":Make no mistake, I consider myself a Feminist. I’m not old enough to have fought for it; I was simply fortunate enough to have been born into … Continue reading Repost: Handling the touchy topic of feminism in historicals

Why enemies-to-lovers is my favorite romance trope

Let's clear up one thing first: "trope" is not a bad word. Neither is it an insult. A trope, for the purposes of this post, is a common theme or archetype that frequently appears in stories. The 'damsel in distress' has historically been a popular trope in storytelling - albeit, one that's losing significant steam … Continue reading Why enemies-to-lovers is my favorite romance trope

Why Prophecy is the laziest literary device

I'll never forget waiting three years between releases of the fourth and fifth Harry Potter novels. Rumor had it, we were finally going to find out WHY the evil Lord Voldemort had tried to kill innocent Harry as a baby. That was the crux of the whole series, wasn't it? The morning of Order of the … Continue reading Why Prophecy is the laziest literary device

Meet the Heroine: Lucie

Meet Lucie Photo by Alice Alinari. Courtesy of Unsplash. Full Name: Luccia Camerlane From: Backshore, Tybiria, East Halvea Featured in: The Wrong Prince by C.K. Brooke Status: Baron of Backshore’s daughter Distinguishing characteristics: Heppestonian heritage, soulful eyes, always wears an amethyst pendant from her late mother. Motivations: Compassion for others and doing what’s right Lucie’s StoryLucie … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Lucie

Mailbag: Suggestions for writing action scenes

I recently received this email from fellow Michigan writer, Jaclyn E. Dunlop. She had a very good question: Jaclyn's Email: Hey. Do you have any suggestions on how to write a combat scene? ...My main character is fighting a dragon to prove her worth, and I'm not sure how to go about it. C.K.'s Response:The … Continue reading Mailbag: Suggestions for writing action scenes

What inspires my stories?

When I sit down to brainstorm or outline a new book, I always start with one question: What intrigues me?Reconnecting with my younger self, I recall the stories, secrets, mysteries, and phenomena that once sparked a burning curiosity within my adolescent mind. What was forbidden and what was taboo? What was sneaky and tempting and … Continue reading What inspires my stories?

Meet the Heroine: Antonia

Meet Antonia Photo by Nathan Dumlao. Courtesy of Unsplash. Full Name: Antonia Serafina Korelli From: Innía, World of Jordinia Featured in: The Red Pearl by C.K. Brooke Status: Runaway priestess-in-training Distinguishing characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyes, a doll-like appearance. Scar on her shoulder. Admirably brave in most cases—except when it comes to her debilitating fear … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Antonia

Meet the Heroine: Em

Meet Em Photography by Kenny Luo. Courtesy of Unsplash. Full Name: Emeline Winthrop Featured in: Commanding His Heart: American Pirate Romances #2 by C.K. Brooke Era: 1785, Post-Revolutionary U.S. From: Jamestown, Virginia Status: Farmer’s daughter. Industrious maker of cheese & soap. Distinguishing characteristics: Long, raven hair; hopeless romantic Motivations: A happy future. She refuses to … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Em

Meet the Narrator: Mary Lehnert

Mary Lehnert is the narrator of The Golden Dove audio book. Today we'll learn a little more about her. Thanks, Mary! Born and educated in North Yorkshire, England, Mary now is an American citizen having traveled worldwide with her husband's job in the oil industry. She loved romance in her youth, living vicariously through all … Continue reading Meet the Narrator: Mary Lehnert

Meet the Heroine: Abi

It’s time for our very first #WriterWednesday! We’re ringing in the New Year with my #MeetTheHeroine series. For the next 15 weeks on my blog, I’ll be featuring a heroine from one of my books, every Wednesday. Let’s dive in with our first heroine from my pirate romance novel, Capturing the Captain: Meet Abi Photography … Continue reading Meet the Heroine: Abi

Editor’s Review: Cursed: The Hunter Inside, Part 1 by Casey M. Millette

*I was the editor of this novel for The Parliament House Press. Cursed: The Hunter Inside, Part 1 (The Parliament House Press, 2018) by Casey M. Millette is my favorite debut epic fantasy novel to date. I am not saying that because I happened to be the editor of this fantastic novel. Nor am I saying … Continue reading Editor’s Review: Cursed: The Hunter Inside, Part 1 by Casey M. Millette

DNF: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

*DNF at 40% RoseBlood by A.G. Howard (Amulet Books, 2017) is a YA urban fantasy novel inspired by Gaston Lereux's classic novel and the opera of the same name, The Phantom of the Opera. I enjoyed the author's debut, the Alice in Wonderland retelling entitled Splintered, even though at times the second through third acts became overwritten. … Continue reading DNF: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

DNF: Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

DNF at 50% Because I so loved the author’s debut novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, I picked up Looking For Me (Penguin, 2013) by Beth Hoffman on my Kindle. Looking For Me was a different story and writing style than CeeCee. The narrator, Teddie Overman, is an adult woman (as opposed to the adolescent CeeCee), and the … Continue reading DNF: Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

DNF: The Grift of the Magi (A Heist Society Novella) by Ally Carter

DNF at 75% The Grift of the Magi is a holiday-themed Heist Society novella eBook, written and published by Ally Carter via NLA Digital LLC in 2016. Our series' heroine, Kat Bishop, has established herself as a thief who re-steals valuable artwork and returns it to its rightful owners. The latest item she must steal … Continue reading DNF: The Grift of the Magi (A Heist Society Novella) by Ally Carter

On Writing

Some days, it's easier to be anything but a writer. It's easier to applaud others' accomplishments than to put our own stuff out there. It's safer to read someone else's work than to painstakingly compose our own, then release it and let it be rejected, criticized, or worst of all, totally ignored. It's easier just … Continue reading On Writing

How Many “Master Plots” Have I Written?

I'm looking at a fascinating book for writers called 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias (here's the link on Amazon). While scrolling through the table of contents, I realized I've used some of these themes, and thought it would be fun to list them here on my blog. The ones I … Continue reading How Many “Master Plots” Have I Written?