And the double prize winner is…..

 

 

prize

 

Katrina Epperson! Congrats! You’ve won the Mentink/Sleeman book prize package! Please send me your address through my website at http://www.danamentink.com or Facebook and we’ll mail along the treats! Thanks to all who participated!

Throwback Thursday, Double Prize Day: Author Susan Sleeman recalls a writing blooper!

It’s a DOUBLE PRIZE PACKAGE day!

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I am honored to have fellow author Susan Sleeman here for Throwback Thursday! She’s going to share a blurb from her amazing new suspense and an embarassing moment from her early writing days. At the end of the day we’ll pick a winner to receive a double prize pack of Susan’s book and mine. Comments also get you entered in the November drawing, of course, so it’s a bonus day!

Silent Night Standoff
HOSTAGE SITUATION
When armed robbers strike her bank, hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan’s life is on the line. Rescue comes from the last person she thought she could count on—the ex-boyfriend who chose his job over their relationship.

FBI agent Logan Hunter knows how much is resting on this case. The promotion of his dreams…and the safety of the woman he’s never been able to forget. But when an unexpected twist in the case pulls Logan in two separate directions, he’ll have to make an impossible choice. Will he manage to have it all by Christmas—a career and love—or will he lose them both?

Just thinking back on my early days of writing has brought a lot of smiles to my face. And made me cringe at my ignorance of how to write a book and about the writing business in general. But, trust me, you don’t want to hear about all of that. Instead, let me share a funny story. I turned one of my early manuscripts into my editor and naively trusted that spell check would catch my spelling errors. But to my utter surprise and dismay, I soon learned I had the heroine of the story going to the panty to get peanut butter. Oops. Messy for sure and not something I want in a book. Thankfully, my daughter caught the error and my editor didn’t laugh too hard. Since then, I have come to realize mistakes like this happen more often than authors like to think and actually make it into published books.

Have you ever seen something like this when reading? If so, share it in the comments section without giving away the author’s name if you know it. Don’t want to embarrass them. I’d love a good laugh.

Would you rather be an Agatha Christie or a Nora Roberts?

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I love those ‘would you rather’ questions, don’t you? So here’s a good one for you. If you had to choose only ONE of these two possibilities, would you rather be a romance writer or a mystery writer?

Oh the agony! I’ve been both. I started my career as a cozy mystery writer and boy oh boy did I love it. The downside of mystery writing? Mystery readers are REALLY SAVVY! They’re looking for that twist, that trick, the red herring if you will, and they are EXTREMELY hard to surprise! It’s a rare thing when a reader would email to tell me she didn’t guess who did it. On the plus side, writing a “who done it” or a “how did they do it” is a blast and requires talent with an extra side of creativity!

But then there’s romance. Personally, I believe every truly great story has some element of love in it. The challenge in writing romance is to provide a fresh twist on done to death themes. We know who is going to wind up together by the end of chapter one. We know the hero and heroine are going to get that “happily ever after” moment. The challenge to being a romance writer is in the creation of characters and situations fresh and new. It’s a great challenge, requiring talent, a willingness to look deeply at the human psyche and an extra side of creativity!

So if I had to pick one, would I write mysteries or romances? Errrgh, acck, arrgh! I would choose romance because people are endlessly fascinating, particularly when it comes to relationships. (However, since I write romantic suspense, I can totally weave in that wee little thread of mystery now can’t I?)

So if you could ONLY choose ONE, would you write (or read) mysteries or romance? Giving away a Barnes and Noble gift card, a signed book and a fall surprise on November 30th! Post to the blog to enter.

Can this quiz guess your accent correctly?

happy book

 

Dialect and accent are  important parts of a story for both writers and readers. Dialect is the form of language specific to a particular region. (It’s the reason some folks say “pop” and some say “soda.”)  It’s also colored by those nifty accents. Writers strive to recreate authentic dialect in our stories and you, the reader, imagine the accent in your mind. It’s a tricky balance because laying on the dialect with too heavy a hand, or writing out the dialogue with accents in place, can make the book hard to follow. For example…”Vere is de vonderful veisswurst vich Mama has cooked up in de kitchen?” Errgh. Too cliched and hard to follow. A whole novel of that would drive a reader crazy! There should be just a hint of dialect, a sprinkling in of regional words so the reader can imagine the character’s accent. Less is more when it comes to dialect and accent.

Do you have an accent? Here’s a quiz you can take which is supposed to pinpoint the region in which you live. (Disclaimer, it’s only applicable to American accents.) Would love to hear if the quiz was able to identify your region! Giving away a triple prize this month! 

http://upopin.com/type-american-accent-quiz/

Throwback Thursday…in which an author goes batty!

 

 

Race to Rescue, cover

I believe in the motto, “write what you WANT to know.” By that I mean, delve into something that fascinates you and you will find an element for a story. Case in point, Race to Rescue, published back in the ancient era of 2009. What fascinated me back then? The desert and its creatures, specifically, bats. Certain types of bats, as I learned, follow the trail of desert cactus as they bloom. They are a vitally important animal for keeping down the insect population and helping to pollinate. They’re also struggling to survive on this hostile planet. Since I was fascinated, so was my protagonist who was a bat researcher, of course. Here’s the blurb.

 “Help…murder.”

Those were her brother’s last words before their phone connection was lost. So Anita Teel rushes to Arizona to find her only relative right away. But no one–from his employer to the police–will take her seriously. Except for Booker Scott, the hardened rancher whose heart she broke. Now, Anita has no choice but to put her fragile trust in Booker once again. As they race across the deadly desert, the rescue mission becomes a test–a challenge to see if they can overcome their pride, and their past, in time to save her brother’s life.
http://www.amazon.com/Race-Rescue-Love-Inspired-Suspense-ebook/dp/B002HJ1X30/ref=sr_1_30?ie=UTF8&qid=1415720419&sr=8-30&keywords=dana+mentink

 

So what fascinates you? What places, creatures, hobbies or topics make you sit up and take notice? Would love to hear your thoughts! Posts get you entered in the November drawing. 

 

Would you rather….? Three questions for avid readers/writers.

 

Cornucopia

 

It’s fun to consider those “would you rather” question games that pop up on the internet. Would I rather go back in time 100 years or shoot forward one century into the future? Hmmm. Thought provoking. Makes me want to propose a few questions that pertain to my favorite passion…books!

1. Would you rather read/write series or stand alones? As a reader, it’s hard to pass up a good series, isn’t it? You’ve already invested time in the author and characters so it’s great to beeline right for the author’s next work. As a writer, I’m torn. Yes, series work enables the writer to have a world set in place and characters to build on, but sometimes, I’m ready to explore a new setting and family of characters before I get to that fourth book in the series. Dilemma!

2. Would you rather choose an ebook or a print book? Print, of course. I crave that visceral sensation of turning pages and easily rereading a section. Plus I have a terrible habit of reading multiple books at once and I like to thumb through the pages to refresh my memory. As a writer, most of my print books automatically come out as ebooks but I’ve written a few ebook exclusives. Love the creative control, love the process of consulting on the cover, and love the royalties which are a much higher percentage on an ebook.

3.  Last question…if you could only choose one, would you reread an old favorite, or pick up a book unknown to you? So if I’m stranded on a deserted island or something, I’m probably going to choose an old favorite, something meaty and gorgeous like Tolkien, rather than risk being stuck with a book that bores me. Good thing I always travel with multiple books crammed in my car, purse, bag, etc.

Your turn! Would you rather read series/stand alones? Would you rather choose an ebook or print? Would you rather reread and old favorite or pick up an unknown book?  Would love to hear your responses to any of these, blog friends! This month, I’m giving away a signed book, a Barnes and Noble gift card and a fall surprise!

Quiz time…what type of candy are you?

 

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I have an occupational hazard. I’m a writer which means I spend most of the time sitting on my cupcakes, pounding on the keyboard. Not exactly an aerobic workout. My other problem is, when a deadline looms, I’m STRESSED and you know what that spells backward…yup! Desserts! Personally, I never met a candy I didn’t like (except for marzipan and I’m not convinced that classifies as a candy.)

As the holidays roll toward me, I am tempted by the dazzling array of holiday sweets coming my way along with the deadlines. I thought I’d indulge in some sugar free fun by posting this “candy personality” quiz. Hop online and take it. Post your response and you’re entered in the November triple prize drawing!

 

http://www.tootsie.com/what-candy-are-you/

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