Tuesday, October 30, 2012


How fast the weeks go by!

Last week I started a new free online story. This week I'm continuing with the next scene. This is a romantic comedy suspense/mystery that started as an example, then turned into a blog series. I have no idea how long the story will be. I just know I'll keep going for as long as it takes to tell it.

I've removed the Captcha from my blog comments, so it's a lot easier to leave comments now. Please leave a comment, I'm looking forward to spending time with you guys over a quick coffee break read! If you didn't read last week's entry, you can find it HERE.

(C)Monique DeVere 2012

Lord, she was going to die! This oaf knew exactly how to hold her so that he managed to squeeze every molecule of breath from her lungs and prevented any more from re-entering. Even if he hadn’t muzzled her, she wouldn’t have been able to scream anyway.
Spots exploded in her eyes and her head went woozy. This was it — end of her life — end of her hopes, dreams and plans... 
What was she doing giving up like some kind of coward? Hadn’t she had enough of being scared?
Yes, she had.
She just plain had had enough of it all, and she had enough of men like Brutus here. Abusive men who took what they wanted and didn’t care what damage they left behind. She kicked her three-inch heels against his meaty shins as if she was peddling a bike, and she wanted to win the Tour de France.
He swore and shook her. “Stop it, bitch.”
But she wasn’t done with him yet, she reached her hands behind her head and clawed at his face. “Let me go!” That’s what she meant, even if it sounded like muum um muum!
He swore some more as he slammed her against the asphalt with enough force to break bones. Jess didn’t feel anything beyond the satisfaction of knowing she fought back, and if he killed her in this foggy car park on this cold January night, at least she’d collected his DNA under her fingernails. 
He leaned over her and she saw two of him. Man, she must’ve banged her head really hard.
“So you’re a little hell cat, are you? Good thing for you I like hell cats.” His heavy body landed on top of her. “They taste the best.” His breath and fine particles of spittle splattered her face.
His mouth mashed hers, crushing her lips against her clenched teeth. She tasted blood, kicked and scratched at him. She wanted to scream, but daren’t open her mouth in case he decided to stick his disgusting tongue inside. She didn’t think she’d be able to hang onto that chocolate bar she’d eaten half hour ago if he did. Her stomach heaved in protest to his foul breath. He stunk of unwashed male mixed with a pungent chemical scent. A scent that was vaguely familiar yet she couldn’t place.  
Refusing to surrender, she fought him, tried to get her knee high enough between his legs so she could knee him in the groin, but he had her flattened beneath his weight.
“I said quit it!” One large hand closed around her throat, his thumb pressed into her windpipe as he bared his teeth in a sneer. He shook her by her neck. “You can be living or dead...” His other hand pushed roughly between their bodies, his hard knuckled dug into her belly as he worked to unfasten his belt. “It makes no difference to me.”
Her heart pounded. Her eyes stung as though they were about to pop out of her head from the pressure threatening to explode her skull. Her whole body shook uncontrollably. 
Oh, God, he was going to rape and murder her right in the middle of a parking lot and she could do nothing to stop him. Jess clawed at the hand squeezing her throat. 
Tears fuzzed her vision—or was that lack of oxygen? She opened her mouth to scream, but her brain was a bit slow on the uptake and refused to obey. She needed air. She needed to get this man off her. 
She tried to push him away but her arms behaved like cooked spaghetti, her ears rang, and the fuzz to her sight morphed into a blackness that slowly closed in on her.
Lord, don’t let this man kill me, and if he does, let him do it quick!
His mouth crushed down on hers again—cold, wet, and nasty. She strained to turn her face away but he wrenched her back, his slimy tongue licking over her mouth. Jess only vaguely noticed.
Her hands lost strength and fell limply to her sides. Nothing mattered anymore. She was going to die alone, cold and by the hands of a man so disgusting he made her throw up in her mouth.
People say that at the point of death you see your life flashed before you, but that wasn’t what Jess saw. She saw a face. An angel in a Mac, and he was almost too handsome to gaze upon. She tried to reach out to him, to speak to him, thank him for coming to rescue her, but the words wouldn’t come and it was an effort to raise her arm.
Her body went floppy, her world contracted to a pinprick of light. She lost focus and let her eyes close as blackness claimed her.

To Be Continued...

Is this really an angel Jess sees? Is she hallucinating from lack of oxygen? Or is this a real man? You'll have to wait until next week to find out. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear what you think about angels. Do you think they exist? Have you ever seen an angel? How did s/he appear to you?

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts with us.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 28/10/12 ~ More Than Friends #3

I'm posting another Six from More Than Friends, my new sexy romantic comedy--Lily & Justin's friends to lovers romance.   

Mel raised her little finger and wiggled it to demonstrate a limp manhood. “Honestly, I was relieved when he wanted to end things. I don’t know how much longer I could go on pretending it didn’t matter. That I was with him for him. I just wanted sex. Look at him, the man is beyond yummy. It’s just a shame the packaging is all false advertisement.”

Copyright (C) Monique DeVere 2012

Thanks for stopping by to read my Six. Should this have whet your appetite for more, you can purchase More Than Friends from:


Please also check out this week's other participating authors on the official Six Sentence Sunday site HERE.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Let's Talk About: SUBTEXT


Today, I’m talking about subtext. I’ve just started to plan my new Christian romance, which I’ve decided to use NaNoWriMo to write. I’ve never participated in National Novel Writing Month before and I’d like to give it a go this year. But since I promised to focus on building my blog following with interesting topics, I didn’t want to let the week past without posting this week’s Pull Up A Chair entry. Therefore, I’m going to talk quickly about subtext before I rush back to my planning.  
What is Subtext?
Subtext is the deeper meaning to anything a character may say or do when they’re using subtext. You can even use objects as symbols of subtext for specific characters.
Subtext is one of many (I spoke about Deep POV over at Celeste Jones last week) techniques authors use in order to draw the reader into stories, and it’s a clever way to engage the reader on an emotional level. Subtext is subtle, yet we understand it when we encounter it because it’s everywhere.
When using subtext, our characters may act one way when really we know they mean something else. On the other hand, they may say something and mean another thing entirely. 
An example of visual and dialogue subtext would be something like this:
Your character storms into her flat and slams her stuff on the nearest table. (We kinda suspect she’s mad.) This is visual subtext for “I’m hopping mad about something”. 
What if her flatmate ask how her day was and she replies “Great!” This is dialogue subtext because we can discern from her sarcastic tone and actions that her day wasn’t all that great. 
Usually if someone is saying one thing and meaning another, there’s a reason. You can be sure your reader also knows this and she’ll keep reading to discover what’s up with your character and why she’s so angry.
We can convey subtext through vehicles like sarcasm, something implied, metaphors, misinterpretations, double entendres, jest, body language, etc. 
Sometimes writers don’t trust their readers to “get it” and will turn around and knock them over the head with what the character really meant. Try not to do this; you don’t need to explain the dialogue subtext because it will have the opposite effect of involving the reader in your story. Trust your reader to be as clever as you are. She won’t thank you for treating her like a simpleton. 
Subtext creates deeper meaning. It allows us to experience the story rather than simply reading it, so keep an eye out for all the subtext around you and see if you can’t work a little into your scenes this week!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 21/10/12 ~ More Than Friends #2

Being a free spirit I've decided to choose random parts of the story to showcase in six sentences, rather than follow on from the last scene which I posted last Sunday. Meaning, these six sentences are from a different part of the story.

Again, this Sunday's six comes from More Than Friends, my new sexy romantic comedy. It's Lily & Justin's friends to lovers story. 
He held her gaze, fascinated by the reflection of lights in the green depths.
“I’m only asking you to dance with me. Nothing else.”
What a lie! He wanted her in the worse way. He’d have to be dead below the waist to resist the sexy strip-me-naked-dress and do-me red heels.
“Come on, Lil. It’s just a dance...just one.”
Copyright Monique DeVere 2012

Thanks for stopping by to read my Six. Should this have whet your appetite for more, you can purchase More Than Friends from:


Please also check out this week's other participating authors on the official Six Sentence Sunday site HERE.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Help Me Decide

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you would've noticed that I'm not a big talker. I'm a great listener, but not all that in love with talking (I can just hear my beloved scoffing in the background, but ignore him). I'm not referring to a wife's prerogative to talk her husband's ear off the moment he walks in the door, I'm speaking of the extrovert who can strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere. That's not me. I'm a die hard introvert and, as such, I find it incredibly difficult to start conversations. I mean, what on earth do people talk about? I can't just talk about nothing, it has to be something. Which is why (apart from #4of4 fighting Leukaemia for the last three years) this blog lolled a lot!
I want to change that. It's my wish to cultivate a following and grow this blog, but it has to be worth the visit, I'm sure you would agree. So what do I talk about that would be interesting enough to draw readers and not bore me to tears? I've been thinking and puzzling over this problem, and I think I've come up with a plan.

As you would probably have noticed, I've started a "Pull Up A Chair With Mon" series where I talk writing craft. I aim to post a new PUACWM topic each week. As well as this I think I'd like to publicly hang out with my characters. This idea features something similar to character interviews but since I have no patience with these, my characters will be themselves. We'll sit around and chat like friends and you get to be the fly on the wall. What do you think?
Oh, this series will be called "Welcome to Mon's Ville". I'm kinda excited about this and looking forward to seeing how it goes.

That's two plans. The third is that yesterday I was hanging out at Celeste Jones talking about Deep POV and I got a number of positive comments on my example. After thinking about it, I've decided to continue the story and create a blog serialisation story out of it. I'm hoping to post a new part each week. I would even like readers to participate. I believe that could be a lot of fun. The story has no title as yet and I'm not entirely sure whether to simply begin the story from the example point. Since I'm not a fan of long intros, and much prefer my stories to start immediately, I might end up doing just that.

Would you follow this type of blog? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. I'd love feedback on these ideas. :)


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blog Hop: Deep POV

I'm over at Writer Celeste Jones tomorrow talking about Deep Point of View and showing you what I do to achieve deep pov in my books.

Come and join me there, I'd love to hear your thoughts on deep POV. And I'm especially interested in any tips you have to share!

Don't forget, tomorrow Wednesday 17th October at Writer Celeste Jones. Hope to see you there! :) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fast Writer ~ Amy Andrews

I need to beg forgiveness. I started the Fast Writers (FW) series then my 4of4, who was on chemotherapy for Leukaemia got sick and my writing world went south. I'm happy to report that things are now settled and I can begin to refocus my mind on writing, and the biz there of.

So here is a FW I neglected to post.

Without further ado, let me present Any Andrews, another fast writer who was kind enough to share her methods with us.

Welcome, Amy!

Thank you for having me, Monique :-)

Monique: First, I’d love to hear about your writing day in a quick snapshot. Do you have a special time to write? Or do you grab moments whenever you can? I guess I’d like to know how structured you are.

Amy: Writing books is my job so I definitely have a routine. First thing in the morning I check my emails and blogs then take the kids to school. I write for the 6 hours they're away then for a couple more hours in the afternoon after I pick them up. I will also write at night if I'm heading towards a deadline.

Monique: What sort of writer are you? Planner or pantser?

Amy: I fall somewhere in the middle. I do some basic plotting/ characterisation and a basic chapter outline which I rarely refer to but it's my security blanket! And then off I go. The characters and plot however have usually sat in my head for some time - they've been mulling. This is probably one of the most important parts of my process.  Never underestimate mull time I always say!

Monique: Can you tell us a bit about the technique you use to help you to write quickly, and how you developed it?

Amy: I don't know if it's a technique as much as being focused and organised. When I wrote my first book I wrote a chapter a day for ten days. Yes, I wrote my first book in 10 days!!! Long hand. Back in the days before everyone had a PC. It was utterly exhilarating! The book was terrible but the process was awesome and this way of writing has kind of stuck.

Monique: Did you always write this way? Or is your method something you picked up along the way?

Amy: I’ve written this way from the beginning and have adapted it as I’ve gone along and life has gotten busier always trying to stay true to the basic principle of getting it down as fast as possible.  I aim for a chapter in two days now so the story stays cohesive in my brain.

Monique: How many words do you write per hr/writing session?

Amy: I average about 2-3 k/ day although I often do 4-5 and have been known to write 8 k on the rare good day but that is totally exhausting and I WOULD NOT recommend it!

Monique: I can see why :). It sounds exhausting! How many hours per day do you write? And how many days per week?

Amy: At least 6/ day but more like 8-10. I try to only write 5 days a week but often it's more like 6 or 7.

Monique: How quickly can/do you finish a book?

Amy: I can write a 50 k category in about a month depending on my other commitments. I also work part time as a nurse doing night duty so that usually always puts me behind although I can and often do write on nights if it's quiet. I've had a particularly heinous 7 months of deadlines because I got really behind when my mother died half way through last year and my creativity took a massive hit. Since then I have been playing catch up and have written 4 category novels and half of a 90 k single title. But again I wouldn't recommend it!

Monique: So sorry to hear about your mum, Amy. My condolences. Do you know what you're going to write each day before you start your writing sessions? For instance, do you draft the scenes/chapters you’re about to write just before you write them, or do you thoroughly outline before you even start the book (if you’re a planner, that is :)?

Amy: Yes I know what I’m going to write that day before I start – roughly anyway. I always reread what I've written the day before to pick up the thread and just go on from there.

Monique: How do you prevent your internal editor/critic from interrupting?

Amy: You know I really don't have a problem with this. I'm not the kind of writer that will spend hours perfecting a paragraph – I don’t have time for that! I edit as I go and I edit as I reread my previous day’s work but luckily I write pretty clean and never find myself having to do massive self-editing. I've never dumped huge amounts of words or scenes unless it’s been at an editor’s request. I find if I can’t get something quite right I let it go and keep writing and when I come back the next day I seem to know how to fix it – I just needed some time and distance from it. Sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees!

Monique: Ha-ha, I hear that! Do you have any more tips you’d like to share?

Amy: Taking time off in between books is vital. Writing fast may seem like a cool thing but huge word counts are totally exhausting and it's important to refill the well. Read, sleep, go to the movies.

Monique: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to spend time with us here today. We’d love to hear about your new book, would you tell us a bit about it?

Amy: Well I have a few things on the go….. :)

Taming the Tycoon, The Devil and the Deep, and Sister Pact.

Sister Pact is a contemporary women’s fiction that I wrote with my sister is out now in shops in Australia but also at the Kindle store.

Blurb - Two very different sisters. Once inseparable, they have long been estranged after an unimaginable betrayal. After their beloved grandmother -- a game-show addict -- dies, they discover that they have each been left one million pounds in her will. The kicker is that they can only inherit if they participate as a team in a gruelling reality TV program, Endurance Island. They can survive the jungle. They can survive the humiliating challenges. But can they survive each other? about two estranged sister on a reality TV show.





Amy is an award-winning author who has written thirty-one romances for Harlequin Mills and Boon in both the Medical and RIVA/Presents lines. She wrote her first book at the age of twenty-two while unemployed and freezing her butt off in the UK, largely because it involved being able to stay in bed with her electric blanket. One twelve year apprenticeship later she finally got "the call".

To date she's sold over a million books and been translated into thirteen different languages. In 2010 she took out the sexy category in the prestigious Romantic Book of the Year Award affectionately known as the Ruby.

She's recently launched a couple of separate writing ventures with the release of Sister Pact a contemporary women's fiction novel that she wrote with her sister Ros Baxter and was published by Harper Collins Australia as well as the very exciting release of her first category romance with Entangled Publishing, Taming the Tycoon.

In what she euphemistically likes to call her spare time, Amy works part time as a paediatric intensive care nurse and was on the national executive for Romance Writers Of Australia for six years during which time she organised two national conferences and undertook a two year term as president. She's been married for twenty-two years and has two teenagers. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was a Tuscan hillside.

sister book website is – www.sisterlit.com

FB Amy Andrews
FB Sister Book
Twitter - @AmyAndrewsBooks

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 14/10/12 ~ More Than Friends #1

This is my first time participating in Six Sentence Sunday. I'm posting my Six Sentences from my new romantic comedy, More Than Friends. It's a friends to lovers story and Lily, my heroine, has just turned up at the hero's apartment to give him a piece of her mind!

“Open up, ya louse!”

Justin Knight’s apartment door rattled under a hammering fist.

He yanked it open to find Lily Harper—irate and slightly unsteady on her feet—in the hall outside his door. She glowered at him with the indomitable intent of an avenging angel.

Despite the menacing scowl, her emerald eyes were as stunning as he remembered, and his male hormones jerked to life. It was after ten p.m. and she reeked of booze, but the sight of her stalled his breath in his throat.
Copyright Monique DeVere 2012

Thanks for stopping by to read my Six. Should this have whet your appetite for more, you can purchase More Than Friends from:


Note: More Than Friends is on sale at Smashwords for $0.99! SALE HAS ENDED

Please also check out this week's other participating authors on the official Six Sentence Sunday site  HERE.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Self-Editing: the final step

SELF-EDITING: the final step
On Wednesday my friend Celeste Jones wrote a blog entry about the perils of Spell Check. So I thought I’d share my method of editing.

One thing I’ve noticed about the Indie publishing world is the stick some of its authors get for bad editing in their books. I can see how this can happen, but let’s not forget that the Big Six also put out books with mistakes! Only last night, while reading a novel from a big-name author—one of my favs—I came across a few mistakes in her book. Things like though when she meant thought and closest when she meant closet. There was another one, but it slips my mind at present. The point is, nobody is perfect, and whilst we would all like to put out pristine books, that often isn’t the case.
However, we can do a few things to ensure we put out the very best final draft we can.  As Indie authors, we have to work harder because unfortunately, we have something to prove. After all, some people think only writers who can’t get book contracts go ahead and settle for the Indie route. When, in actuality, the smart authors take this option.
The very fact that tons of traditionally published authors—of which I’m one—now publish their own work is solid proof that this is the way of the future. Much like when we moved from vinyl to CDs, from VHS to DVDs & from print books to eBooks. The world is going digital and we’d be stupid not to grab a slice of the pie while we can.
I suspect that publishers will soon wise up and include some kind of clause in their author contracts, preventing signed authors from Indie publishing any of their work—whether under a different name or not—while under contract with that publishing house. I’m thinking they will come up with some way to tie contracted authors hands, and hem them in with longer contract years. Or traditional publishing will be outdated in no time.
I digress.
Let’s get back to editing.
First, I’m going to suggest you hook up with at least a couple of good, eagle-eyed critique partners (CPs). I can’t stress how important this is for any writer who is thinking of taking the Indie publishing route. Even big-named authors have several CPs!
Then I’m going to presume you already know the fundamentals of writing and editing. Things like looking for repeated words and repetition, coincidences, too many speech tags, info dumps, point of view (POV) slips, tense slips, too much telling—some telling is necessary and adds to the story, but too much distances the reader.
Okay, you’ve edited for structure, style, grammar and spelling, pacing, goal, motivation & conflict (GMC),character/story arc and all the rest. You’ve read and re-read the MS until you know every word. You’ve even printed it off, and read it from hard copy, because you realised that your mind has played a little trick on you and made you think you saw exactly what you expected to see on those pages. Every line of your pristine MS says precisely what you intended it to say, right?
You now consider your book to be ready.
But wait, there’s one thing you forgot.
You forgot to read it aloud.
Oh, you did that too? Sorry, I meant to say, you forgot to have it read aloud to you!
I learned this trick long ago. You can read your MS aloud and still miss problems. I’ve found that when you get your computer/laptop to read your story aloud, you are far more likely to catch problems with the story. Anything from misused words, to sentences that go nowhere, to story and sentence structure.
When we listen, we engage the left hemisphere of our brains, which is the same part we use when editing. The right hemisphere is our creative side and the left is our logical, analytical side. With our analytical minds engaged, we are able to take a step back from our work and judge it with a critical eye. Enabling better editing.
The excellent bit is, if you own one of the Kindle series that has the text-to-speech function, all you need to do is email your Word doc to your Kindle email addy, and it’ll be sent directly to your Kindle.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Now all you have to do is make yourself a hot drink, and listen with a critical ear. You now get to hear how your book sounds to the reader.
I would love to hear your final editing step. The one you take just before you hit the upload button! Please share with us by leaving a comment below.
Thanks :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Come Join Me!

I'm in the smokin' author spotlight over at Sister Scribbler today! Please pop over and keep me company. Don't forget to leave a comment so I know you came to visit!

As a reward, I'll be giving away a FREE copy of my sexy new romantic comedy--MORE THAN FRIENDS--to one random commenter!!


Monday, October 8, 2012

More Than Friends--A Sexy Romantic Comedy

Good Monday morning!

Hope you had a lovely weekend, because mine was flat-out wonderful!

Why is that, you ask?

Because my new Romantic Comedy, More Than Friends, was released this weekend. I'm so juiced about this new road I've taken. As a few of you know, for a very long time I stood at a career crossroads trying to decide which road to take.

I had faith that I would eventually choose the right road, but still I neglected to do one crucial thing--take a step! I'm glad I finally moved my feet, (faith without works is dead James 2:20 NKJV) because this road is amazing. The scenery is breath-taking and the sun seems a lot brighter here. The skies are so clear and so azure that I don't think a single dark cloud has ever marred them. And there's definitely no sign of that awful black cloud that I found myself walking under for the last few years.

In case I lost you somewhere up there, I'm not really talking about roads, but following your dreams. And my dream was to become an Indie publisher. I know a lot of writers don't understand why an author would want to go it alone when--if she has any talent--she can grab an agent who will snag her an eye-popping fab publishing deal and all she has to do is sit back, write, have someone approve and publish what she writes, then repeat.

I am also aware that some of the "big" authors believe Indie publishing is for untalented writers who would never make it as authors if they didn't publish their work themselves. They imagine these books are substandard and unworthy of reading.  This is so far from the truth, it isn't funny, but it makes me laugh anyway, because I don't think I have ever read a book by any big author published with major publishing houses that didn't contain mistakes, typos, name changes etc.

I've found lots of amazing books which were published by talented Indie authors who had the foresight to cut out the middle men. Why split you pot of gold when you can keep it for yourself?

Lots of writers prefer to write for a publisher, but I never did. I like having control of every aspect of my work, and I thank God that He keeps adding to my talents. I thank Him, too, that I finally got the confidence to go it alone and start on the Indie Publishing road.

My new Romantic Comedy is the beginning of a marvelous journey which I intend to continue. I'm no longer targeting Mills & Boon, but will concentrate on writing what I should have been writing long ago--romantic comedy, mystery suspense. So watch this space!

I'd like to introduce More Than Friends, a friends to lovers romance about colliding loyalties. It's a story I thoroughly enjoyed writing and publishing.

She just broke the Best Friends’ Code of Honour!
What do you do when your best friend’s fella dumps her?
You get drunk, catch a cab to his place, offer to bop him on the nose, then... sleep with him?
Lily Harper should have taken her secret attraction to Justin Knight into consideration before rushing to his swanky apartment. Now she’s caught in a dilemma. Lose her best friend, or the out-of-this-world sexy guy who could be The One.
Justin fell for Lily almost from the moment he met her, but she was with someone else and he'd  just started seeing her best friend. Now Lily is available, and so is he, only, he isn’t having much luck making her see that sometimes when loyalties collide, a girl has to choose love! 

“The fact of the matter is—” he nuzzled her ear “—I’m going to kiss you and every guy in this place is going to go wild with envy because I’m the lucky sod who gets to do it.”
Lily sucked in a breath, missed a step. He was making love to her, disguised as a dance. People were beginning to take an interest.  He’d made her a spectacle.
“Justin, people are watching.”
“Sweetheart, that’s nothing new, they’ve been riveted from the moment you first walked in the room.”
“Are you sweet talking me?”
He pulled back, his gaze darkening.  “Only if it’s working.” While his hand caressed her back where the dressed dipped, he stroked his other thumb against her palm.
Goose bumps raised her flesh. Oh, it was working. That and the off-the-wall chemistry between them. Every part of her craved his touch.
He turned her, dipped his head, and took the kiss he’d warned her he was going to take. It was as if everything stood still, the room, the hum of conversation, the mellow music, Lily’s heart—everything.

You can purchase More Than Friends from:

Amazon, AmazonUK, Kobo, Smashwords