Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Goodbye, Goodluck, Update

I am sad to see this blog coming to an end. I have enjoyed my bi-monthly posts here as well as reading the posts of the other wonderful authors. New is good, and so is change so I don't see why this can't be a good thing for everyone.

I want to say thank you to CR Moss for creating this blog and inviting us all to be a part of it. And thank you to all the other authors who have made it such a joy to read.

Good luck to all of you, I know you'll put your creative juices to good use outside of this blog.

My last post here was about my construction zone of a kitchen, and so I wanted to update you all on that. It is nearly complete and so awesome! My husband is so very handy and has created a beautiful kitchen for me, just needs the back splash, which he is going to do in black mirror and trim. I think that's it. For the first time in seven years I have a dishwasher, its amazing!

Thank you hubby!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fatal Mistakes

By A.J. Llewellyn

My cherished and adored friend C.R. Moss has decided to close down this blog due to her many other commitments. I am sad on a personal note because I've enjoyed this place to write and exchange ideas with my fellow authors and readers. I came to know C.R. when she came on board eXtasy Books as a new author and sent me some news clippings she'd seen on Hawaii.
She thought they might be useful for my books.
I will never forget that sweet, generous gesture.
So, since I hate goodbyes I feel I should leave this blog with a hello.
Hello to all the new budding authors out there - and the ones who are working up the courage to submit books to publishers.
In the last few weeks I've had a ton of authors ask me to read their work. I do what I can. Many times, they listen to me and get published (ask Marianne Guenon) other times I think they use my photo for dart-board practice.
Mostly, their reactions are somewhere in the middle.
I am often stumped by the presentations I receive - so here is my list of do's and dont's to get all of you published.

1. This should go without saying but even if you are asking for an opinion, send your best sample. Check your spelling, check your storyline and send your BEST work.

TIP: I cannot stress this strongly enough. Dialogue is your friend. Read it out loud How does it sound? Quite often you'll see it's stiff and awkward. Reading aloud is a wonderful tool screenwriters are taught - make it work for you. It easily reshapes a clunky sentence to smooth.

2. Don't use colorful fonts or adorn your submission with twinkling images etc. Making your submission look "pretty" will kill your chances since the reader has to remove this stuff. The prettiest thing you can send an agent/editor/publisher is a decent book.
Most epublishers prefer Book Antiqua in 12" font, in RTF format with no spaces. I read an article two days ago where writers are submitting resumes and cover letters in white font. I mean...really?

3. Read submission guidelines carefully. AND FOLLOW THEM.

4. Don't send out weird gimmicks via snail mail. One author I know sent a single shoe to potential agents and publishers saying she would "go the distance to succeed." What can anyone do with a single shoe but toss it?

5. Don't send bribe gifts, even candy. Editors, agents and publishers are strangers and won't eat the candy. They will toss them out.

6. Don't badger the editor/publisher once you've submitted. They are busy and get slammed. Be patient and start work on the next thing!

7. Think long-term. If you are going to write romance, your story must have a HEA (Happy ever after) or HFN (Happy for Now) and leave room for a sequel. I had no idea my first book Phantom Lover would take off but with 14 books published in the series and a Christmas title in the works, I am glad I observed the forumula.

8. Read. I mean it. Read good authors. It's important to read the best and that doesn't mean you have to read in the genre you choose.

9. If you get a rejection and the editor/publisher takes the time to point out problems and invites you to resub - do it!
This is probably the most difficult decision you will have to make as an author. I always think the writer should be true to the characters. If the suggestions feel really wrong and you feel strongly about NOT reworking the piece, submit it elsewhere.
You night find the next publishing house loves the piece. Great! However, if several companies point out the same problem, it's time to revise.

10. Have fun! Get published and above all WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY. Writing is an instrument, like playing violin or the piano. Keep your instrument sharp.

Good luck and good loving everyone - you have any tips you want to share??

Aloha oe,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

His First Week of Freedom

Last week I told you all that my youngest graduated from high school. I had thought that he would at least wake up a little to realize boyhood is almost over and he has to start looking at the real world with different eyes. Boy was I ever wrong as it looks as if the kid is barricading himself in for the long haul.  That's him playing soccer this past year. Not a bad looking kid if I do say so myself.

Me...I had wanted to get out of my parents house the moment I could. Our oldest wanted to do that as well but he understood it would take him a while. Unfortunately, it took him eight years and I’m not sure we taught him much after eighteen by not making him pay rent. Not that he expected a thing. He didn’t as the oldest always paid his own bills and did his own thing.

Now this youngest one is a lot different. He’s decided that this is his last summer and he’s telling everyone he does not want to grow up. Nope, doesn’t want it in the least. He wants to be able to sleep in, watch TV and play basketball all his life. He is in for such a rude awakening. Sigh.

Just wait until August when I am planning to go to Vienna with his dad. He’ll have to drive, get his own meds as he's type 1 diabetic, get his own food and heaven knows what else. Then again, maybe he’ll just call his older brother who has an incredible soft spot for the boy. We’ll see.

Here’s this week’s writing quote:

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

And isn’t this the true for us writers? There are times when I have so many stories running around in my head, my DH asks me about the voices or which world I’m in. Many times, I just look at him with a funny expression because I don’t even realize I’m doing it at all. LOL!

The funniest time was when I was talking to myself in the car. I forgot the youngest was with me until he started to laugh. I gave him a startled look the moment I realized he was still there. Thank goodness, I wasn’t doing a sex scene. I don’t know who would have been more embarrassed at that point.

See you all next week! Have a great one!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Wishing The Many Shades all the best, but I'm moving on

Hi folks, Erin Sinclair here.  I just wanted to let you know that this post is my last contribution to The Many Shades.  Come summer, I will be in school and heading towards my much cherished degree.  Between day job, school, writing and so forth, I'll be curtailing many of my online commitments due to personal life scheduling.

I have had so much fun participating in my friend, CR Moss' blog.  Thank you so much for reading my thoughts and ramblings!  Don't worry I'll still be around.  Stay tuned for more of me! LOL

I wish the best to everyone!


Erin Sinclair
"For love that's out of this world!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010


By A.J. Llewellyn

It's been said elsewhere that truth is stranger than fiction, but sometimes you can't help appropriating a juicy bit of truth and turning it into fiction and it still seems unbelievable.
Last year, whilst vacationing in Honolulu, a very good friend called me and asked if I would check on her holiday house she was trying to rent out. She was back here on the mainland working but she'd put it on Craigslist hoping to rent it. She was really in bad financial shape.
She had started to receive weird emails from people who'd seen the listing on a military site.
"I'm a bit worried," she said. "I have no idea what this site is. Do you mind stopping by and checking on it for me?"
What happened next is almost unbelievable.
My dad and I had planned to spend the day together so I drove us past the house and we were astonished to see a moving van in the driveway. We jumped out, confronting the people moving in. They insisted they'd just rented the place from a guy in Nigeria.
This is just the latest online scam and one that ended badly for the poor family who'd sent money to the fictional homeowner via Western Union. My friend meanwhile was forced to leave her job in LA, return to Hawaii and keep vigil on her home. Turned out the Nigerian conman had rented out the house to multiple, unsuspecting renters until the FBI put a stop to it.
I was astonished to learn how common it has become.
Scammers scan house rental listings, list them on obscure sites for a much lower rate, and scoop in the money.
They get around the issue of no house key for the new renters by telling them to hire a locksmith and the cost of a new key will be deducted from their next month's rent.
Except that there is no legally binding rental agreement. Just a lot of bad blood.
I've heard of a couple of friends whose exes put their addresses on Craigslist and told people to come and take whatever they want. This too is not uncommon.
When I agreed to pen a book for eXtasy's tarot series and was assigned the Judgement card, I thought this was a good premise for a novel.
I had fun writing The Vendetta, much of which is based on fact. Even the subplot of memorabilia verification.
As far as I can tell, scams exist everywhere these days. It's hard to separate truth from fact.
I think setting up a former lover for theft is heinous. Targeting complete strangers is also rotten. But how audacious to heist a house...and in my story, a Vendetta, which happens to be a valuable guitar.
As I wrote this story, I began to worry about the things that are valuable to me. They happen to be - in order - my animals and my laptop.
All my animals are micro chipped and as of last week, so is my lappy. It now has Lojack. so baby, you can drive my car. You can steal it (but why would you want to??) just don't upload it to the Internet or'll just give me fodder for the sequel.
Aloha oe,

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