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Read-a-long with the author: Cupcakes (Etc) – Chapter One

September 10, 2014

N.B.: I’ve made this post sticky, so you can start with Chapter One here and follow the links at the bottom to the other chapters. If you scroll down, the posts appear newest first – opposite to the chapter order – as I post them.

Okay! I know I said I wouldn’t start reading Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic until today, but I cheated a little and read ahead yesterday so I could blog this morning. I tweeted my fav quotes as I came upon them, but I’ll share a digest below as well.

Cupcakes _2nd book cover

WARNING: I assume there may be spoilers in the comments – because this is hopefully going to be a discussion – but I’ll try to keep my main post pretty spoiler free. Though, as the chapters progress, I’m sure that will change.

I absolutely love the opening line for the book/series. I believe I’ve managed to nail genre and tone in a single line. This line came to me as I was writing the very first draft of Cupcakes (Etc), and served as a launching point for the entire book, which was super cool. Whereas the opening lines for Trinkets (Etc) and Treasures (Etc) had to be honed much more. Especially the opening of Trinkets, but more on that later :)

The vampire stood at the door to my bakery.

The next line that stood out to me as I was reading – for what must be the tenth or more time – is a long time favourite, and if you’ve ever received an email from me you already know I use this as my signature. Again, this line really encapsulates the tone I was going for with Jade – I adore writing Jade.

The customer looked familiar, like maybe he’d been in the bakery a few times before. The vampire, however, was new.

The next bit jumped out at me, and I’m not sure that it had ever really stood out before. Perhaps after writing three (and a half) books from Jade’s POV I really recognized this section as really, truly her. This is Jade in two sentences – an observation and a … well … ill-informed follow-up?

The vampire was gone.

I was nowhere stupid enough to step out onto the sidewalk to look for him … okay, maybe a quick peek.

I thought there was some great interaction between Sienna and Jade in this chapter as well, but I wasn’t compelled to highlight any of it. Some readers wonder about the relationship between the two sisters and why Jade reacts/acts as she does when it comes to her family. I would encourage them to look closer at these sections in the very first chapter. Sometimes, we’re guilty of reading for plot instead of character – I know that’s pretty much all I read for the first time I gobble up a book – but if you read between the lines here, I think Jade’s decisions/actions to come, and her loyal love for one of the ONLY family members she has, might become more clear.

What are your thoughts on the first chapter?

I’m going to pin this post and link the other chapters back to it … I hope …

Read-a-long with the author:

Chapter One – above

Chapter Two

Read-a-long with the author: Cupcakes (Etc) – Chapter Four

September 11, 2014

Okay! My thoughts on chapter three of  Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic. I tweeted my fav quotes as I came upon them, but I’ll share a digest below as well.

Cupcakes _2nd book cover

WARNING: I assume there may be spoilers in the comments – because this is hopefully going to be a discussion – but I’ll try to keep my main post pretty spoiler free. Though, as the chapters progress, I’m sure that will change.

HUDSON … HUDSON … HUDSON!

OMG, Hudson. Sigh.

But first Jade:

 … I batted at the phone with my foot, but the screen didn’t recognize my toes’ right to shut off the alarm.

And Kandy :)

“Yes. Your magic is tasty.” This time the wolf did show her teeth when she smiled. I thought that might indicate the conversation was moving in the wrong direction … the woman-eating direction, and not the good kind.

Then Hudson!

Out of the corner of my eye, as I hung my head upside down, I watched him spread his long fingers palm down on the mat by his feet. He reached easily ten inches across — with each hand — and I desperately tried to block the image of those hands across twenty inches of my body.

And again:

“Ah, but you’re the one who already wouldn’t agree to firsts without lasts,” he said. Ever so lightly, he touched the small of my back to direct me up the street toward Whole Foods. “And by lasts, you meant forever, didn’t you? Wolves, you will find, understand all about forevers.”

And again.

 “Kandy will watch over you while I’m gone. I’d like to take you to dinner.”

“You’re guarding me?”

“Kandy is guarding you. I’m attempting to date you.”

No wonder Jade swooned for him so hard!

What are your thoughts on the fourth chapter?

Read-a-long with the author:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four – above

Chapter Five – to be linked

Read-a-long with the author: Cupcakes (Etc) – Chapter Three

September 11, 2014

Okay! My thoughts on chapter three of  Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic. I tweeted my fav quotes as I came upon them, but I’ll share a digest below as well.

Cupcakes _2nd book cover

WARNING: I assume there may be spoilers in the comments – because this is hopefully going to be a discussion – but I’ll try to keep my main post pretty spoiler free. Though, as the chapters progress, I’m sure that will change.

Dancing and wild magic and Hudson. Oh, Hudson, Hudson.

I wanted to press myself against him. I wanted to taste him with my actual mouth, not just my magical senses. I wanted a different kind of build and release, but that wasn’t how I played this game.

Everyone knew that witches didn’t run with wolves.

Noooo!!! Why does Jade have to be to moral … and, reading into her actions here, why is she so scared of magic, specifically her own?

And then HIM. It’s interesting to me that some readers finish book one having leaped to the conclusion that Desmond/McGrowly is “typically” gorgeous and gruff. In my mind he’s not. He truly scares Jade. That should tell you a lot about her (especially as the books progress).

But Jade can’t ever admit anything completely straight-up, can she? Not early in the first book – LOL

I was pretty sure he was going to eat me, but only after he played with me for a while. And not in a satiating, mutual bliss sort of way. This one liked to hunt, and he kept what he killed.

And, just when you think the rest of Jade’s night is going to be smooth sailing, the vampire shows up again. Damn, vampire.

I was becoming uncomfortably aware of the yawning darkness of the vampire-filled night behind me. Okay, so it was just one vampire. He was one too many.

What are your thoughts on the third chapter?

Read-a-long with the author:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three – above

Chapter Four

Read-a-long with the author: Cupcakes (Etc) – Chapter Two

September 11, 2014

Okay! My thoughts on chapter two of  Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic. I tweeted my fav quotes as I came upon them, but I’ll share a digest below as well.

Cupcakes _2nd book cover

WARNING: I assume there may be spoilers in the comments – because this is hopefully going to be a discussion – but I’ll try to keep my main post pretty spoiler free. Though, as the chapters progress, I’m sure that will change.

Side note: I’ve noticed as I do these blog posts that I’m obviously I’m fixating on Jade as I read rather than the plot, but that’s cool. Since this exercise is about getting me back in Jade’s head before I tackle Dowser 4 again, it’s good that she is grabbing my attention.

If you have thoughts/questions about the plot though, let me know :)

Okay, so … reading between the lines (at this point) Jade is surrounded by dysfunctional relationships. She has her head deep in the sand about it, though. On a personal note, Jade is a lot like me in this instance – loyal to a fault and willing to give and give …

Jade’s break-up with an ex-boyfriend is cast as a joke here, but this simple passage could really be read into if you were so inclined.

It had been an expensive lesson. Don’t break up with people when they’re in your home and holding onto fragile, expensive stuff.

The second section that stood out for me was a conversation between Rusty and Jade. She just has such an amusing way of distancing herself from things that utterly terrify her … sarcasm – and chocolate – are her coping mechanisms.

“I’d prefer to not be bitten at all, rather than just have my death avenged.”

“Right. Well, if he was crazy, there’d be bodies everywhere.”

Oh, that was comforting. Insane vampires were slaughtering fiends. Since I hadn’t noticed anyone dead, I must be first on his list.

I absolutely adore the entire scene in the club bathroom – is it okay to love a scene I’ve written so much? Jade is certainly nothing like the vampire expected her to be.

“I thought you weren’t going to bite me tonight,” I said, pleased that my voice sounded much calmer than my mind.

He tilted his head and gazed at my neck … actually, at my carotid artery. My pulse sped up; I was surprised it could get any higher.

“I wasn’t,” he murmured.

“Well, watching my blood move through my veins isn’t going to be helpful, then.”

And this:

Well, that was terribly flattering news. I’d always wanted to feel odd.

And add Sienna to the mix:

“And you were … what? Giving him a blow job in the bathroom stall?”

“Yes, Sienna. I was giving a vampire a blow job, because that’s all vamps really want from a girl.”

What are your thoughts on the second chapter?

Read-a-long with the author:

Chapter One

Chapter Two – above

Chapter Three

A read-a-long with the author: Cupcakes (Etc)

September 8, 2014

I’m about to send The Oracle #1 off to the editor – yay – and dig back into writing Dowser #4. Yes, I have titles for both of those books and I will release them soon as well.

During the next couple of weeks as I write Dowser #4 I’m going to be doing some fun things that I thought you might like to know about and/or participate in.

Starting Wednesday, I’m reading through the first three Dowser books. I’ll download them on my iPad,  sit down, and actually read them as if I was … well, a reader. I’ll share my favourite quotes and thoughts about certain sections as I read. Perhaps you will have questions yourself? Or favourite quotes to share?

I’ll start a new post here on the blog and a new thread on my Facebook page for each book as I read.

I’m expecting to start Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic on Wednesday. The ebook is perma-free everywhere if you haven’t grabbed it yet (links on the book page). I’m a fast reader, so I expect to have it done in a day, barring any other work that needs my attention. Then I’ll read Trinkets (Etc) and then Treasures (Etc).

The second thing I’m going to be doing is testing some new cupcakes – specifically with some wild blackberries I picked the other day. It has been suggested that my readers may want to participate in this process and perhaps even come up with a name or two, so we will do that as well :)

Third, and most importantly because Jade needs new chocolate for Dowser 4, I will be test tasting these:

chocolates bars for Doswer 4

I know I’m such a martyr for my craft. Yes – if you didn’t already know it from my Facebook post – I went a little crazy and dented my credit card pretty hard at Xocolat right before we moved. Did I mention we just picked up and moved to Salt Spring Island? No? Well, we did. It’s an adventure (more on that later).

I will select a chocolate bar a day … or two or three a day if I run into something I don’t like enough to eat plain (I bake with any chocolate I don’t love enough to just eat). I’ll share the bar and my tasting notes on Facebook and do a digest version here.

Fun, yes?

Okay, so it all begins Wednesday with reading Cupcakes (Etc).

I hope you join me!

Throwback Thursday: Sunshine’s Night of Darkness, Scene 16

September 4, 2014

SCENE ONE (and an explanation of what the hell is going on with these posts)

——————-

SUNSHINE’S NIGHT OF DARKNESS

Synopsis:  It’s Sunshine’s first day of work in security at the P.U.R.E Corporation and all she wants to do is make it through orientation, but first she’s got to fill out a name tag requisition form, fit her uniform, meet a cute computer geek … oh, and save her fellow employees from genetically-mutated, blood-lusting vampires.

Notes: All work is registered with the WGC & the WGA.

- Scene Sixteen -

INT. HUMAN RESOURCES/EXT. IRMA’S OFFICE – LATER

The group waits as Irma crosses back out of her office. Human Resource EMPLOYEES bustle around desks and computers and the assistant continues to bind booklets. Irma hands a form to Sunshine and a binder to Huxley.

IRMA

Your name tag requisition.

SUNSHINE

Thanks.

HUXLEY

(re: binder)

Oh, that’s okay. I have one.

Irma just stares at him.

HUXLEY (CONT’D)

I like to keep up on the homework if I miss a class, and study ahead.

CALLIE

(sarcastic i.e. undermining Irma)

I totally knew it, there is going to be a test!!

Sunshine snorts.

IRMA

(just trying to get through it)

P.U.R.E continually looks to build a dedicated team. You’re encouraged to better yourselves both physically and mentally. To this end, the spa and other facilities can be accessed off hours for an employee rate, as outlined in your orientation manuals. We offer a comprehensive dental and medical plan…

sunshine(etc) poster

————————–

SUNSHINE’S NIGHT OF DARKNESS – a screenplay by Meghan Ciana Doidge

SCENE ONE

SCENE TWO

SCENE THREE

SCENE FOUR

SCENE FIVE

SCENE SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN

SCENE TEN

SCENE ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, & FOURTEEN

SCENE FIFTEEN

SCENE SIXTEEN (above)

Throwback Thursday: Sunshine’s Night of Darkness, Scene 15

August 28, 2014

THINGS ARE GETTING CRAZY THIS WEEK!!!

SCENE ONE (and an explanation of what the hell is going on with these posts)

——————-

SUNSHINE’S NIGHT OF DARKNESS

Synopsis:  It’s Sunshine’s first day of work in security at the P.U.R.E Corporation and all she wants to do is make it through orientation, but first she’s got to fill out a name tag requisition form, fit her uniform, meet a cute computer geek … oh, and save her fellow employees from genetically-mutated, blood-lusting vampires.

Notes: All work is registered with the WGC & the WGA.

N.B. – O.S stands for off screen

- Scene Fifteen -

INT. LAB 17, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, P.U.R.E CORPORATION – LATER

Leila’s heart monitor flat lines.

Dixon freaks. He shuts down the program and the blood drains back into Leila. He tries shocking, through the monitor pads already attached, Leila’s heart, but it doesn’t respond.

He pulls a needle and a stimulant out of the cupboard and injects Leila. Nothing happens. Dixon throws the needle on the counter in despair.

He paces and then crosses to a computer panel by the door. He taps the touch screen to call up the security menu, starts to speak but then stops himself. He then inserts his key and opens a private channel.

DIXON

Dixon, Head of Research to Head of Security. Priority, Lab 17.

Dixon waits.

Leila moans and Dixon’s head snaps to her. The heart monitor is still flat-lined. He steps to Leila.

Leila reaches up and begins to disconnect herself from the machines. Dixon, who is overwhelmingly confused, cannot speak.

Leila unsteadily stands, pulls her hair away from her face and stumbles to the mirrored glass that divides the lab from an observation room. In the mirror: She is transformed, her skin rejuvenated, her hair full and shiny, and her eyes blindingly blue.

LEILA

Oh! It’s me, only better.

She laughs; young, free and delighted.

LELIA

(a little ominous)

Wait, just wait until everyone sees me.

TARO (O.S.)

(through computer panel)

Taro, Head of Security. Please indicate nature of the priority, Lab 17?

Leila grimaces, pained. She cups her face, as her skin begins to pull back from her eyes, her mouth, and her nose like a sponge rapidly drying out.

Dixon moans and Leila turns to him in utter disbelief.

LEILA

My face! My skin! What have you done!!

Dixon scrambles towards the computer and, in his panic, manages to jab himself with the discarded needle. He yells and yanks the needle out. Blood swells from the deep puncture in his hand.

Leila moans at the sight of his blood and, instantly, she is by him; she lifts his hand to her mouth and sucks on his wound. He howls in horror and tries to pry her off his hand, but she clamps down harder and blood begins to spurt.

He swoons in a mixture of pleasure and pain, and grasps at Leila’s bowed head. His knees buckle and she follows, still feeding, as he collapses.

sunshine(etc) poster

————————–

SUNSHINE’S NIGHT OF DARKNESS – a screenplay by Meghan Ciana Doidge

SCENE ONE

SCENE TWO

SCENE THREE

SCENE FOUR

SCENE FIVE

SCENE SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN

SCENE TEN

SCENE ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, & FOURTEEN

SCENE FIFTEEN (above)

SCENE SIXTEEN

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