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I See Me (Oracle 1): Chapter 1 – Author-Read-Along

May 16, 2015

Okay – as I mentioned here – I’m rereading I See Me, Oracle 1 in preparation for writing Oracle 2. I’ve written and released Dowser 4 as well as written Dowser 5 since having Rochelle and Beau in my head, so I wanted to acquaint myself with their voices before really digging into the next book (though I already know the plot, the players, and the locations). I’m going to pin this post for awhile and link all the read-a-long posts at the bottom for easier navigation. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, discuss things with each other, etc. below.

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

I See Me (Oracle 1) is an origin story. I adore writing origin stories. But it’s also a love story. The scene where Rochelle and Beau first meet haunted me for over a year before I gave in and wrote their story. I’d taken a lot of notes and sketched out a few scenes, but it wasn’t until I was halfway through the first draft of Dowser 4 that I See Me demanded to be written, needed to be written then – for timeline reasons – so I set Dowser 4 aside and devoted a few months to R&B. So … an Origin story. I loved the idea of an adept growing up not know anything about magic – how would that be possible? Under what circumstances? What would the ‘human’ world think magic was? Who would be the first to understand/find/interact with that person? And … a pure romance. Under what circumstances could two people come together and bond so completely that they began to believe in ‘true love’ and ‘love at first sight’? Ideas that almost anyone who hasn’t experienced the phenomena sneers at these days. Anyway, more on that later. IMG_0336 CHAPTER ONE – thoughts/notes/quotes: Opening line: I wanted the book to immediately begin with a hint of the conflict to come. In the first draft of I See Me every chapter began with dialogue, each scene opened somewhere in the middle of the action to continually drive the plot and story forward. In later drafts I tweaked that setup somewhat for clarity and grounding (adding setting, etc, upfront). I worried about the possible slow start and build of this book for readers who were coming into this universe for the first time through this book (and didn’t understand that magic was at play). But I hoped that readers of the Dowser Series would figure out pretty quickly who the ‘bad guys’ were and be intrigued by their interaction with Rochelle in these early chapters. Notes

  • Colours, shades of grey, and black/white. Rochelle views the world in a VERY specific way – for her almost everything is perceived as some shade of grey. It’s important to note what she sees in colour, and what she renders in B&W.
  • Names: only people of some importance have actual names. This is another way Rochelle keeps herself distanced from people.

Favourite Quotes

Other people wanted to be haunted by my imaginary friends so much that they willing paid hundreds of dollars per sketch. My shrink would point that out as a silver-lining, but I’d prefer working at McDonald’s over delusions, any day. – I See Me (Oracle 1), Chapter One Today was my birthday. Today I would be free … well, as free as my mind would let me be. If I could just render the shading of the blade’s edge perfectly. – I See Me (Oracle 1), Chapter One

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One (above)

Chapter Two & Three

Chapter Four and Five

Chapter Six and Seven

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter One?

I See Me: Author-Read-Along: Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen

May 23, 2015

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

 I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 14

CHAPTER FOURTEEN – important beats:

  • BELIEVING (and colour). “I believed everything laid out before me in black and white. No color anywhere on the page. No color to confuse or beguile my senses. No color to soften the message, or soothe the pain.”
  • CHOICES (right or wrong, choices must be made). “I was never handing over something precious to another person for safe keeping. No matter how trustworthy they seemed, or should be. Never, ever again.”
  • FATE/DESTINY. “I reminded myself that I didn’t believe in fate.” and “Causality, fate, and destiny were just too much to think about, ever.”
  • Blackwell texting – LOL

Favourite Quotes

Beau had found me in that diner. He bought me a piece of apple pie and rescued me from the living hell of my broken brain. I’d believed I was broken. For Beau, I’d act like I was whole. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 14

I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 15
CHAPTER FIFTEEN – important beats:

  • Rochelle and Blackwell make a deal. Though – other than his obsession with Jade – it’s not completely clear what Blackwell is hoping Rochelle will see, what future he is hoping to thwart? Perhaps simply any future he doesn’t like the look of.
  • Too many realizations to sort through … “I didn’t have an unknown psychotic disorder.”
  • Questions about magic? If it’s real, then what? “Was magic energy? The energy I felt when I touched Beau, Jade, and Blackwell? Energy from where? And why me? What purpose did the visions have?”

Favourite Quotes

 ” … it’s a treat to be so near something of Jade’s creation without being stabbed by it.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Fifteen.

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One

Chapter Two & Three

Chapter Four  & Five

Chapter Six & Seven

Chapter Eight & Nine

Chapter Ten & Eleven

Chapter Twelve & Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen & Fifteen (above)

Chapter Sixteen

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter Fourteen and Fifteen?

I See Me: Author-Read-Along: Chapters Twelve and Thirteen

May 22, 2015

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Twelve

CHAPTER TWELVE – important beats:

  • Beau’s abandonment issues: “Don’t leave me,” he whispered fiercely. The idea was utterly preposterous. I laughed.”
  • The Dowser!! And Kandy :)
  • Getting to hear how the cupcakes taste from Rochelle’s POV. Love, love, loved it.
  • The alchemist fixes Rochelle’s necklace.
  • TENSION between Desmond and Jade.
  • All hell breaks loose. :D

Favourite Quotes

I had a split second to mourn Beau. I was terribly sure that if I ever gained consciousness again, it would be without him. And what good would waking up be if I had to wake up without Beau? – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 12

“It’s broken,”I said. “It’s broken like I’m broken.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 12

I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – important beats:

  • Rumble in the house!
  • First hallucination with the drugs out of her system and her mother’s necklace attuned to her magic.
  • More B/G of how the Pack functions – “sharing magic,” etc

Favourite Quotes

 “If we can’t have Paris,” Desmond said. “At least we’ll always have Blackwell.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen.

I was within the vision. I breathed in the white light. I consumed it. It was me. It had always been me. This was me. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen.

My hallucinations up to this point certainly hadn’t been filled with fluffy bunnies. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen

She flinched. All that power, all that electric magic I could feel rolling off her, and I made her flinch. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen

“I don’t believe in fate or destiny.” Jade laughed. It wasn’t a happy sound. “It believes in you.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen

Then, propelled by a force I couldn’t deny any longer – that I couldn’t hope to control – I sat on the bed to draw. Right now, that was all I could do. But later, I was going to thwart destiny. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Thirteen

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One

Chapter Two & Three

Chapter Four  & Five

Chapter Six & Seven

Chapter Eight & Nine

Chapter Ten & Eleven

Chapter Twelve & Thirteen (above)

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter Twelve and Thirteen?

I See Me: Author-Read-Along: Chapters Ten and Eleven

May 21, 2015

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

 I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Ten

CHAPTER TEN – important beats:

  • Going to the Pack for save haven … and “ignoring the most important thing [Beau’s mother] ever taught” him.
  • Lara!! From a different POV (not Jade’s). “I’ll gladly dance naked on his bloody, well-gnawed bones.”

Favourite Quotes

Don’t play nice, Rochelle. I want you, not the fake you who’s just pretending.” “What if the fake me is all I have now?” “Look deeper.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 10

Beau reached around me to grab my seat belt, but I slapped his hand away. “I’m crazy, not a moron” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 10

“Yeah, I knew how to deal with predators. Don’t be prey.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 10

I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Eleven
CHAPTER ELEVEN – important beats:

  • Audrey! Learning to be a good beta, and failing at it.
  • Desmond! Everyone who thinks the Alpha is ‘handsome’ needs to reread Rochelle’s reaction/description of him. Also some intriguing displays of the Alpha power/magic that hasn’t been explored much in the Dowser Series.
  • Texting with Kandy – I love this scene.
  • Are cupcakes a possibility? LOL
  • Rochelle’s bravery is so compelling and even heart wrenching through these few chapters. She is totally lost, and yet willing to do anything for Beau. Even defending him against the Pack.

Favourite Quotes

“What magic to you wield, witch?” Desmond asked me. I raised my chin. “I’m not a witch.” “What are you then?” I thought about this for a second, then answered, “Crazy. Though psychotic might be a better word choice.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Eleven.

“Rochelle doesn’t eat meat,” Beau blurted, as if he was confessing some terrible sin. The three other shapeshifters turned to stare at me, completely aghast. Like I was condemning their religion or something. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Eleven.

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One

Chapter Two & Three

Chapter Four  & Five

Chapter Six & Seven

Chapter Eight & Nine

Chapter Ten & Eleven (above)

Chapter Twelve & Thirteen

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter Ten and Eleven?

I See Me: Author-Read-Along: Chapters Eight and Nine

May 20, 2015

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

 IMG_0344

CHAPTER EIGHT – important beats:

  • The bike – Beau gifting Rochelle with freedom
  • BLACKWELL!!! “A dark-haired, dark-suited man walked through the entrance with not a drop of rain on him.”
  • And what does Blackwell want?
  • Heartbreak … if Beau can see and ‘interact’ with Blackwell, then Beau is just an elaborate hallucination. Which Rochelle allows herself to believe because why else would someone like him be with her? If not for the fact that he wasn’t real?

Favourite Quotes

Jesus, my mind was wicked. Brilliant but wicked. To have conjured someone so complex, as compelling and terrifying as him … Blackwell. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Eight

But … the hot apple juice was a lie. A lie of love whispered in my ear by my evil, broken brain. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 8

I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Nine

CHAPTER NINE – important beats:

Beau, Beau, Beau – beautiful Beau knows when he is over his head, when he perhaps hasn’t handled a situation properly and he’s not afraid to go for help/back-up.

More BG on Beau here. Hints of a nasty childhood … is it better to be an orphan like Rochelle or have parents like Beau? I pick neither :(

Rochelle thinks everything … the necklace, the Brave, and even Beau are all part of some massive hallucination. One she is unwilling to wake up from now that she ‘conjured’ Beau.

Favourite Quotes

“And you love me.” Beau was crying now as well, shaking with it. “You love me, without question. Like no one has ever loved me. Not because of how I look, or what you think you can get me to do for you. And you think it’s a lie. You think it’s a lie.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Nine.

“It can’t be true,” I whispered. “That would be even crazier than I already am.”  – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter Nine.

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One

Chapter Two & Three

Chapter Four  & Five

Chapter Six & Seven

Chapter Eight & Nine (above)

Chapter Ten & Eleven

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter Eight and Nine?

Writer Wednesday: C.A. Newsome and her Perfect Chocolate

May 20, 2015

Perfect Chocolate by C.A. Newsome

The main character of my Dog Park Mysteries is a starving artist. Lia’s idea of economy is to practice the best nutrition she can to stay healthy, something I’ve pursued most of my life. Her/my culinary endeavours frequently appear in the books.

I love this chocolate because it is so easy to make. It’s great brain and mood food, and much more satisfying than store bought. If you make the darker version, I find that one one of these is enough to satisfy. – Carol Ann Newsome

Perfect Chocolate

½ Cup Coconut Oil, melted

½ Cup Raw, Local Honey

¼ Tsp Sea Salt (Celtic or other unrefined salt, to taste)

2 Cups Raw Cacao Powder

30 Mini Paper Baking Cups

Optional: nuts and dried fruit of choice. This version contains dry-roasted, salted almonds and dried cherries.

  1. If your kitchen is chilly, set your coconut oil on a trivet over the pilot light on your stove until it turns liquid, then measure out ½ cup into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Use the same cup to measure out your honey, and add it to the oil along with the salt. (The oil residue keeps the honey from sticking.)
  3. Stir in the cacao powder, ¼ cup at a time. You should end up with a big ball of chocolate that clings to itself and has the consistency of dense frosting.
  4. Take a fork (I like to use a shrimp fork) and place a glob into each of the mini baking cups
  5. Optional: Press nuts and dried fruit into the top of each candy if desired.
  6. Place the cups in the refrigerator until they harden. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to eat them. You can set them on a cookie sheet for this step, then place in a plastic container after they set. Or you can do what I do and save those 6 ounce clamshells they pack berries in at the grocery store. Those are perfect for storing these.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Variation: for a darker chocolate, cut the honey to ¼ cup. You may have to “force” the cacao in. This chocolate will be stiffer.

Um, where is my coconut oil? I desperately need to be making this right now!! – MCD

Sneak Thief  Book Cover

Synopsis: Starving artist Lia Anderson makes a new friend at her seasonal job scoring academic proficiency tests. Desiree is a sassy, fun, pocket-sized sex-pot and owner of a larcenous beagle named Julia. Desiree also has a secret admirer who leaves her tiny figurines sculpted from twisted aluminum foil.

The friendship falls afoul when the pair discovers a secret connection in their past, a secret Lia’s detective boyfriend, Peter Dourson, kept from her.

When Desiree is murdered, Lia not only winds up with the woman’s kleptomaniac beagle, she also inherits her stalker. On the outs with her beau and with the police on the wrong track, Lia will have to rely on her wits and her friends if she wants to stay alive.

MCD note: Sneak Thief is the fourth book in the Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries. You can find all the books on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo. Note for the Amazon links: simply change the .com to .ca or .co.uk to get redirected.

authorphotoAuthor Bio C.A. “Carol Ann” Newsome is an author and painter living in Cincinnati, Ohio with her two rescues, a lab/chow mix and a mini schnauzer. They can be found every morning at the Mount Airy Dog Park, home of the Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries. Connect with Carol Ann on her website.

I See Me: Author-Read-Along: Chapters Six and Seven

May 19, 2015

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

IMG_0342

CHAPTER SIX – important beats:

  • APPLE JUICE!
  • Eyes changing colour (magic).
  • Some hints to Beau’s not-so-great BG
  • Rochelle’s art from Beau’s POV. He sees the magic, but doesn’t know how to talk to Rochelle about it.

Favourite Quotes

He’d had the bakery heat up apple juice for me. I shouldn’t read too much into the action. There was no way he could possibly know what apple meant to me, just because I ordered apple pie last night. But still, my throat constricted, and when I tried to hold the emotion at bay, it flooded with a wave of heat through my face and neck. I gasped when the tightness moved to my chest. I couldn’t breathe. Oh, God. I think this was … happiness. Extreme, insane happiness. This didn’t happen in real life.

“It’s okay?” he asked.

“Yes,” I choked out. I looked up from the hot apple juice in my hand to lock my gaze to his. His face was blurry through my unshed tears.

“Don’t kick me out,” he said.

“I won’t.”  – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 6

IMG_0343

CHAPTER SEVEN – important beats:

  • Pocket of bliss (including the references to the function of the Brave in Chapter Six “a microcosm of our own design.”) and Rochelle’s disbelief in “true love” or “fate,” which is VERY important later.
  • Hoyt is back. Silver reflection – Rochelle getting some hints here about magic (etc) that she promptly tries to reason away.
  • Beau stays.

Favourite Quotes

I was broken in a way that couldn’t be repaired. I could only endure. I really, really hoped that Beau staying meant he’d endure with me. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 7

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One

Chapter Two & Three

Chapter Four  & Five

Chapter Six & Seven (above)

Chapter Eight & Nine

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter Six and Seven?

I See Me: Author-Read-Along: Chapters Four and Five

May 18, 2015

*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*

 IMG_0340

CHAPTER FOUR – thoughts/notes/quotes:

  • A debilitating hallucination triggers thoughts of her every first one. So we catch a rare glimpse into Rochelle’s background in foster care (etc) in this chapter. Rochelle isn’t one to dwell hence the rare notation above.
  • Hints into Blackwell’s background – who did he steal the amulet from? Hint: note all the golden/gold decor.

Favourite Quotes

It had been many years since I’d asked why. Since I’d questioned why and what I hallucinated. But tonight, in my drugged sleep, I hoped. I wished. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 4

I managed to sit at the table in the dinette area, only to realize I was brushing my hands across my cheeks and through my hair as if attempting to sweep away the clinging hazy bits of the hallucination. Just like a crazy person … like the crazy person I was … No. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 4

I was crazy – pure and simple – according to the professionals. Well, they didn’t put it quite like that, but that’s what I heard and that’s what I lived with. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 4

No one was going to yank me out of the RV, label me, and then shove pills down my throat. Happy nineteenth birthday to me. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 4

IMG_0341

CHAPTER FIVE – thoughts/notes/quotes:

BEAU!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the scene that started it all. The reason this book and characters exist. This scene haunted me. There are way too many things to quote in this chapter. I’ll have to narrow down to my favs below.

Notes

Insta-love complaints: One of the biggest ‘complaints’ I get about I See Me is a perceived “insta-love” element. Obviously this works for me – otherwise I wouldn’t have written it – but it doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve already had my say on this subject – I wrote the book – but I firmly believe that the reaction that occurs between R&B – whether a reader perceives that to be simply a  chemical reaction or ‘love at first sight’ – is setup and supported by their backgrounds. They come from nowhere and are heading nowhere, until they meet each other. I firmly believe that you can form a bond with a stranger within a matter of minutes, just based on your shared histories/beliefs/desire/fears.

But then, I believe in true love. I’ve felt it and I’m living it. :D I’m damn lucky.

Sex-too-early complaints: Again, I think I’ve covered my thoughts on this above. But I will say that Beau’s background and motivations will be exceedingly important to the plot of Oracle 2.

Favourite Quotes (TO MANY!!!)

I felt a terribly weird impulse to pull my sleeves down over my hands and dry the rain from his face – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 5

“Are you crazy?” I resisted the urge to tug the sleeves of my hoodie down over my arms for a completely different reason now. “Because I have enough crazy already going on in my head. I don’t need yours.” – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 5

No need to explain that I was cold. Cold in a way that made it seem I’d never be warm. Cold in my core, and afraid if I stayed alone, I’d sleep. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 5

Then he reached across the table and – barely touching me – turned my left hand over until the back rested on the table. With a touch so light that I felt only the shiver of its passing, he brushed his fingers across the black butterfly I had tattooed on the inside of my wrist. – I See Me, Oracle 1, Chapter 5

I See Me (Oracle 1) read-a-long

Chapter One

Chapter Two & Three

Chapters Four  & Five (above)

Chapters Six & Seven

What were your thoughts, comments, and/or questions on Chapter Four and Five?

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