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truth1The Truth She Knew is now available on Amazon for pre-order! Just click here while it’s on sale. If you’re interested in reading the early reviews on Goodreads, click here. I have to admit the reviews have been overwhelming and humbling.

Since the book hasn’t been released yet, and a preview isn’t available, I wanted to share the first few pages. I know I always like to preview before ordering. I worked with an amazing editor from HarperCollins, and she will also be editing book 2 in the series which I just finished the rough draft yesterday.

This series is contemporary fiction and new adult. It’s 17+ due to language, sex, and some violence.

Copyright © 2016 by J.A. Owenby

Chapter 1

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me. She reminded me of this on a consistent basis, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t change her mind. Finally, I had to make a choice: her or me.

My heels clicked against the cold tile floor of the hospital and my heart fluttered as I searched the room numbers.

I rubbed my clammy hands against my jeans as I saw the ladies’ restroom and hurried toward it. I needed a minute before I reached her room. I pushed the door open and scanned the bathroom for anyone else. It was empty.

My purse landed with a thud on the bathroom counter. I turned the cold water on, splashed it on my cheeks, and wiped my face with a paper towel.

“Breathe,” I muttered. “She can’t hurt you anymore. You’re grown.”

My pep talk wasn’t working. Fear was gnawing at my stomach.

I reached into my bag, grabbed my powder compact, and touched up my makeup. My green eyes shone brighter against the redness left from my tears. I ran a brush through my long, blond hair and dabbed a hint of gloss on my lips, more out of habit than need.

“Let’s do this, Lacey. Suck it up,” I said to my reflection. I released a slow, deep breath and headed out of the restroom and down the hall toward the ICU.

My hand trembled as I approached her room and reached for the door handle. I didn’t know what to expect. What would it be like, seeing her after all this time?

The door opened and closed behind me without a sound. I pulled the curtain aside and tried to comprehend what was in front of me.

The room was silent except for the rhythmic whoosh of the breathing machine. The ventilator had left its mark on Mama’s face, and her upper lip was swollen and bruised.

As I pulled the chair closer to her and sat down, I half-expected her eyes to flutter open and her lips to whisper what a bitch I was. But she lay still.

My goodbyes had been said years ago, but this was different; this was final. There were no more second chances, or third. None, ever again.

I stood up and paced around the tiny room. I should have been holding her hand and begging her to wake up so we could forgive each other, but I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how many years we’d been apart—every time I thought about her I remembered how she had cost me everything. And not once did she ever utter the words I’m sorry. In her mind, it had all been my fault.

I leaned against the wall and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. In spite of my resistance, tears pooled in my eyes.

“Are you happy now?” My voice quivered and only the sound of the ventilator responded to my question.

It amazed me how I could love her and hate her at the same time. I knew I was supposed to love and honor my parents, but how could I when she had almost cost me my life?

My mind raced with dark memories and then I realized that for the first time in my life I was minutes away from being free. Relief washed over me as the tears flowed down my cheeks. I pushed the memories away. With freedom just around the corner, I needed to say what I felt even if it was locked away deep in my heart.

I approached Mama and brushed her thin, brown hair away from her forehead. I stared at her, her image burning into every part of my mind. Her eyes were closed with no movement and there was no response to my touch. She’d already left—her body only remained breathing due to the machines.

“I’ve missed you, Mama,” I whispered. “As much as I hate you, I love you more. I wish things had been different. I wanted you to love me so badly. Maybe now you finally will.”

I kissed her forehead and stepped back, wondering if death would finish the job quickly. Knowing Mama, she would hold on as long as she could to capture everyone’s attention for her grand finale. The doctor thought it wouldn’t take any longer than a few hours for her body to stop breathing on its own. I hoped it would happen sooner.

I left Mama’s room and walked down the hall to the ICU waiting room. My older sister Krissy, the golden child, was leaning against the wall as she stared out the window.

“Krissy,” I said as I approached her.

She turned toward me, her eyes rimmed with redness. We stared at each other for a few moments, and then I nodded.

“Lacey, are you sure? You don’t need any more time?” Krissy asked.

“I’m sure.”

She pushed herself off the wall, wiped her eyes, and turned away to find the doctor. It was time to disconnect the machine.

With my goodbyes said, I walked toward the exit to the hospital. I burst through the sliding doors and came to a quick stop as the fragrance of the spring rain filled my nose. The walkway was lined with bright green grass and an abundance of red and pink tulips. The last drops of rain slid off the tree leaves as I breathed it all in. It was breathtaking.

I was finally free.

Thank you all for your support!

Until Next Time…

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I’ve gotten some more great tipsfromautocrit. This software has proven it’s worth to me over and over. I hope you enjoy the information.

Do you cringe when someone sends you an email and uses “there” instead of “they’re?” Me, too—and so do most readers.
That’s why we have the Homonym Analysis.
 
 
This nifty analysis helps you identify both homophones and homonyms so you can be sure you’re using the right word. 

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings

: knew and new; too, to and two; or cite, sight and site, for instance.

Homonyms are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. For example: Bear, to carry; and Bear, the animal that hibernates all winter.

The AutoCrit Editor highlights each potential homonym found in your writing.  When you click on the highlighted word, suggested alternate words are displayed (see figure below).  You can replace the word in question by clicking on one of the alternates displayed.



And if you’re not sure if you have the right one, just click the word and alternatives will display. A quick scan and you will be good to go!

 
Happy editing!
Until Next Time…

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QuuestionI hope everyone had an amazing holiday season filled with love and laughter! And I raise my glass to each of you for a prosperous and healthy 2014!

I purchased a new writing book that I’m enthralled with. And, although there are always a multitude of answers there is a key element to every story. So here’s my question to you:

What one thing must a story have or it isn’t a story at all?

I can’t wait to hear your comments! I’ll share the answer in the next post.

Until Next Time…

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Iconflict1 have a wonderful friend who I respect in a number of ways, but especially her input concerning writing. She has several short stories published and understands the concept of a good story.

A few weeks ago we discussed what makes a good plot and how do you “squish” it into a few pages? We both agreed on the answer. Keep it tight and give ’em hell!

What exactly does that mean? With a short story, you need to choose your words carefully. There’s no room for wordiness, especially if you have a word count. Keep it tight and use action verbs.

The second part is imperative to any story no matter how long or short. Do not give your main character what they want. Dangle the carrot in front of their nose, then give ’em hell and take it away. This concept helps develop tension, conflict and moves the plot forward. If the protagonist has a problem, then they need to find a temporary solution. Allow the solution to work for a second then give ’em hell again with another problem. That process needs to happen several times in the story.

I believe in keeping things simple so when I consider the plot of a story, I work through it with the above outline. That thought process helps me form a fully developed plot without worrying about huge holes.

What helps you write a cleaner short story?

Until Next Time…

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I can’t tell you how many times I have opened my blog to write a post LootThirstlately and a feeling of dread stirs in me. Why? I don’t know, maybe because I’m crawling through a dry and hot desert concerning my writing.

My husband asked me about it the other day, just noting I hadn’t written much on the blog. I told him I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t worked on a story or my novel in a while although I have pieces here and there. Most of my time and energy has funneled into my new business.  (That will be here in a few weeks…I hope…) He squeezed my hand and said, “Baby it’s okay, don’t your writer friends go through that too? Just share with them.”

So, I’m taking the calm and kind advice from my husband and just sharing.

My biggest time-consuming project is a new business. I’m really excited, because it’s a form of writing, but not fiction. I’ll share as soon as the website is up and running.

I think as a writer the worst part is the insane frustration to produce a good income with your writing. It’s time consuming and can take a long time to build. With this new business I’ve combined the two goals to help me write full-time and have a steady income quicker. Stay tuned.

In the next month, I’ll send in another short story to Writer’s Digest Editing services for the experts to clean up. By then, I’ll have 3 to put on Amazon. That’s my next project.

A new story is brewing, I can feel it coming to life in the pit of my stomach.  That always makes me a bit giddy when I begin creating and thinking through something new, that moment of conception is an amazing feeling.

So that’s where I’m at. What about you? Is the summer rushing by leaving you hot and dehydrated concerning your writing?

Until Next Time…

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My hubby asked me today why I hadn’t posted this week, and I replied that I wasn’t sure what to talk about. As soon as that came out of my mouth, I knew. Funny how that happens.

First of all, I’d like to thank every one of you for taking time to read and comment concerning the time management post. I had such awesome words of encouragement and fantastic ideas. While reading all the comments, I got a few tears in my eyes. That might sound silly, but the idea that people I’ve never met face to face, felt it was important enough to share their own struggles and suggestions, well, it meant a lot to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Now, as I’ve  mentioned before, I have some short stories published, and I’m always pondering the idea of what story would make a good novel. The short story that I have out for submission now…I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t feel it’s finished. It’s not finished inside me, but I’m not a 100% positive it’s the first novel. I know, that just because I can’t say good-bye to the story yet, doesn’t necessarily mean I need to write the rest of it. OR, does it?

I know many of you have written a full length novel, so how did you know it was the right story?

I am currently reading K.M. Weiland’s book “Outlining Your Novel Map Your Way To Success”. I honestly thought it would be boring, but it’s the opposite. I love it. I hate outlining too, but there are all these options. Anyway, I’ll save that for another day.

So that’s where my thought process is. I’ve tried writing another short story, but I keep going back to the last one. Maybe I’m just emotionally vested in it.

Until Next Time…

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I just purchased “Evertaster” today. What is “Evertaster” you ask? I asked the same question.

The title sounded interesting in itself, so I hopped over to Amazon to take a peek. Hmmm, it’s a middle grade novel. I read books about serial killers and vampires, and I’m forty-one, so why would I be interested in this book? I’ll tell you why. The idea is original. I applaud original. I’ll applaud original all the way to the bookstore to purchase this book, or in this case, to Amazon!

The first few pages show great promise with pace and characterization, and might I mention, chocolate. Oh yes, my favorite food.

Here’s the description on Amazon:

“A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.

When eleven year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city, they meet a dying pastry maker who tells them of a legendary recipe called the Gastronomy of Peace — a recipe created hundreds of years ago, shrouded in secrecy, sought after by connoisseurs everywhere and rumored to be so delicious that whoever tastes it will never want to eat anything else again. When they’re forced to flee for their lives, Guster, his clever sister Mariah, and the rest of the Johnsonvilles set out on an adventure that will take them to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves, where they discover that their search is more than just a quest to satisfy Guster’s cravings — it is a quest that could change humanity forever.”

After reading the description, I’m curious about the author. Let me introduce Adam Glendon Sidwell:

“In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He’s been eating food since age 7, so feels very qualified to write this book. He once showed a famous movie star where the bathroom was. Adam currently lives in Los Angeles, where he can’t wait to fall into the sea.”

Ok, this guy sounds fun! I’m on board. Hop over to Amazon for the introductory price and read it with me. http://www.amazon.com/Evertaster-Legends-Adam-Glendon-Sidwell/dp/144147384X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339646495&sr=1-1

I’ll be following up with a book review. I hope you’ll join me, and share with your children, grandchildren or any other kiddo that loves great stories.

So, let your inner child out to play, and read “Evertaster”!

Until Next Time…

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