Fall TV Round Up

Posted by Rachel on October 8, 2014 in characters, cliches, current event, musings, review |

Every Fall I get way too really excited about the new line-up of potential hit shows. Why? I’m always on the lookout for a new obsession and I tend to tune into every and any new show I might remotely be interested in. However, if the time slot is in the middle of a series I have already committed to, I likely won’t check it out. But I still try to give things a chance. With all that in mind, here is a list of the shows I caught this year and my review of them a few episodes in:


How could I pass up a show about Jim Gordon? Oh, that’s right– I couldn’t! I was very excited to see how they handle this “prequel” of sorts and while I love the idea of seeing Gotham from Gordon’s PoV, the opening episodes felt very rushed to establish a whole slew of well known villains in their younger years. I would’ve enjoyed having this teased out more, but it’s still reasonably entertaining. I’ll keep watching but I’m not sure for how long.

How to Get Away With Murder

From the get-go, I loved the diversity and honesty in this show. It had a fun concept of introducing the kids to law as well as interestingly developed characters who are wildly different but tied together by a crime. At times I think this show is trying too hard to set itself apart by being so bold, but it caught my attention. And coming from someone who does not like crime drama, that’s saying something.

Manhattan Love Story

This show is so incredibly quirky it sets itself apart from all other finding-love-dramas. The characters are realistic, fun and being able to hear their thoughts gives this show an edge over others like it. I have a feeling it might be too unusual for audiences, but I hope it sticks around.

A to Z

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just because I got so invested in The Mother character that it’s hard for me to separate the How I Met Your Mother persona from Zelda. And Andrew even looks like Ted! And there’s a voice over! If they’re going for copy-cat, they got it. But I’m not amused enough to stick around.


This pilot had a ton of potential when I first saw the trailer, but after viewing the show, it didn’t exactly stand up for me. The characterization and dialogue of all these genius kids was constructed in such an overt manner that I couldn’t believe they were actually super-smart. I was very aware they were acting. And that’s not good. The plot is clever and I liked the romance that was teed up, but it was like watching the man behind the curtain the entire time. I’m out.

Madam Secretary

Political thrillers are my weakness, so even though I didn’t intend to watch this, I got sucked in. Let’s be real though…it’s basically a fictionalized story about Hilary Clinton. I suspect given it’s ripped-from-the-headlines plots and the underlying mystery it will run for at least a season, but as of now I’m not convinced it has legs. But it makes for a fun show to watch nonetheless.


Did you catch any of these shows? What were your thoughts? Were there other premiers you enjoyed? Share your thoughts!



Tribute to a Master Storyteller

Posted by Rachel on September 3, 2014 in characters, current event, dialogue, emotion, idols, inspiration, voice |

I’ve been struggling to write this blog post ever since the news broke. Robin Williams might not have been a writer, but he was a master storyteller. He had perfected the art of character and voice and played such an influential part in my childhood and path towards writing that I felt it was only right to pay tribute to what he meant to me.

His Characters: Robin played some of the most dazzling characters during his time with us. They stretched your imagination and helped explore parts you maybe you didn’t even know you had.

Genie- He’s lovable, hilarious and blue! The Genie showed us what it means to be not only a good friend, but a great friend.

Mr. Keating- As a word nerd, I only wished I had a teacher like Mr. Keating and some of mine came very close! This character inspired me to look further into books at all the gorgeous meanings behind simple words.

Peter Banning- A grown up Peter Pan trying to be young again? What could be better??

Alan Parish- I’m always a sucker for the kid in adult body trope, so Robin’s portrayal of long lost Alan in Jumanji was nothing short of perfection.

Sean Maguire- While the Good Will Hunting role might have been his most serious, it also showed us a mature, jaded, cathartic side to Robin that really hit home in recent days.

Mrs Doubtfire- Anyone who is anyone has seen Mrs. Doubtfire and it was a beautiful role that demonstrated what a dad’s love really means.

In stories, your characters have to grow and change, just like all of Robin’s did but most of all they need to teach you something without ever saying it.

There are many more I loved and I regret to say many more I haven’t yet experienced, but in a way that will help keep him alive for me– always discovering new characters of his :)


His Voice:

Just like writers hope to achieve different voices from their varied characters, Robin had a way of making each of his personas unique. Every character he played had a different way of speaking whether it was their tone, the inflection of their voice to certain questions, the cadence, or even unique phrases and words.

He put on a clinic in each of his films about how to create and execute voice. I would go so far as to say he is one of the few blessed with the ability to create the perfect voice each time and sometimes on the spot. If you ever get confused about how to differentiate your character’s voices or what makes a voice stand out, check out any of his movies. Seriously. That’ll clear it up right quick for you.


His Humor:

This one goes without saying, but I’ll talk about it a bit anyway. Robin knew how to make people laugh. Plain and simple. A lot of the foundation of his humor came from the characters and voices he created. I would list some of his best lines but then I’d have a whole new blog post on my hands. Everything he said was funny in some way or another and I try my best to include humor in fiction, but none can do it quite as well as the master.

Do you have a favorite character he acted or voiced? What’re you favorite memories of the late, great Robin Williams?




Posted by Rachel on June 9, 2014 in current event, marketing, review, writing |

Cover Reveal Banner

It’s cover reveal day for the most awesome and spectacular Vicki Leigh’s CATCH ME WHEN I FALL! Lots of greatstuff going on that you’ll want a piece of, including a giveaway! But first, here’s a special message from Vicki:


And here’s what CATCH ME WHEN I FALL is all about:

WHEN I FALL_Front CoverRecruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

CATCH ME WHEN I FALL will be available on October 23, 2014 in both paperback and e-book formats from Curiosity Quills Press. For more information, visit the book’s Goodreads page.

Now, there can’t be a cover reveal without a giveaway, right? Lots of authors stopped by and donated some fantastic books to help Vicki celebrate. You don’t want to miss out on these! Here’s what you can win:

  • An e-copy of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL by Vicki Leigh
  • A submission package critique (query+synopsis+first chap) from Vicki Leigh
  • An e-copy of HEIRS OF WAR by Mara Valderran
  • Two query+first chapter critiques from YA author Emily Stanford
  • A full manuscript critique from YA author Emily Stanford
  • An e-copy of WITHOUT BLOODSHED by Matthew Graybosch
  • A paperback of DESTRUCTION by Sharon Bayliss
  • An e-copy of KIYA: HOPE OF THE PHARAOH by Katie Teller
  • One query+first chapter critique from YA author Katie Teller
  • An e-copy of DARKNESS WATCHING by Emma Adams
  • A copy of DESCENDANT by Nichole Giles
  • Two signed copies of DIVIDE by Jessa Russo
  • An e-copy set of EVER and EVADE by Jessa Russo
  • A copy of UNHINGED by A.G. Howard

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win! All prizes will be accompanied by a Dreamcatcher swag package from Vicki Leigh.

Thanks for stopping by!

Enter the giveaway here–>>: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0de5901/

About Vicki:

Vicki Leigh_Author Portrait copyAdopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press, a co-founder of The Writer Diaries, and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

You can find Vicki at her website and blog and on TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+YouTube, and Goodreads.

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The BEAst

Posted by Rachel on June 3, 2014 in agent, current event, travel, writing |

A year ago I was staring at twitter with ginormous envy at all the people attending BEA. Envy so large that I, as a Bostonian, fondly named it my Green Monstah. The Green Monstah in my belly thought it sounded like such a great experience. Meeting industry peeps, other writers, getting books!! And I wasn’t there. Living through the tweets of others wasn’t enough. So, Green Monstah started poking at my brain. “Go next year,” it said. “Promise yourself you will go next year!”

And so I did. I promised myself.

I bought my flights and got a room with some of my favorite writerly people.


Together we planned such great adventures such as touring the convention, hanging around the city and best places to eat. As I arrived I was filled with excitement and joy and….TERRIFYING FEAR. In a matter of moments, BEA had gone from the best….to the BEAst!!

Did I bring the right clothes to wear?

What if no one recognized me?

What if I made a fool of myself?

How could I speak words to people I idolized?

Could I locate the nearest table to hide beneath?

But as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something everyday that scares you.” BEA was definitely intimidating and so was the thought of meeting different agents, editors and writers. But I am SO glad that I took a deep breath (read: one hundred hyperventilating breaths) and put myself out there. 076

075The convention floor was super busy and packed with all sorts of people. I bumped into several awesome writers from twitter, picked up a ton of great ARCs and put actual human faces to the names of several publishing rockstars. For a writing conference noob, it was all about networking and meeting people. So, as fun as the exhibit hall was, my fondest memories take place outside the convention walls.

I ate meals with twitter friends (who are now OMFG BEST FRIENDS FOREVER)

and wandered around the city seeing the sights while we discussed publishing trends, industry news, our querying processes and our current works in progress. We also ocassionally stuffed ourselves into a cab

cabThe entire event felt like twitter came to life Pinohico style groupand all the tweeting faces I had once seen still on my feed turned to LIFE– or as if twitter was the animated world in Enchanted and we all awoke to be REAL WRITERS. I can’t even express how attending BEA made everything in the writing that much more REAL. I mean, honestly…..look at all these amazing faces!!

By the end of the weekend, I knew 100% that I had made the right decision. BEA was an amazing, stressful, eye-opening event and was probably the best weekend of my life. Without a doubt, you can count me in for next year!

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