Friday, February 28, 2014

"HIDDEN RICHES" reviews keep coming

Reviews continue to come in for HIDDEN RICHES. Here's a bit of the latest from RTBook Reviews which gave Ana Mae's story a 4½ star rating:

 “Long-held secrets and an estranged family are always good starting points for a story, and Mason presents a family in transition whom all can identify with. Throw in a hidden fortune and a good dose of humor, and readers will laugh through their tears.”   

Read the full review at RTBook Reviews.

And in case you missed the earlier posts, here's what other reviewers including Library Journal, USA Today, Midwest Book Review, and the folks at Readin N Writin with Patricia are saying about HIDDEN RICHES:

“Rich prose throughout the story, top-notch humor, and loveable characters (even those who are bad apples) harnessed my attention for a non-stop reading experience. Women's fiction at its best. A definite book club recommend.”                USA

 “Hidden Riches is an engaging contemporary. Character driven by a fully developed cast and containing a stunning twist that explains much of the dysfunction, readers will appreciate Felicia Mason’s fabulous family drama.”              Midwest Book Review 

“Long-held secrets and an estranged family are always good starting points for a story, and Mason presents a family in transition whom all can identify with. Throw in a hidden fortune and a good dose of humor, and readers will laugh through their tears.”           RTBook Reviews

Available now wherever books are sold and for nook and Kindle
Published by Dafina Books
ISBN: 978-0-7582-0573-5

Writing Prompt Friday (#15)

Today the prompt is a simple but glorious one: NATURE.

In all its glory, from the leaves on the trees to flowers that bloom, the wild places of the planet, the forests and streams, the mountains and more, nature gives us plenty of opportunities to enjoy its natural beauty and power.

I'll share with you a few of my favorite things about nature in a couple of days. In the meantime, write your thoughts on nature and feel free to share them in the comments.

And here are a few of the nature photographs I've taken. The flower images were taken during a trip to Ocean City, Md. The flora at the hotel was really beautiful.

Along one area were whites.

I particularly liked this one.

A shell from the James River beach in Surry County, Va. I picked up several as I walked along the shoreline.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thanks for the love!

Thanks so much for the love to Patricia and all of the readers at Readin N Writin with Patricia. You guys are the absolute best!

Be sure to read Patricia's Feb. 11, 2014, Book Buzz post about HIDDEN RICHES and my work.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Advice to would-be writers/novelists

A journalist asked me what advice I'd give to new writers. My answers to this question have remained fairly consistent through the years, especially when it comes to reading and setting goals.

Here's the question I was asked and how I answered:

What five tips can you offer for readers who are thinking about writing as a career?
1)      Never give up. Rejections will come. They just mean you’re doing your job. Sometimes the writing will flow, at other times it will be so hard you wonder why you thought you could do it. You can. Keep writing.

2)      Set goals, and diligently work toward them.

3)      Read. Everything. Even the things you think you aren’t interested in or don’t like. You learn from reading both good writing and bad writing. Read in your genre. Read in a genre you’re not that interested in. Read the classics. Read about writing and writers. Read the Bible as literature. Read poetry. Read self-help books and articles. Read magazines and newspapers and cereal boxes. Just read.

4)      Live your life. From life comes experience and curiosity and challenges and mostly life provides ideas. Ideas can be turned into stories.

5)      Never give up on yourself or your dream. Be encouraged … and keep writing!

What advice do you have or what's the best advice you've ever been given? Post below.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Short Story Saturday (Feb. 8, 2014)


It's Saturday. Are you ready for a short story? This one is truly short -- just 175 words. I wrote it in October 2011 after issuing a challenge to some online writing pals. Each person posted a number between 1 and 350, each number denoting a page number in whatever book I happened to be reading at the moment. There were eight participants, so there were eight randomly selected words for our challenge. I noted the eighth word on each page of the book. By the way, that book happened to be "Portrait of a Spy" by Daniel Silva. So, the eighth word from each of the random pages turned out to be: until, we, owner, seconds, they'll, him, survivors and deal.

This word list was posted on the Writing Prompt Friday for Jan. 31. Did you take up the challenge?

Here's the piece I came up with using the eight words. And in this case, I used all eight of them in the very first sentence of the piece!

The Awakening
By Felicia Mason © 2011
“Until we survivors deal him seconds, they’ll own, er, him.”
“Her,” Cassie said. “Or it.”
“Whichever. That thing’s not human.”
Ben and Grangeer looked around, guns at the ready, surveying their makeshift camp. Just a few days ago, they were a group of seven all joyfully exchanging banter at a Central American bar on the edge of the jungle. Now, they were three just trying to stay alive.
The jungle creature -- he, she, but mostly it – came out of nowhere.
“That thing is not getting my firsts, let alone my seconds,” Grangeer said.
“What choice do we have?”
Cassie screamed when the beast rose up not ten feet behind Grangeer and Ben.
Moments later, there were no survivors in the hastily set up camp. None at all.
The group didn’t know that their camp was at the base of an ancient volcano, the owners of which made sure to offer sacrifice to quiet the beast within.
It smiled, and then returned to its lair, satiated and well fed for another one hundred years.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Writing Prompt Friday (#14)

For this Writing Prompt Friday, the task is a simple one. Pull out your work in progress (WIP). It needs to be a piece that you're still working on, one where you have not yet reached "The End."

Got it? Now, note the time. Jot it down on a piece of paper or make a notation in your file.

With both your WIP in hand and your time noted, your writing prompt challenge for today is to read the last line that you wrote and then write for 20 minutes. No fixing. No editing. No second-guessing

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chesapeake Romance Writers sign books

Saturday, Feb. 1 was a fun day for Chesapeake Romance Writers. We had a booth at the MyTime Women's Show at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Let's hear it for underdogs!

Have you ever been the underdog -- the one not expected to make it or to achieve? If so, hold your head up high and do what you know you can do. You can be a champion. You can overcome the odds, even if those odds are stacked so high that you begin to wonder if you should even try.

As the season leading to the NCAA March Madness tournament begins, here's a look at what happens when an underdog takes to the court and outperforms in a miraculous way.

The situation: It's 2001. Hampton University (my alma mater!) is the 15th seed in the NCAA tournament. The team travels to Iowa to take on No. 2 seed, Iowa State. Iowa State was expected to walk away with the game and move forward in the tournament. That's not quite how the story unfolded.