Wednesday, October 6, 2010

THE TEASE … Great Scene/Chapter Endings to Lead Your Readers On!


“Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”

—Mae West misquote


Yep, Mae West did it. So did Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Heck, even Scarlett did it with Rhett in Gone With the Wind when she dressed up in her mama’s velvet curtains.


Let’s face it—as human beings, we all “tease” at times. To persuade, to influence, to coax. Women do it when they doll up in their best dress, perfume and makeup to flutter their eyelashes at their boyfriends, hubbies or dates. Perfume companies do it when they offer handbags or umbrellas with the purchase of one of their scents, and Hollywood certainly does it when they entice us with movie trailers and previews of upcoming movies.


And guess what?? Writers do it too! Just like you need the perfect “pickup line” or hook to entice an editor or reader to pick up your manuscript or book The Perfect Pickup Line… Or How To Hook A Reader, you also need great scene and chapter endings to keep them reading on. To give them insomnia so they turn the pages far into the night. And to be honest, if there is one thing that bothers me as a writer more than a mediocre first line, it’s an ending line to a scene or chapter that tells me … yawn … it’s time to go to bed.


Case in Point—a few years ago I went to a writer’s retreat in Chama, New Mexico, where, incidentally, Mary Connealy was my roomie, an insomniac who not only writes far into the night, but also reads into the wee hours as well. So, there we were, the two of us in all of our nighttime glory, reading our books. I was just finishing up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and I liked it well enough, but had NO earthly intention of reading book two in the series. None, zilch, nada.


So I heave a sigh and turn the last page and there, staring me in the face is chapter one of book 2 in the “Twilight Saga,” New Moon. Now, I wasn’t tired and I didn’t want to begin a new book that late at night, so I started reading it. And it was okay, but I still had NO intention of buying/reading it … until I got to the last paragraph of the first chapter, and sweet mother of Job, Stephenie Meyer pulled a tease like I’ve never read in a book before. I’m telling you, when I finished those last few lines of New Moon’s first chapter, I was SO crazed to read on, that if there had been a store open at one o’clock in the morning in little Chama, New Mexico, I would have been there in my PJs buying New Moon. So … ready to see that tease of a scene ending? Well, here it is—Bella is celebrating her birthday with her vampire boyfriend Edward’s family when the party goes awry …


New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer

I’d tumbled down to the floor by the piano with my arms thrown out instinctively to catch my fall, into the jagged shards of glass. Only now did I feel the searing, stinging pain that ran from my wrist to the crease inside my elbow.

Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright, red blood pulsing out of my arm—into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.


To quote Mary Connealy—Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Stephanie Meyer cast her line, jerked hard, and reeled me in, hook, line and sinker. And, ladies and gentlemen—YOU can do the very same with just “a little bit of help from your friends” … your Seeker friends, that is, and a few others. Here are some samples of various types of scene/chapter endings that you can use to “lead your readers on,” but first, here’s a basic tip to adhere to:


When it comes to scene or chapter endings, think drama, drama, DRAMA!!!! It’s actually not much different than hook openings because you need to reel them in much the same way, but this time you’re propelling them into the next scene or chapter while neatly wrapping the scene/chapter up at the same time.


Keep in mind that ho-hum actions (i.e. Mary turned, waved and headed down the street.), flat dialogue, (i.e. Thank you for the lift home, Mitch, good-night.”) or comatose thoughts (i.e. This was a great day.) are NOT going to entice your reader to shorten their beauty sleep, so anything you can do to infuse DRAMA into your endings is imperative. BUT … here’s the catch—it MUST make sense with the flow of the prior paragraphs, it MUST wrap the scene up like a period at the end of the sentence, and it MUST promise the reader something—a foreshadow of what’s to come to keep them reading.


I’m pretty sure there are tons of ways to do that, but here are some that I came up with while browsing a lot of my own scene/chapter endings and those of Seekers and author friends. I apologize for using so many of my own, but obviously I have ready access to them, and PLEASE understand that these are not hard and fast rules, mind you, just suggestions of ways to add DRAMA to your scene and chapter endings. So … here we go!


1.) HUMOR: Humor keeps me reading every time, and Mary Connealy is queen of humor as far as I’m concerned, not only beginning her books with it, but often ending scenes and chapters with it too and even connecting last lines of one chapter with first lines of the next. Here are a couple of scene endings that made me smile and consequently, will (in the case of Mary’s not-yet-released book) and did hook me further into the book.


Out of Control by Mary Connealy, July 2011

End of Chapter Four:

She'd gone along believing a woman must. But that was before she’d met Julia and seen how brave and smart a woman could be.

Julia was stronger, smarter and more independent that any woman Audra had ever known.

Audra was changing right now to be like Julia.

Chapter Five

Julia Gilliland was a half-wit, and no amount of Christian charity would change that one speck.


Love on Assignment by Cara Lynn James, January 2011

Supper in progress, Charlotte dropped into a chair to read desert recipes. Chocolate pudding with shipped cream was her favorite, so she examined the directions. Butterscotch also looked delicious. Perhaps when she returned home she'd surprise Aunt Amelia and try these out.

“Can I help?"

She tossed him a big smile. "No thank you, sir. I have everything under control."

"Are you sure you don't need a hand?" he asked again. "I smell smoke."


Single Sashimi, by Camy Tang

He reached out, grabbed her hand and held it, twining his fingers in hers, rubbing at dried flakes of mud with his thumb. “I’m glad you’re staying.”

“I am too.” She slid her eyes to his. “But let’s renegotiate my salary …”


The Healer’s Apprentice, by Melanie Dickerson

If, as an apprentice, Rose could impress Frau Geruscha with her skill, she would become the next healer—needed, respected. She could avoid the indignity of marrying someone out of desperation.

So she’d never experience love. Most married people didn’t, either.


2.) SUSPENSE/FEAR/ANXIETY: Anything that prickles or unsettles is a surefire way to lure the reader into the next scene/chapter. Notice in Pam’s example how she heightens the drama with separate sentences, and then both Pam and Laura make good use of short, terse sentences as well.


Terms of Indenturement, by Pam Hillman

Cold dread swooshed up from Connor’s stomach and exploded in his chest.

A woman.

He’d been indentured to a woman.

He closed his eyes.

God help him.


The Frontiersman’s Daughter, by Laura Frantz

At last they were gone, slipping away into the wall of woods. Invisible, but ever present. Silent. Perhaps deadly.


Critical Care, by Candace Calvert

“I promise I’ll do as much as I can to help, and …” Her voice faltered as heavy footsteps came to a stop behind her. She fought an unnerving sense of déjà vu and impending doom.

“Help?” A man’s voice, thick with sarcasm, prodded her back like the devil’s pitchfork.

Claire turned, several pamphlets slipping from her fingers.

It was time to officially meet the newest threat to her plan, Dr. Logan Caldwell.


3.) FORESHADOW: Missy Tippens says she always try to end the third chapter of her books with the story question, which I found to be a pretty cool idea. In the example below, the heroine Sarah has come home for Christmas to try to heal from the recent death of one of her kindergarten students—a little boy whose parents worked all the time to provide material things they thought he needed, while all he wanted was time with them. In the story, Sarah sees that the hero Gregory is making the same mistake with his boys—trying to provide the perfect Christmas.


A Forever Christmas, by Missy Tippens

Thank you for bringing my mom and dad here. They even spent the night. We pretended we were staying in a tent. Peter had smiled at her from his hospital bed, happy even while needles and tubes stuck into his body, so sure she'd had something to do with his parents' change of heart. But, no, a terminal diagnosis had seen to that.

Hunter's sad, angry face flashed through her mind.

Yes, she had to do it. For Hunter.

For Peter.

Though she'd been powerless in Peter's situation, at least she had time to try to make a difference in Hunter and Chase's lives. To make sure Gregory spent time with his sons. Every single day. For the twelve days till Christmas.


A Passion Denied, by Julie Lessman

Brady strode into Eileen and Pete’s apartment and drew in a deep breath for the task ahead. An angel instead of a man. His lips quirked into a sour smile. That would certainly be nice. Especially at a moment like this. His jaw tightened. As if he could qualify.

Angels didn’t have his past.

4.) THREATS: Let’s face it, whenever somebody issues a threat, the tension ratchets up, whether it’s romantic tension or the suspense kind, and since I don’t have the “suspense” expertise of Debby Giusti or Camy Tang, I only have an example of the romantic kind. :)


A Hope Undaunted, by Julie Lessman

“Desperate for peace, huh?” Katie called after her, determined to end things on a much lighter note. She stood and rounded the table, following Faith to the door. “Well, come Monday morning, if that man so much as looks at me cross-eyed, you and he are going to have a lot in common.” She gave her sister a quick kiss and then flashed her a crooked grin. “And trust me, sis, when I’m done with Cluny McGee … ‘desperate for peace’ won’t even begin to cover it.”


5.) ROMANTIC TEASE: Now as a die-hard romance lover, I will be the first to tell you that nothing gets me through a book like romance, especially when an author uses it to end a dreamy scene. But, I don’t know … maybe that’s just me …


Dreaming of Home, by Glynna Kaye

Turning to face her, his free hand cupped her cheek. His eyes roamed her hair. Her eyes.

Her lips.

"My Dad says I'm dumb as a rock. I'm beginning to think he's right."

What?

But before she could voice her confusion, he'd shifted slightly, head tilted, lips parting. His gaze still searching, questioning. Longing.

Meg's breath caught. He was—was he going to—?


Sushi for One, by Camy Tang

A whisper of breath at her cheek. Skin sliding against skin. Soft lips

on the corner of her mouth.

Her heart fluttered.

She turned her head into his kiss.


A Passion Denied, by Julie Lessman

Lizzie’s gentle sigh merged with one of his own, and suddenly a rush of love flooded his heart. His eyes moistened at the touch of her warm body against his, carrying his child. He clutched her tightly in his arms, and when he spoke, his voice was rough with emotion. “What did I ever do to deserve you, Lizzie?”

He felt the curve of her lips against the stubble of his skin. “Oh, not much, Brady, just love God with all of your heart.”

With a raspy groan, he kissed her hard, sweeping the curve of her body with his hands.

“And what did I do to deserve that?” she breathed, pulling back with a hint of a tease.

His palm stroked the full of her belly, then slid to her waist to gently shift her close. “Figure it out, Elizabeth,” he whispered in her ear, and proceeded to kiss the hollow of her throat … this time without interruption.


6.) REGRETS: When a character is sick inside over something they did or something that happened, I don’t know about you, but I’m sick inside, too, and I will actually continue reading just to try and alleviate that uneasy feeling.


Rancher's Reunion, by Tina Radcliffe, January 2011

“What exactly is the question, Will?”

“Annie,” he said softly. “Are you leaving?”

“I don’t know.”

“When they call back. What will you say?”

“How can I answer that honestly?” Her hands opened and closed in obvious frustration.

Without thinking, he reached out and stopped the agitated movement. His large hand held her small one and it fit perfectly. He stared into her dark eyes, lost for a moment. “I can give you a million reasons why you should stay.”

She exhaled a breath, and Will caught a glimpse of sadness in her eyes before she shook her head and stared down at the paper.

Had he imagined her whispered words?

“Yes, but not the right one.”


A Hope Undaunted, by Julie Lessman

He turned and walked into his office, slamming the door hard.

Katie stared, her body still quivering from his rage. Closing her eyes, she sagged against the wall, too stunned to move and too shaken to care. She pressed a trembling hand to her mouth, her lips swollen from the taste of him. She was doomed, she realized, and the thought shivered through her like a cold chill. She wanted a man she didn’t really want, and the very notion weakened her at the knees. He had called her one of the sorriest people alive. She grappled for her purse and put a hand to her eyes.

And God help her, she was.


7.) INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: As you know from my Seeker post on hook beginnings mentioned above, I LOVE utilizing internal monologue or thoughts to lead the reader on, as in these great examples.


Small-Town Hearts, by Ruth Logan Herne, June 2011

But he’d best be leaving sweet Megan alone, unfortunately. Here in Hometown, USA, his reputation was key to making this tribute store work, to building its success.

Being on his best behavior was huge and she seemed like the kind of girl who deserved nothing but the best. And Danny knew first-hand how he fell short in that category, so he’d avoided the temptation of happily-ever-afters, knowing they didn’t really exist.

Until now. With a woman completely off-limits. Didn’t it just figure?


The Silent Governess, by Julie Klassen:

Slowly I became aware of their hooded looks, their unconscious shrinking back from us. Now they would believe the traveler’s accusation that my ability had been a trick all along. All their applause and ale and wagers accepted dishonestly. In his eyes—in theirs—they had all been made fools by us. By me.

By my silence.


8.) REVEAL A TRUTH: I love ending a scene revealing a truth that heats things up considerably, raising the stakes not only for the hero and heroine, but for the reader as well.


A Hope Undaunted, by Julie Lessman

At his touch, her lips tilted into a dreamy smile. “Mmm … I love you, Luke McGee,” she whispered, and then rolled to her side with a soft, little snort.

He rose to his feet and stared, his heart comatose in his chest. Drawing in a deep breath, he bent to tuck the sheet tightly to her chin, finally exhaling shaky air. What he wouldn’t give to make it so. But he knew better. His lips tightened. Alcohol had a way of distorting the truth.

He bent to graze her cheek with his fingers one last time, then slowly lumbered to his feet. “I love you, too, Katie Rose,” he whispered.

And he was stone-cold sober.


9.) REVEAL SOMETHING ABOUT THE CHARACTER: Another thing that keeps me reading is when an author gives me a little deeper glimpse into the character, almost surprising me with something I didn’t expect, which is what I tried to do here.


A Passion Redeemed, by Julie Lessman

She lifted her chin. Let her sister have her God. She didn’t need Him. She would make Mitch Dennehy fall in love with her, and it wouldn’t take prayer to do it. She turned and kicked her skirt across the room, then slumped on the edge of her bed. In the flickering shadows of her dark, cold room, she put her head in her hands. And cried.


10.) SUSPICION: Another excellent way to “lead the reader on” is by ending a chapter with questions that stir the pot of suspicion as Janet Dean does so well in this chapter ending. As a bonus, Janet also uses “anaphora,” which Maggie Lawson pointed out in her excellent Seeker blog http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2009/10/margie-lawson-welcome-to-seekerville.html is using the same word or phrase to start three (or more) consecutive phrases or sentences.


Substitute Bride, by Janet Dean

What had driven his wife to switch places with his mail-order bride?

What was she hiding?

What other lies had she told?


11.) REVEAL A DECISION MADE: When authors reveal a decision a character has made that changes the course of the story, my interest notches up, which is what I was going for here to hook the reader further in, using “anaphora” to heighten the impact.


A Passion Redeemed, by Julie Lessman

She closed her eyes and lifted her head, hands clasped to her chest. Yes! A completely workable solution. A situation where she could win, no matter the outcome. She hugged herself tightly in the sanctuary of her grandmother’s kitchen, not even feeling the chill of the room from embers long since faded. No, she had a plan to keep her warm. A plan to stay in Ireland. A plan to be married. And at the moment, it didn’t really matter to whom.


12.) ANALOGY:
Another way to infuse drama in a scene ending is the use of analogy, because in my opinion, it gives the reader a double word picture that adds punch to an ending.


A Passion Redeemed, by Julie Lessman

Faith closed her eyes and leaned hard against the sink, the rag limp in her hands. “Oh, God, help her to do the right thing. Please.” She sighed and wrung out the cloth one last time. Her lips tilted in a tired smile. Limp and wrung out. Funny. She felt exactly the same way.


13.) ACTION: Like humor and internal monologue, to me action propels the story forward, luring the reader along with it.


Myra Johnson, Autumn Rains

Healy looked up to see Connor unlocking the Paige family minivan. Panic spurred him into action. No way was the woman of his dreams getting away from him today. He sprinted toward the parking lot. “Valerie, wait.”


A Passion Most Pure, by Julie Lessman

Her mother’s voice was distant as Faith turned, staring as if she were a stranger. Somewhere in the room, she sensed commotion and the faint sound of voices, farther and farther away until they disappeared altogether. And in a final swirl of darkness, with all energy depleted, she gave way to the spinning of the room, her eyes flickering closed as she fell limp to the floor.


14.) WORD REPETITION: Being a drama queen, I LOVE to repeat words in the last line or so for extra pop and effect.


A Passion Redeemed, by Julie Lessman

In a ragged beat of his heart, she slipped inside, leaving him alone with a gloom in his soul darker than anything he’d ever known. He touched his hand to the ignition, then collapsed on the wheel, putting his hand to his eyes.

He’d had no choice. Not against her will of iron. No recourse but shame. And God willing, conviction. Tears stung his lids. God help her. He squeezed his eyes shut. God help him.


15.) CLIFF HANGERS: Of course, I saved the best for last—the never-fail “cliff hangers” like Stephenie Meyers did to me with New Moon. Here are some great examples of authors who did the same, and in Mary’s case below, literally:


Wrangler in Petticoats, by Mary Connealy

She pitched over the edge of the cliff and screamed as she plunged into nothingness.


Yule Die, by Debby Giusti

Hands jerked Joe away.

The stocky perpetrator appeared in charge. He pointed his gun at Callie. “Rocky needs medical care. You come with us.”

“What about the jock?” the short gunman asked. Deep voice. Latino accent.

The leader turned his eyes—piercing slits in the otherwise faceless mask—on Joe.

“Kill him.”


Rocky Mountain Hero, by Audra Harders, January 2011

Melanie slopped her foot around in the mud. “Jason, I doubt you’ll have time to play games with Mr. Davidson. We’ve got to get going, remember?”

A shadow dimmed his bright eyes as he worked the door handle. “Yes, Mom.”

“Mr. Davidson—” Her gaze darted between him and Jason.

“Gabe,” he corrected. He kept his eye on the boy. The ground at the edge of the road had become unstable. Tough telling what might happen.

Jason continued yanking on the jammed door handle, the entire truck rocking under the force.

Melanie turned toward Jason. The mud around her shoes acted like quicksand, keeping her glued in place. “Hey big guy, get back here before—” The crisp creak of metal filled the air as the truck shifted with a clunk, the front bumper pointing over the edge of the embankment.

Gabe swallowed the knot in his throat and sprinted toward the truck.


Surrender the Heart, by MaryLu Tyndall

Yet … she bit her lip. If he could risk his life for her, she could face her deepest fears. Crawling up on the ledge, she clutched the rope and swung one leg over the side.

Close your eyes. Don’t look down. Don’t look down.

Salty mist struck her face. The wind whipped her skirts. She gripped the rope and slowly lowered herself over the side. Her feet dangled like bait over the ravenous sea, and she tapped them against the hull until she found a foothold. Her sweaty hands slipped on the rope.

Boom! Another shot fired above her. The rope quivered like the string of a fiddle.

She opened her eyes to see the shot strike Noah’s boat and blow it to pieces.


No Place for a Lady, by Maggie Brendan

She watched in horror as the funnel cloud lifted the wagon with them in it off the ground, and then her sweet aunt flew through the air. “Oh, Lord, have mercy on us!” she screamed. “Help us, please!”

Crystal felt a sharp pain crease her brow, and then she was carried upward as a deep heaviness encompassed her like a warm shroud. For a period of time she was dreaming of her new ivory hat …


So, now it’s your turn—I invite you to share one scene/chapter ending with us to show how you do it or if you like, we’ll fine-tune it as well ... OR just a leave a comment. NOTE: Due to time constraints, please only select one scene/chapter ending per person for mini-critique of two or three short paragraphs in length or less. Whether you leave a comment or request a mini-critique, you will entered in our contest today where you have TWO chances to win your choice of a signed copy of one of my books, a 10-page writer's critique, or your choice of a grab-bag of three brand-new top CBA books!


THEN ... TOMORROW, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7 at 7:00 PM CST, join me at my Facebook party to CHAT and WIN prizes given away every ten minutes for a solid hour, including a KINDLE, Amazon.com, Netflix and Starbucks gift cards, and more!! The winners will be announced at the party, so here's to a win!! Now … how’s THAT for a “tease” to lead you on????


And remember, October is BIRTHDAY PARTY MONTH in Seekerville, so ALL your comments ALL MONTH LONG will be put in the hat for a drawing to WIN A KINDLE. So get involved, check back every day because we're havin' a month long BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR SEEKERVILLE!!!!!!!

188 comments :

  1. Holy cow that was a long post...oh wait Julie wrote it! HAHA Julie I tease!

    Well now I have to go add a million more books to my wishlist thanks to all those great teasers!
    And oh yeah! I LOVE the Twilight series and you're right that party scene is definitely a big tease...but the only good part about that book LOL, it was my least favorite of the series. :-(

    Happy Birthday once again Seekerville!

    XOXO~ Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. I agree with Renee....I am now going to have to go to goodreads and add books just from reading these teasers!! My goodness.

    I tried to read Twilight and just could not get into it. :) I love books so much and to find I could not get into a meaty and long book was quite sad.

    Who knew there were so many ways to tease a reader! Now I am going to be looking to see if I am being teased. I kid, I kid.

    I love what I can learn about writing from each of you Seekers. I don't know if I will ever write a book but the knowledge gained here would certainly help!!

    (Cannot wait for your party tomorrow Julie!)

    And October is definitely the best birthday month....speaking from experience of course ;)

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  3. What a great post, Julie! This is one I'm printing out and keeping.

    Happy Birthday, Seekerville!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome post, Julie! You certainly packed it full of wonderful tips. I know I will be referring to it sometime in the future. I'm getting quite inspired hanging around Seekerville. Inspired both to read and write! :)
    I too am waiting with great expectation to your Facebook party!!
    e[dot]johnsen[at]clear[dot]net[dot]nz

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  5. Dont enter me as I have just ordered your latest book. (should be here in a few weeks) and I may be late to your party as its 10.30 my time Friday and I work til normally after 11.30 but may get there earlier.
    I am not sure I can think of a scene right now but there have been plenty any book that keeps me reading too late. Mary's and M.L. Tyndalls do that to me. (I am not an insomniac and do like to go to bed for sleep by 10.30pm)

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  6. Thanks for the great article and the examples of each different type of scene. Looking forward to the facebook party.
    Please enter me in the drawing for A Hope Undaunted.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  7. This was definitely a fun post! I'm loving this month-long birthday party!!! :D

    Following is the ending of chapter 7 in my WIP (note that Liberty and Sugar are names of horses):

    "When he didn’t hear anymore gunshots, David turned to see that the outlaws had decided that their getaway was more urgent than pursuit. They had taken Liberty and were heading in another direction. But David wasn’t going to take any chances. Not stopping or slowing down, he continued to put as much distance between him and them as he could.

    Darkness engulfed them, as well as a silence only filled by the muffled hoof beats of Sugar as she pounded across an ever-changing terrain. David knew they must be getting close to Utah territory. Soon they would have to start heading north to meet the train. It would be far better than trying to make it to Virginia City on one horse and with limited supplies. They would never make it into Nevada. They might even have to stop in another town soon to replenish their supplies . . .

    David’s wandering thoughts were disrupted by Elizabeth sobs. She leaned back against him, and David pulled her closer, feeling the shaking of her shoulders against his chest. As he finally let Sugar slow to a trot, and as the stars glimmered in the vast sky that emphasized their vulnerability, all David could think anymore was that he had almost lost her again. Thank you, he whispered to God. She fit so well on his saddle, with his arm around her..."

    (The words "Thank you" are in italics on Microsoft Word, just as a heads-up!)

    I would love a chance a ten page critique, Julie!!! Thank you!

    ~Amber

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Julie:

    Coffee's set for 4 A.M.

    In my usual COWARDLY way, I wasn't going to do this. But this I thought, "Oh, what the heck." So here's the end of chapter 12.

    Please dont be too rough on me,OK?

    Cody reached up and scratched his head. “Looks like something pretty torrid has been going on here.”

    “It does at that,” Nick agreed in mock solemnity.

    “Shut up, you two.” Heather raised a fist toward them. “You’re…you’re infuriating! You’re just trying to be funny and make something of nothing. Well, you’re not a bit funny.”

    Gage’s grip on her waist tightened, preventing her from moving. “Listen, guys,” he said calmly. “You don’t need to worry. I have every intention of marrying her.”


    Helen

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  9. Mrs. Lessman, for the FB party on Thursday, do you just log in or do you have to "like" the fanpage first? I guess I'm asking how you join the Facebook party (and how it'll work). Thank you!

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  10. I'm a life-long lover of books, but I've hardly wrote any fiction . . . I had to scrounge around but I found a play I wrote for my English class last spring . . . I'm thinking of writing it in regular prose/book form, so here's a part of it that I just modified. Basically, the original play opened with a knight and squire sparring and training in a castle courtyard and the squire (Dathan) is trying to convince the knight (Edwin) to take him on the knight's new assignment/mission, but the knight was saying that field work is different ("unpredictable") compared to the training the squire has had:

    "All too true, sir," gasped Dathan as squire and knight continued to circle each other. "But then there is a point when one has trained all he can and must gain experience by doing." At this, he darted in for a quick hit, but his stroke clashed against Sir Edwin's blade. Disengaging, they faced one another again. Breathing heavily, like the knight, Squire Dathan continued.
    "You essentially said that yourself. So the question is," he paused, "are you holding be back because – contrary to my beliefs – I do not have enough training to your satisfaction or --"
    Suddenly, Dathan unleashed a quick combination of middle, high, and low strikes at his knight. As Sir Edwin parried, catching the flurry of strokes with his sword, the sounds of the wooden training weapons filled the empty courtyard with a staccato beat. But Edwin barely managed to deflect Dathan’s last blow, driving him off balance. Sensing an opening, the squire pressed in, the force causing Edwin to fall on one knee. Not letting up, Dathan pushed, sword against sword, driving his blade downward. The crossed swords deadlocked, he stared at his teacher in the eyes, breathing heavily as he finally finished, "or because I am your son?"

    =) Obviously, I have no use for a ten page critique (I don't have "real" material), so I'd go for the books . . . haha. I know I'm way out of my league here, but I'd appreciate any comments or advice!

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  11. (Apologies if this is a double post, not sure if the last one got through). I'm a life-long lover of books, but I've hardly wrote any fiction . . . I had to scrounge around but I found a play I wrote for my English class last spring . . . I'm thinking of writing it in regular prose/book form, so here's a part of it that I just modified. Basically, the original play opened with a knight and squire sparring and training in a castle courtyard and the squire (Dathan) is trying to convince the knight (Edwin) to take him on the knight's new assignment/mission, but the knight was saying that field work is different ("unpredictable") compared to the training the squire has had:

    "All too true, sir," gasped Dathan as squire and knight continued to circle each other. "But then there is a point when one has trained all he can and must gain experience by doing." At this, he darted in for a quick hit, but his stroke clashed against Sir Edwin's blade. Disengaging, they faced one another again. Breathing heavily, like the knight, Squire Dathan continued.
    "You essentially said that yourself. So the question is," he paused, "are you holding be back because – contrary to my beliefs – I do not have enough training to your satisfaction or --"
    Suddenly, Dathan unleashed a quick combination of middle, high, and low strikes at his knight. As Sir Edwin parried, catching the flurry of strokes with his sword, the sounds of the wooden training weapons filled the empty courtyard with a staccato beat. But Edwin barely managed to deflect Dathan’s last blow, driving him off balance. Sensing an opening, the squire pressed in, the force causing Edwin to fall on one knee. Not letting up, Dathan pushed, sword against sword, driving his blade downward. The crossed swords deadlocked, he stared at his teacher in the eyes, breathing heavily as he finally finished, "or because I am your son?"

    =) Obviously, I have no use for a ten page critique (I don't have "real" material), so I'd go for the books . . . haha. I know I'm way out of my league here, but I'd appreciate any comments or advice!

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  12. Wonderful post Julie. I love coming to Seekerville because I learn a lot and I'm always entertained. :)

    Happy Birthday Seekerville! PAAARRRTTTYYYYYYYY!

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  13. Very helpful post! Thanks for the info!.

    edwina(dot)cowgill(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. Jules, totally great examples of how to spin strong chapter endings.

    This is a lesson for all of us and I'm printing this off as I work on revisions and I'm vowing to double check each chapter ending and opening to try and keep the reader invested in Danny's life and Meg's devotion to her small town, her family, her friends.

    Not to mention her to-die-for candy store.

    I love candy. Have I mentioned that???

    Jules, great advice, and the passion you put into your writing reflects the glorious passion you have for life, for God. You amaze me.

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  15. Hi, Julie. I only had time to skim your post this morning as I'm running late for work (as usual). But, since this is great information to ruminate on, I'm printing it and taking it with me. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

    diannashuford(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. Definitely printing this one out! And I was thrilled to see how many books I have read and how many I have to look forward to!

    No need to enter me in the drawing today since I have won Hope Undaunted recently and don't have anything to critique yet! But there is always that Kindle drawing!

    Thanks again,

    Julie

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  17. Well this is fun. Love the examples. Come on you writers out there. Be brave. Send those hooks.

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  18. I'm not a writer but I love reading the examples. I really know what you mean. A lot of times I will decide a certain chapter is my last but when I get to the last page of that chapter, if it leads to something that I can't rest with, I read just one more. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  19. A definite print off and keep post, Julie! Thanks for all the great examples.

    Below is the ending of Chapter 5 of my current ms.

    At the end of the pier red spots speckled the weathered wood, except in one area where they seemed to mass. Jace squatted and ran his hand over one of the spots.

    “It’s blood.” Her voice rang hollow.

    “Whose?”

    Haunted eyes as clear and blue as the lake turned to him. “Mine.”

    His heart clenched. He kept his voice calm like speaking to a child. “What happened?”

    She looked past him. “He chased me through the house. Caught me there in the woods and beat me. He wanted to…” An eagle flew over. Its sharp cry pierced the sky. Her eyes shifted to him and recognition dawned.

    She checked her watch. “Oh man! You’re probably wanting your supper. Sorry, time got away from me.” She wiped her wet cheeks.

    He caught her arm when she tried to pass him. “Ryan, you can trust me.”

    “Can I?”

    He stood silent. She shook her arm free and retreated down the path.

    --Kirsten

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  20. Julie,
    Great post!! In my first book I wrote I think each chapter was a day and I ended each scene with my heroine going to bed.
    Whoo--how interesting is that?

    In my scene--my heroine is a recovering singer trying to get custody of her son. Her court date is less than a month away and she finds out her sister has written a tell-all book.




    I stand. “Little sister, you are not, do you hear me, you are not going to turn this on me. Tell me what’s in this book and how much money you’re making.”
    “The money part isn’t any of your business. Let’s just say I won’t be asking you for any more cash.”
    “Unbelievable.”
    “Are you jealous because I’m good at something?”
    Is she serious? I look at her. Really look at her. Her eyes make me sad because they look dead. Like there’s no life behind them. Like she’s some sort of robot.
    Like mine used to look.
    Now it’s my turn to take a deep breath. I’ve got to figure this out. “When is this book coming out?”
    In my red haze of anger I didn’t read the release date in the magazine.
    “In a couple of weeks.”
    “Before or after my court date.”
    “Before.”
    Great. I’m sure it’s all been planned out for months. Obviously Todd knew about this. “Does mother know?”
    Valentine’s gaze immediately shifts and I know the answer.
    “So, tell me Valentine. How bad is this for me?”


    I'm still trying to win A Hope Undaunted book---haven't managed to do that yet.

    Thanks for sharing all the endings. Great learning tools.

    And Happy Birthday Seekerville!!!

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  21. Julie,
    It is so good to connect with you again! I love it that you have a new book out and are everywhere lately! Will you be doing this each time a new book is published? I sure hope so!
    Wow, you are DEEP! The info was fabulous, the examples SUPERB!
    I look forward to attending your party tomorrow night if I arrive home in time. I'm out of state with my husband on business. I will be so disappointed if I miss it!
    May God bless you richly today. He must be so proud that you are using your talents for Him :)
    Luv ya, dear!!!!!

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  22. Fun post Julie, Brought to mind all those great Seeker books I've read. Love it, love it, love it.

    Have a great day. We're driving across the desert again. We drove through Nevada yesterday. Across Hoover Dam today and into Arizona. Hooray. Looking forward to getting home.

    Your posts are always so fun Jules. I do have Chocolate Velvet coffee to share. Fortunately the coffee pot works in the motorhome. So help yourselves.

    Happy Birthday to us.

    I'm looking forward to your Facebook Party. How do we find it? Do I just type in your name????

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  23. Wow. This was a great post! I have been wanting to get your books for a while and now I think I'm going to have to! Fortunately my bookstore is having a sale on Christian Fiction this weekend. :)
    All those wonderful tips will be most helpful in my writing! I do not have my computer with my writing on it right now but I am for sure going to post some of my manuscript on here ASAP.

    violin_girl_2(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  24. Julie, you've done it again.

    Making us aware of the importance of our chapter endings, even as we bash our brains for the chapter opening hooks. Whoever said writing books was a piece of cake must've meant comic books, LOL!

    Such an engaging post, I didn't even notice how many words you used...definitely NOT a Steeple Hill submission, LOL!!

    I loved how you broke down and identified the different types of endings. In reading each one it was apparent one method of chapter ending wouldn't work for every kind of book.

    Thanks for letting me relive so many great books I've read, remembering all the while, WHY I thought they were great. And, making me chomp at the bit to read the books staring at me in my TBR pile. After reading Melanie's zinger of a last line...

    So she’d never experience love. Most married people didn’t, either.

    ...I'm thinking I better reach my goal for Novel Track early today so I can start reading!!

    Oh and btw, YOUR books are just chocked full of scene ending hooks...I read A Hope Undaunted in one day. Julie, write faster!!!

    Thanks for doing all the research, Julie!

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  25. Hey y'all and once again--Happy Birthday!

    I love this topic--mainly because I feel my endings need more work. Gonna have to copy off this one for my writing notebook.

    Here's the chapter one ending from a medical romance I wrote a couple of years ago:

    As the door clicked shut, Jeff glanced at Kallie. Gone was the sparkle that had lit up the waiting room, replaced by storm clouds in her eyes. Kallie Huffman needed to toughen up if she was going to survive in the world of medicine. “You just have to ignore Dr. Brunner. He doesn’t make a very good first impression.”
    “Or second.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Brunner was my grandfather’s doctor.” Her pale lips barely moved. “Right before he died.”

    Patty Smith Hall
    pattywrites(at)hotmail(com)

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  27. Great post! Here's one of my endings, ladies.

    "Finding Beth"
    Chapter Eight ending:

    Before Beth knew what happened, Adam shoved her to the floor and the gun went off. As if in slow motion, she watched Adam's body fall beside her.

    "NO! Adam! NO!" Her wail echoed in her ears.

    She shifted to kneel beside him, tears streaming down her face. She scooped up his head and cradled it in her lap, caressing his face.
    "Adam. Speak to me. Please tell me you're not dead! Please, Adam, please."

    No response. Head bent over his, she wept.

    She heard Kyle's ragged breathing coming closer. The whine of his voice grated on her. "He can't have you, Lizzy. He can't. You're mine. Remember? You belong to me."
    Beth shook her head as she sobbed over Adam's still form.

    Steel entered his voice, cold and strong, "Where's your ring, Liz? You took it off. You took off your engagement ring! Big mistake, Liz…big mistake! If I can't have you, nobody will."

    Tears streaming down her face, she looked up in time to see him raise the gun. Hot, searing pain ripped through her. Fighting against the blackness that threatened to overtake her, she screamed. Then, darkness engulfed her.


    How's that for a chapter ending?

    ~by Linnette R Mullin

    lr . mullin @ live . com

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  28. Wow Julie, you're an instrument of Grace today. I'm still hard at revisions and working on this very thing! Thank you!!

    I've read quite a few of these books too. WAY fun. :)

    So - do I send a scene that needs work or something I'm proud of? sigh Door #1 please...

    May on the Way is a middle grade adventure
    POV: May's
    SCENE: end of day, new home
    CHARACTERS: May - our heroine, an imaginative young Schnauzer, who has just been rescued; April - grouchy big sister, Lab-mix; Dad and Mom are humans; Lobbie is May's very first toy ever.

    ** ** **
    Mom settles back and pats the bed. "Just this once."

    OKAY! With Lobbie still dangling, quick as a sniff I leap onto the bed. I give April a look as I prance over Mom’s knees and cuddle into the crook of her arm. Maybe a little too loudly I say, "SIGHHHH. We just fit!" I can't see April's expression but I'm sure it's choice.

    Mom moves Lobbie and instantly I'm on my feet. Ready to play?

    "No May. I’m just making room. Now lie down. Good night."

    I relax and scootch closer as the lights go out. When Dad hops back in, Mom plunks her arm over me and Dad plunks his arm over Mom.

    This feels like home. We'll play tomorrow.

    ** ** **
    Even middle grade writers can have a hint o' romance, right? ;D

    I'm struggling with how to physically write (indicate) the different forms of communication. We have dog to dog, dog to human, human to dog and human to human.

    Dog to dog is in quotes, human to human in quotes, human to dog in quotes. The quandary is dog to human. Currently when May is talking to humans it's in italics. But then I find other dogs "talk" to humans too, so it's confusing if I put theirs in italics also, right?

    Ideas would be appreciated!!!

    may at maythek9spy dot com

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  29. WHOO-HOO ... IT'S SEEKER BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!!!

    MORNIN', ALL!!! Stick around because we are giving away a Kindle every hour on the hour ...

    NOT!!!!!!!!

    Now THAT was a TEASE ... AND A FALSE ONE AT THAT!!!!! BUT ... we ARE giving away a Kindle at the end of Seeker birthday month. Entries for the Kindle random drawing will be collected from all SEEKERVILLE FACEBOOK LIKES (one per person) and daily (one per day) from Seekerville post comments. So every single day you post in Seekerville through the month of (October 1-30) you are entered in the random drawing. Remember it only takes one entry to win so stop by and LIKE us on FACEBOOK!

    And even though Helen slept in like me, she was smart enough to put the coffee on a timer (thank you, Helen!!), so belly up to the breakfast bar where we have chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip banana bread, peach blintzes and for the hardliners in the group, Western omelots with rashers of bacon and smoked ham.

    So ... dig in, because you WILL need the energy to get through this very L-O-N-G post as Renee so sweetly "teased."

    FACEBOOK PARTY: Lady DragonKeeper, thanks for asking about where the party will be. I assume it will be on my Facebook Author Page, but my publicist will post the info/link on my FB page and website TODAY, so one way or another, you should be able to find it. I have to admit, I am SO green about this stuff because she handles everything. Apparently all I am capable of doing is writing books (I hope!!). But thanks for asking and hope to see you there!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  31. RENEE ... you little stinkpot!!! I'm getting the distinct impression that you are in the same camp as my husband -- the one that wants me to write shorter books!! Well, rest assured it's coming as the new series will be considerably shorter (I hope!). And, yeah, I can see the appeal of the Twilight series, but it just wasn't my cup of tea (or blood, in this case).

    CHRISTY!!! SOOO glad you will be at the party tomorrow as the friendly faces of my good buds will be a big boost. I'm a tad nervous I will be twiddling my thumbs, so I would sure love the company, and who knows, with prizes going out every ten minutes, maybe you will win something (I hope!!).

    KELI ... you're printing this blog off?? Gosh, are you sure you have enough paper??? Thanks, sweetie, and it was SUCH fun seeing you in Indy, my friend!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  32. WOW! Julie, you are just AWESOME! Every post, every interview.....it's all AWESOME! You are truly an AMAZING author and you HAD to go and tease us readers with all those lines....many have been added to my growing list of books to read, including all yours! Thanks for posting this amazing post today, my friend!

    Next I'll be waiting on reading that grocery list ;-)
    Hugs
    Molly
    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

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  33. ELIZABETH!!! Thanks, sweetie, ESPECIALLY for coming to the Facebook Party tomorrow night. I hope and pray you win something, girl, because you know I do NOT mind shipping to New Zealand -- anything for a great reader friend like you!!

    JENNY ... Thanks SO much for ordering A Hope Undaunted, but, girl, I'm having SO many blog interview/givaways right now, you should have tried to win it first. And Mary and MaryLu are definitely masters at the scene/chapter ending tease thing, for sure! Whenever you get to the FB party is great, Jenny, thanks!!

    CYNTHIA ... If it's one thing I have learned, it's that I can trust the support of my favorite reader friends, of which you are definitely one. THANK YOU for ALL of your incredible encouragement and support!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  34. AMBER ... one of my favorite ploys -- internal monologue or thoughts!! Good job, girl! Wondering what you would think of a few tiny tweaks:

    ORIGINAL:
    David’s wandering thoughts were disrupted by Elizabeth sobs. She leaned back against him, and David pulled her closer, feeling the shaking of her shoulders against his chest. As he finally let Sugar slow to a trot, and as the stars glimmered in the vast sky that emphasized their vulnerability, all David could think anymore was that he had almost lost her again. Thank you, he whispered to God. She fit so well on his saddle, with his arm around her..."

    TWEAKED VERSION

    David’s wandering thoughts were disrupted by Elizabeth sobs. She leaned back against him, and David (I WOULD USE THE WORD "HE" HERE INSTEAD OF DAVID'S NAME SINCE YOU ALREADY USED HIS NAME IN THE FIRST LINE AND IT'S UNDERSTOOD) pulled her closer, feeling the shaking of her shoulders against his chest. (YOU WANT TO AVOID USING "AS" TWICE IN ONE SENTENCE) He let Sugar slow to a trot, and as the stars glimmered in the vast sky that emphasized his ("THEIR VULNERABILITY" SOUNDS LIKE YOU MEAN THE STAR'S VULNERABILITY, AND THIS WAY, IT COULD REFLECT HIS VULNERABILITY BOTH TO THE VAST SKY AND ELIZABETH!) vulnerability, all David could think (TOOK OUT "ANYMORE" AND "THAT" TO STREAMLINE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY, EVEN FOR RHYTHM) was he had almost lost her ONE MORE TIME. Thank you, he whispered to God. A NERVE PULSED IN HIS CHEEK. BUT NEVER AGAIN ... NO MATTER WHAT IT TOOK.

    Amber, I don't know where this scene ending comes in the book -- beginning or end, but I added a threat factor if it's middle or beginning, just to ratchet up the tension. Just a suggestion.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  35. Another great post, Julie!!! Please enter me for the grab-bag as I already have your books (yippee!!). Hope I can figure out how to join the FB party.....lol.
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

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  36. These where all such great scenes to read. Julie, I have to say I am not in favor of considerably shorter books! I also wish I could make the facebook party tomorrow, but I have to work. I'm sure everyone who makes it will have fun.

    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

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  37. Hi Julie,

    I'm printed today's post as well. So much wonderful information. Here is my three paragraphs - the end of my first chapter. Be gentle. :)

    “Lord, what is it about Mama and Emily’s grave that gives comfort to Abi? She always seems to go there when she is upset.” Big drops began to fall from the sky, and Andrew quickened his pace. He prayed it would be a rainstorm and not a hurricane. He continued on to the section of the island that he didn’t visit very often, knowing he would find Abigail there.

    “Abi!” Andrew called. The wind whipped the words from his mouth, not allowing his sister’s name to travel across the distance to reach her. He could hear the ocean roar. A sudden urgency gripped him, compelling him to hurry and find his sister and get back to the house before the full brunt of the storm hit. The sky darkened. Andrew knew he needed to see Abi to safety, so he could help his father with the lanterns in the lighthouse. They would soon need to be lit.

    “Lord, help me find her,” he prayed.

    Andrew’s heart broke when he saw Abigail lying across their mother’s grave. She looked like a soaked kitten lying there bedraggled, lost, and without a friend. He wondered what could be wrong that she wasn’t moving, despite the torrential rain that now poured buckets of water on the two of them. His heart quickened as he reached her. He would never forgive himself if something had happened to her because of his remarks.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  38. Julie, that entire blog was a tease since you used so many examples from not-yet-published books!!!! And do you ever sleep? Ever?????

    So I'm at work and my WIP isn't so I'm off the hook for a hook. Haha. BUT just thought I'd mention that I got my copy of 'Simply Books' (Harlequin Reader Service) and discovered an article about the Seekers on page 14 written by Ruthy! Honestly, you ladies are everywhere!!!!!

    rowanwood AT rogers DOT com

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  39. HELEN!!! What do you mean "don't be too rough"??? You nailed it, girl, I wouldn't change a thing!! You implemented dialogue and revealing something about the hero, so great job, girl!!

    LADYDRAGONKEEPER SAID: I know I'm way out of my league here, but I'd appreciate any comments or advice!
    "Out of your league"??? Are you kidding me??? I almost gasped at the last line, girl -- is it supposed to be a surprise that Dathan is Sir Edwin's son?? If so, AWESOME!!! You better start writing this story now, LD, because you had me glued to the paragraph, seriously. The only thing that jumped out at me as needing to be tweaked were two sentences in a row that you both begin with an "ing" word:

    Sensing an opening, the squire pressed in, the force causing Edwin to fall on one knee. Not letting up, Dathan pushed, sword against sword, driving his blade downward.

    I'd mix it up a bit with something like:

    Sensing an opening, the squire pressed in, the force causing Edwin to fall on one knee. Sword against sword, Dathan pushed in for the kill, driving his blade downward.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  40. Okay, I am all stirred up now. Nothing like TWENTY chapter ending hooks to hook me.

    Good grief, Julie, I'm actually sitting here almost laughing I'm so hooked. What a great list of hooks.

    I can't WAIT for Audra and Tina's books to GET TO THE STORES!!!

    Terrific post.

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  41. Thanks, CINDY, both for your kind words and coming to the Seeker birthday party -- here's to a win, girl!!

    EDWINA ... you are MORE than welcome, and just a note to anyone out there who would be interested in reading a painful story from my past, Edwina was kind enough to post it on her blog at The Plight of Windowsill Jesus Would love to hear your comments!!

    Uh, RUTHY ... I don't think you need to print this off, girlfriend, because I have yet to read a chapter/scene ending in your books that didn't pull me deeper into the story! And I amaze you?? HA!! It' pales next to how much YOU amaze me, kiddo, especially your work ethic. Sigh.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  42. To me, if you hook the end of a chapter HARD, then make the BEGINNING of the next chapter also a huge hook connected to the end of the last chapter, your readers will know you write like that and they'll HAVE to start the next chapter. They'll just HAVE TO. You don't have to do it everytime but enough that the reader wants in on the next chapter.

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  43. A personal favorite of mine is from Cowboy Christmas.
    The end of chapter fourteen and the beginning of chapter fifteen.
    Elijah Walker laying down the law to his mother and the heroine Annie Talbot.

    >>>>>
    His voice got louder until he was shouting at both of the mulish women. “And I say it’s pure foolishness for you to go to town, Annette Talbot. So that’s the end of it.
    “You’re staying home.” He jabbed his finger at the headstrong little woman, then turned to point at his ma. “And you’re going to mind me. I won’t have her out on the trail one day after she almost died of the cold, and that’s that.”

    Chapter Fifteen
    He let her sit beside him on the buckboard.

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  44. DIANNA ... Gosh, you're printing it off, too, to read during lunch hour, I presume?? Man, how long do they give you for lunch anyway, kiddo, three hours??? :) Thanks for coming by.

    JULIE ... thanks for your faithfulness to the Seekers, girl, a definite mainstay of this group. And another one printing it off??? Mmmm ... because it's too long to read in one sitting??? Trust me, I'm working on that brevity thing ...

    TEENSTER!! LOVED my first glimpse at the new book, and CANNOT wait to get my mitts on it, girl!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  45. And a personal favorite from another author's work, Julie Garwood, The Bride.
    The ruthless Scottish Laird Alec, the fiesty English lady Jamie are married purely by the order of the king.

    About the seventh chapter, Alec and his commander are talking about how ill suited Jamie is for the rugged life in the highlands of scotland.
    Here is the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

    Alec said, "Don't worry, she'll settle in."

    Chapter Eight
    She started four wars the first week.

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  46. Wow, Julie! That was a great post--thanks for sharing so much with us! I'm not much of a writer, but it was great getting some ideas how to put together those books I love to read!

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  47. Hey, Julie! Great post. Sometimes I forget how important it is to end a chapter with a bang. But we do need to drag readers into the next chapter even when they really need to sleep. Are we sadistic, or what?

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  48. ADGE ... oh-oh, you sound like one of those tough readers who will put the book down RIGHT NOW if it doesn't hook you further, and you just won my book, so now I'm worried. :/ I'm actually one of these who will continue pushing through a book even though it doesn't hook me because I just hate to quit a book before it's done. But I have, once or twice. Uh, praying you don't quit AHU ... :)

    KIRSTEN!!! BEAUTIFULLY done, my friend!! Tense ending utilizing dialogue and and unspoken words and action, all nicely packaged with short, natural dialogue. Great job!!

    LINDI SAID: "In my first book I wrote I think each chapter was a day and I ended each scene with my heroine going to bed.
    Whoo--how interesting is that?"

    GRIN ... I don't know. Guess it depends if she was going to bed alone or with her husband ... ;) Great premise for your scene, by the way, Lindi! LOVE how you hooked my interest with short, terse dialogue that SO fits, hints of regret, threat and maybe even a little suspense. Very nice!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  49. THIS NEEDS SOME HELP IF ANYONE IS WILLING.

    Although Cole knew he shouldn’t, he darted a glance at Lucy and met her eyes. They held each other’s gaze as Dalton explained how he thought they should complete the task. Why did he feel guilty when she was the scheming matchmaker?
    With a glimpse around the conference room, Cole watched the other groups finish their brainstorming and begin to leave. A few of the men and women laughed, and he noticed the tell-tale signs of female persuasion—flipping hair, coy smile, high-pitched laughter. Every time he walked into the gym, he was greeted with the same. But he had no problem dismissing those women.
    When he looked back at Lucy, she was nodding at Dalton. She smiled, and his mouth went dry and his chest tightened. Why did one simple facial expression have him in knots?
    She didn’t seem deceitful at all. If anything, she seemed honest and forthright to a fault, pushing him away with her bristling attitude. The women he knew, the ones he’d written about, worked a man, brought him to his knees until he was willing to do anything just to be with her. He knew that game, but Lucy confused him.
    He had to know the truth about her, and he had to know fast, before he did something stupid—like kiss her.

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  50. Julie, what an awesome post. This is a keeper, as others have said. Thank you!

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  51. Aw, CHARLOTTE -- THANK YOU, my friend!! And I have to smile at your comment: "I love it that you have a new book out and are everywhere lately!" Yes, I am, and if YOU aren't getting sick of me yet, trust me, I am!! :) And will I be doing this each time a new book is published? Afraid so, because "buzz" is what it's all about when a book comes out, and I always try to make hay while the sun shines before slinking back into my hole to write another book! And "DEEP"??? Like a black hole, darlin', where you never know what you're gonna pull up ... :) Thanks for coming by AND for planning to come to the FB party -- MUCH appreciated, my friend!

    SANDRA!!! I SOOO wanted an excerpt from your new book, girl, but I guess you were traveling and didn't get my e-mail till too late. Sigh. Thanks for bringing the chocolate velvet coffee -- I can always count on you for that! :( And as far as the Facebook party, the info should be on my website later today under the "contest" tab or on my Facebook page (to which there is a link on my Website). Would LOVE to see you there if you can make it ...

    TORI LYNN -- YES!! LifeWay Stores are having "Fiction Day" this Saturday, and I am participating at my local LifeWay Store in Bridgeton, Missouri, so anybody in the St. Loo area, I would love to see you!! And, Tori, PLEASE start with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, okay? These two series are about an Irish-Catholic family in pre-WWI Boston/Dublin, so it helps to read from the beginning for background and due to a number of big surprises that would be ruined if the books are not read in order. They CAN be read as stand-alones, of course, but my hope is that if you read one, you will want to read the others, and obviously, that is best done in order. Thanks, sweetie -- looking forward to your ending sample.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  52. Another great post in the Seekerville birthday bash.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville! :-)

    dancerchick(at)cimexico(dot)org

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  53. AUDRA SAID: "Whoever said writing books was a piece of cake must've meant comic books, LOL!" OH, AMEN TO THAT, SISTAH!!! And, grin ... yup, definitely have my work cut out for me if I'm gonna write LIs ... :) And you read AHU in one day??? Gosh, that could mean that it was "chocked full of scene ending hooks," OR you were skimming to get the sucker done ... :) Thanks, sweetie -- Love ya!!

    PATTI ... YOWZERS, GIRL ... that was AWESOME!!! Bite your tongue, kiddo, saying "I feel my endings need more work," because THAT one definitely didn't -- PERFECT!!

    LINNETTE ... WHOA, BABY ... nothing like a gunshot to end a scene with a bang -- you been studying under Mary Connealy, girl??? Seriously, excellent way to end a scene/chapter.

    The only suggestion I have is since you use the phrase,"tears streaming down her face" twice, I would eliminate the second one, and here's a suggestion as to how, while analogizing his cold, hard tone with the cold, hard menace of the gun. See what you think ...

    Steel entered his voice, as cold and deadly as the gun in his hand. "Where's your ring, Liz? You took it off. You took off your engagement ring! Big mistake, Liz…big mistake! If I can't have you, nobody will."

    Hot, searing pain ripped through her. Fighting against the blackness that threatened to overtake her, she screamed. Then, darkness engulfed her.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  54. Thanks, Julie! I appreciate the feedback.

    Kirsten

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  55. Great post Julie.

    Helen, I love that ending. Very funny.


    Okay, this is the end to my prologue of Thief by Night. (I know, prologues are not allowed.)This maybe a little long, but I couldn't find a good place to start. Kathryn is 8 and she and her mother both contracted cholorea while traveling across the plains of Kansas. Her mother died the day before.


    She heard Pa yell, “Yaw.”

    “Don’t leave yet. I’m coming.”

    Crawling across the wooden planks, she tried to stand. Her legs cramped and caused her to stumble into the arm of the rocking chair. “Pa. Caleb. Wait!”

    She was bawling now, which caused her breathing to come in sharp, painful gasps. Caleb would’ve laughed at her for crying, but she couldn’t think about that. Her shoulder hurt and she was tired, but she needed to make it to the porch so they could hear her. They wouldn’t leave if they heard her.
    She moved through the door and across the living room on her hands and knees, when suddenly her stomach heaved. Even as she vomited on the floor, she moved for the open door. “Pa, I’m coming.”

    When she got to the porch, the only person Kathryn saw was the gray-haired lady who had put them up for the night. Mrs. Potter had tears in her eyes and took a step back at the sight of her.

    "Get to your room and don't come out again."

    Kathryn made her way back to the bed. She couldn’t quit sobbing. A short while afterward, Mrs. Potter knocked to tell her broth was outside the door, but Kathryn was too exhausted to move. She stared out the window toward the road until she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer.

    Later that night, Kathryn bowed her head and clasped her hands together.

    “Dear Lord, please tell Mama I love her and I’m sorry I didn’t tell her bye. Tell her I’ll sing our song every day. I’ll be a good girl and listen to Mrs. Potter, even though she is old and scary. I won’t cause no trouble. Bless Caleb. And Lord, please make Pa come back and get me. Amen.”

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  56. KC ... "an instrument of Grace"???? I don't believe I have ever been called that, my friend, so THANK YOU!! An instrument of havoc, perhaps, but never grace.:) Glad this blog is timely for you, though. And, WHOA, what a unique idea, KC, with dialogue from both humans and dogs -- I LOVE it!! And, girl, that ending was SUPERB -- light and whimsical and fun, just like the puppies -- great job!! As far as your question on dog's dialogue, I agree with you -- I would always put that in italics when they're talking to humans, but you could probably have it in quotes when dogs are talking to dogs, don't you think??

    LOL, MOLLY!!! "Grocery list," indeed -- an inside joke between Molly and me because she is SO diligent to comment on all my blog giveaways and Journal Jots that I teased her she'd probably even like my grocery lists ... :) You are TOO cute, girl, and I am SO glad we connected!!

    JACKIE ... Gosh, I hope you can figure out how to come to the Facebook party too, sweetie, because it wouldn't be the same without you!! Just check the contest tab on my website later today, and I will try to put CLEAR instructions there (I need my publicist to spell it out S-L-O-W-L-Y for me first, though! And, girl, the grab bag will be AWESOME -- some of my favorite authors from which I just happened to get two books!! Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  57. Mary,
    I'm a big Julie Garwood fan and you gave great examples. Cowboy Christmas sounds great.

    Sorry guys. I was hoping when my comment actually appeared, it wouldn't look so long. But it's worse than I thought.

    Connie

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  58. SUPER post. SSUUPPEERR!! So much to go back and digest (aka I have NO time to read the whole thing right now LOL). Enter me :D
    joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

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  59. HOLLY SAID: "I am not in favor of considerably shorter books!" BOY, were you and I made for each other or what??? Like you, I am partial to LONG books (i.e. Gone With the Wind, Diana Gabaldon, etc.), so it should be a challenge for me to write an LI because it is SO much harder than it looks to curtail the flow and still come out with a deep, engaging story. I have to admit, though, NOBODY does it better than the Seeker LI authors, truly.

    JODIE ... no need to "be gentle" here, girl, because that's a great ending!! Love how you set up the scene -- the wind whipping, sky darkening and the ocean roar -- excellent! The only thing I would suggest is you change one of the "lying"s because you use it twice and then I would tweak the ending just a hair by deleting the "had" and adding ellipses for effect (of course, I'm known as an ellipses queen, so my copy editor might disagree ... :)) Also, I would replace "buckets of water" with a strong word like "slammed" because it helps avoid the cliche. Also wondering what you would think of maybe dangling the ending with a possible foreshadow like this below? Just a suggestion, however, because your sentence below does work if you replace the word "remark" with the word "words" since "remark" sounds so casual and conversational to me, you know?
    See what you think:

    Andrew’s heart broke when he saw Abigail SPRAWLED across their mother’s grave. She looked like a soaked kitten lying there bedraggled, lost, and without a friend. He wondered what could be wrong that she wasn’t moving, despite the torrential rain that SLAMMED AGAINST them. His heart quickened as he reached her. He would never forgive himself if something happened to her ... IF HIS HURTFUL WORDS HAD LED HER TO THIS ...

    But, great job either way, girl!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  60. That was a long post, but very informative, I just want to know one thing... did Mary fashion those characters in her '11 release after some familiar faces and names?? Made me wonder there... Okay. I AM going to be brave and find an excerpt... wait right there....

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  61. Here is the end of one of my chapters:

    Carole? The name alone was enough to send my teeth into a grind. I grasped the edge of the peeling Formica counter and stared behind her. I straightened my shoulders and waited. And waited. This was insane. It could not be the same Carole. It wouldn’t make sense if it was.

    Carole’s head emerged from behind a grey cubicle wall and the aid got her attention. She sauntered my way and I ached to turn tail and run. Things had just gone from bad to worse.

    Now Julie, you and I need to have a little chat. I don't have a FB account. WHAAAA!!! Maybe I can sit on the outskirts and watch. Think it will let me? Great post and I would so go for that critique. :)

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  62. Thanks Julie! You are a sweetheart to take the time to answer all of us. I love your suggestions!

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

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  63. Okay - this is a DEFINITE keeper post, Jules.
    WONDERFUL!!!
    And I love to tease in my writing too.
    I read the Twilight series - well, I made it through to book 3 and quit in the middle of bookd 4 (TOO weird for me). Good cliffhangers, hooks, teases, etc - especially in book #1.
    I usually perfer humor as a tease, or ending the chapter with uncertainty - BUT, peril is good too.

    I love all of the examples - VERY cute, Helen.

    Plus...
    I have a vampire example to go along with the Twilight example...how about that? ;-) She's an Ancient (someone who kills vampires) and is on an assignment to find a cult of vampires in Appalachia. -
    AND this is a redemptive story, just so you know- I don't want to offend anyone. It's not your typical vampire book. :-)

    His darkening gaze intensified, eyes of midnight. “I’m not your enemy.”

    Sophia's fists tightened at her sides. Not her enemy? His declaration seared any confusion or mercy she might have felt a few seconds before. She was born to rid the world of his kind, of his evil. The ones who had taken enough from her. Not her enemy? Liar.

    He was within touching distance now, eyes half-glazed, almost black, and unblinking. She pushed her hair from her neck and felt her pulse beat against the cool air.

    His gaze flickered to her throat, breath pumping with the rapid rise and fall of his chest. One more step and it would be all over.

    “God help me,” he gasped and closed his eyes, a visible shiver quaking his shoulders.

    His plea doused her spell and confidence. She stumbled back to grip the counter, lost in this impossibility. A prayer from him?

    A crash of the back door shattered into her thoughts followed by Rose, arms laden with two brimming bags. Sophia stepped between Rose and the intruder.

    “Hello, Ethan," said Rose. "I see you’ve met our new neighbor.”

    Sophia’s skin cooled to ice. “Ethan?”

    Rose stepped around her and set the bags on the counter, but the man’s gaze never unlocked from hers as he loosened his jaw. “Ethan Taylor, your partner.”

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  64. KAV ... YEAH, that was our Ruthy's doing ... isn't she GREAT??? We think we'll keep her ...

    MARY ... I know JUST what you mean -- I don't think I've waited so impatiently for two books to come more than Tina and Audra's, seriously!! Cannot wait!!

    And MARY SAID: "To me, if you hook the end of a chapter HARD, then make the BEGINNING of the next chapter also a huge hook connected to the end of the last chapter, your readers will know you write like that and they'll HAVE to start the next chapter."

    VERY SNEAKY, CONNEALY ... :) And your sample below from Cowboy Christmas, your CAROL-AWARD-WINNING book??? Absolutely WONDERFUL!! Here it is again:

    “You’re staying home.” He jabbed his finger at the headstrong little woman, then turned to point at his ma. “And you’re going to mind me. I won’t have her out on the trail one day after she almost died of the cold, and that’s that.”

    Chapter Fifteen
    He let her sit beside him on the buckboard.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  65. Well - I calls 'em as I sees 'em Ms. Julie. :D

    re: your kind comments at 11:20 AM

    As far as your question on dog's dialogue, I agree with you -- I would always put that in italics when they're talking to humans, but you could probably have it in quotes when dogs are talking to dogs, don't you think??

    Yeah - the THING is... (sigh... it's hard to explain)... The entire book is in "first dog" - thus all of it is from May's POV. So definitely, when she is speaking to humans, it's in italics and when she speaks to other dogs and them to her, always in quotes.

    The dilemma is when other dogs speak to humans... which they do of course (doesn't everyone know our dogs speak to us, verbally AND with body language? yes, well... call me crazy. It's normal around here, I'm a veterinarian's daughter, as opposed to a woodcutter's daughter, I digress.)

    So - that's the problem I'm having. It seems like most of the time I see italics, they are done for internals. Here, they will not be as it is all in first dog.

    Ok - I'm now officially chasing my tail in circles.

    sigh.

    ** Enjoying reading the mini-critiques. These examples really do help me. (Thanks everyone) and thanks "Gracie"!!! ha!

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  66. Jules,
    Mary is extremely good at cliffhangers and humor (notice I wrote 'very' instead of 'extremely'. I'm trying to be more verbose)

    Wrangler in Petticoats is filled with both.

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  67. KC - HILARIOUS!!!
    It's a dog-speak-dog world.LOL

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  68. Great post, Julie, and no need to apologize for using examples from your work. One of the things I love about your writing are your hooks.

    This is from a scene I wrote just last night:

    He folded one arm behind his head and folded one leg beneath the other. Devon wondered whether his eyes betrayed him as much as hers had betrayed her.

    Even if they hadn’t, he knew the truth. He didn’t know when or how, but as sure as he knew his name and the fact that eating shrimp made his eyeballs swell, he knew he would see Jada again. He had to.

    He was no fortune teller, so he didn’t begin to imagine what the future might hold, but he knew whatever this thing was between them didn’t end here, not this evening.

    He lowered his arm and uncurled his leg, rolling onto his side. He blew out a breath of satisfaction. Now that he’d worked through that mental maze, sleep was tapping on the back of his eyelids. His thoughts began to dissolve. It was harder to focus. He inhaled and exhaled one last time.

    No, this was not the end…

    They were just getting started.

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  69. MARY -- I LOVE this great scene ending/next-chapter-beginning sample YOU QUOTED FROM JULIE GARWOOD -- priceless!!:

    Alec said, "Don't worry, she'll settle in."

    Chapter Eight
    She started four wars the first week.

    FICHEN1 ... thanks SO much for coming by, sweetie, and good luck in the contests!!

    CARA SAID: "Are we sadistic, or what?" You bet, sweetie, and the more sadistic, the better, in my book ... or books, I should say!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  70. Thx Pepper!

    When you get going with this line of thinking, it's just funny...

    And she becomes a SPY of all things. (Who knew?)

    Now if I can get the revisions done and get the thing published for da kiddoes, and animal-lovers of any age, right?!

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  71. Great post! Here's the ending of chapter four of a fantasy YA novel:

    I walked to the other side with my arms up, prepared to have to fight the wind if it sucked me up into a filthy, disgusting alley. Number 317, number 319, finally number 321. This is it!

    No doorbell. I knocked. No response. I pounded on the door. Still now answer. Artex wasn’t home. I had failed.

    Sudden heat radiated in my hand; somehow I held the pen again. My anxiety melted away to curiosity. The house looked deserted, and the door wasn’t completely latched. A quick peek couldn’t hurt. Go for it, Alexia, you came this far. With a deep breath, I pushed the door open and allowed the darkness to envelop me whole.

    No need to go easy on me, I can take it. :)

    ~Nicole

    Nicole.Zoltack@gmail.com

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  72. A lot of useful info in this post, Julie. I needed these examples from novels to see what you're trying to get across. I'll add them to my growing file. Thank you. And Happy Birthday to Seekerville! You're all such a wellspring of valuable info and encouragement.

    patjeannedavis[at]verizon[dot]net

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  73. SHERRY ... "Needs some help???" Don't think so, sweetie -- LOVE the ending:

    He had to know the truth about her, and he had to know fast, before he did something stupid—like kiss her.

    Fun, clever, cute -- you did it!! Great job!!


    LORI ... thanks, sweetie, for coming by and good luck in the contests!!

    ANGELA ... thanks for the birthday wishes, girl, and let's hope they net you a surprise "birthday present" with a win!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  74. Mary, I loved that Garwood book. What a fun read and I've never forgotten that line.

    Wonderful stuff.

    I love this writing exercise because, despite Julie's kudos it's so important to stretch and stretch and stretch and grow as a writer.

    Which often means befriending the chopping block. Jules great advice here. Wonderful. This is workshop material, sweet thing.

    But I'd rather get it FREE!!! Hugs to you.

    And KAV!!!!

    You got a Simply Books with the SEEKER tribute article????

    OH YAY!!!! I haven't seen it yet, just the paste-up, but it was such an honor to be able to write about God's spirit, his work within us, the sisterhood we forged five years ago.

    S-W-E-E-T!!! And those gals from Harlequin headquarters in Toronto...

    They are just simply wonderful. So stinkin' nice and on top of things.

    Hooray! It's out in time for our birthday month.

    Dancing in upstate NY!

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  75. Very nice post. (And I think several of these hooks already. Will have to print it off.)

    Below is a hook from one of my manuscripts.

    A flash of movement in the dark startled Sen. She turned. A masked man stood in the street in front of her. He raised his arm as if to strike. She lifted her hands to block the blow. He grabbed her wrists and held them over her head in one vise-like hand.

    “Let me go,” Sen screamed. “What do you want?”

    “You,” the man replied as he struck her on the right temple.

    Pain rushed to her forehead. Her knees buckled. She fell forward. Her world turned dark as she crashed to the ground. Fabric ripped. She smelled honey, plum, and a fragrance she couldn’t place. Then, nothing more.

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  76. Sooooo many good examples! I love Seekerville, friends, food, fellowship, and a font of knowledge and instruction! :D

    How's that for alliteration on this fine fall day?

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  77. These are fabuolous examples. Makes me want to read each one of these books. I especially liked the Cliffhangers.

    fictionfan1 [at] cox [dot] net

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  78. KIRSTEN ... you're more than welcome, girl -- it's always a breeze when endings are like yours. :)

    CONNIE ... oh, man, you got me with the prayer at the end, kiddo, right in the heart!! The ONLY thing I would possibly suggest is to take out the phrase "Later that night" because it takes the reader out of the scene, which you don't want to do and replace the word "amen" at the end with an ellipsis (I know, I know, there I go again ...) for impact and to show a trailing off of thought ... See what you think here:

    Kathryn bowed her head and clasped her hands together.

    “Dear Lord, please tell Mama I love her and I’m sorry I didn’t tell her bye. Tell her I’ll sing our song every day. I’ll be a good girl and listen to Mrs. Potter, even though she is old and scary. I won’t cause no trouble. Bless Caleb. And Lord, please make Pa come back and get me ... ”

    JOANNE ... sooooo glad you found the post helpful, and yeah, it's a long one so you best read it later when you have time! Have a great day!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  79. Mary, I just requested The Bride on a bookswap site...now I need to request more hours in the day so I actually have time to read it! :-P

    Julie, I said it before and I'll say it again your books could be 1000 pages and we would still not be able to get enough!!!

    XOXO~ Renee
    p.s. please don't enter me in the giveaway.

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  80. Did I mention I love lunch breaks :-)
    Well - I guess if you put the word 'lunch' with 'break' you can't go wrong :-)

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  81. CASE!!! LOVE your excerpt, girl, just have one suggestion, but ONLY if this scene comes at the beginning of the book and the reader doesn't know who "Carole" is yet. If that's not the case and the reader does know who Carole is, then the ending is GREAT!! But if not, you might be able to add some tension with an ominous hint at who she is, maybe something like:

    Carole’s head emerged from behind a grey cubicle wall and the aid got her attention. She sauntered my way and I ached to turn tail and run from the woman who had ruined my life (Julie here: or something like that). Things had just gone from bad to worse.

    And GOOD for you that you're not on FB, Case, because I wouldn't be either, if my publisher/author friends didn't threaten me... :)

    JODIE ... you are entirely welcome, my friend, and keep in mind, they're only suggestions.

    PEPPER!!! And why did I not know that you would have an ending I LOVE??? Humor, tension and sock in the gut -- my kind of ending, girl!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  82. Okay here is a chapter ending from my book Lily of the Field.

    Caroline continued to pace when they got to the living room. Front view. . .back view. “Could be, I just don’t know.” Front view. “Angela says he clams up whenever she approaches the subject.” Back view. “Really, Rodney, he was raised better.”

    Rodney didn’t doubt that but the intense pain in his chest made it hard for him to focus, let alone answer. He felt sweat bead on his forehead and upper lip. He slipped from the arm of the chair to the cushion. Had his arm gone numb? He squeezed his eyes shut and doubled over, pulling his knees to his chest, the pain now constant. He tried to hold in a moan but failed.

    His eyes fluttered open when Caroline screamed his name. He saw her heading to the phone caddy, then she knelt in front of him.

    “What’s wrong?” Fear iced over the sparkle of her blue eyes. His sister was right. He should have told her, then she’d have known and called an ambulance by now.

    Caroline reached out to touch him as another red hot pain shot through his chest. His low groan increased to a loud moan that echoed in the now quiet room. She pulled her hand back and a tear trickled down her cheek. It was too late to break this to her gently.

    God, please let her forgive me for this. “Caroline,” he rasped. “Call 911. I think I’m having another heart attack.”

    Julie, thanks for the great post!

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  83. Julia is the heroine of Out of Control, coming in July 2011. And Audra, Julia's very youthful, widowed step-mother is the heroine of book #2 In Too Deep.

    And it's not that I name them after Seekers...it's just that I'm running out of names for people I don't know, so what am I supposed to do???? HUH?????

    (okay, maybe I named them after Seekers-Myra still hasn't forgiven me for naming a character in a nursing home after her. She dies. Slowly. She's incontinent, too, thought I didn't mention that in the book. But I believe it was understood.)

    And I'm GOING to name after Ruthy, but first I've gotta write a book with a female serial killer. So far no plot like that has come to me.

    :)

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  84. KC ... "first dog" ... I LOVE IT!!! :) And as far as other dogs talking to humans, you probably don't have a lot of that in this book, right, since it's May's POV? So, I would just handle it that when a dog talks to a human, maybe have it say "Woof" or something like that, followed by the thought in italics. What do you think??? But honestly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. As Mary likes to say, "that's what copy editors are for"!!

    PEPPER ... you? More verbose?? You've been hanging with me WAY too long, girl ... :)

    PATRICIA!!! Thank you, my friend, and WHOO-HOO, I LOVE IT!! You made me smile with lines like, "eating shrimp made his eyeballs swell" and "sleep was tapping on the back of his eyelids." TOO CUTE ... REALLY GOOD!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  85. Wow, that is a long post! Great party going on! I'm a member of goodreads and keep up with my books there. My daughters got me started on goodreads and now I'm addicted! haha. It's a great way to keep up with books and authors too.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  86. Julie,

    Ya'll are making me wish I was a writer! Ya'll have some AWESOME techniques...*sigh*....will be content to just read your fabulous series. =)

    Blessings again and hugs!
    Molly
    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

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  87. Mary, if you want to have a book with a female serial killer named Ruthy, I think i have some ideas.

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  88. NICOLE ... honey, YOU "swallowed me whole" with that GREAT hook ending below. The only thing I might change would be to switch out the word "envelop," which is 3 syllables and not a real common word people would use in their thoughts, and replace it with "swallow." See what you think below. Otherwise, excellent job!!

    Go for it, Alexia, you came this far. With a deep breath, I pushed the door open and allowed the darkness to swallow me whole.


    Thanks, PAT -- sooo glad this blog is a help to you. And thanks for the kind words about Seekerville -- these ladies teach me SOOO much too!!

    RUTHY ... KUDOS on the article, darlin' -- you are THE BEST!!

    And I just want to APPLAUD those brave souls that put their samples on the chopping block today, because that takes GUTS to do, seriously. Critiques are hard to take, no matter how gently given, so I admire all you guys and gals who have taken the plunge today -- YOU ROCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  89. Thanks Gracie...

    Not exactly... Everybody can pretty well understand everybody. It's complicated but I'll stop chewing that bone and move on.

    Here's to writing coaches and editors!!

    and SEEKERS!

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  90. Great post Julie!

    I would love to win a critique, so here's one of my chapter endings:


    "Sheena." A familiar male voice whispered coarsely at the door. "Can I come in?"
    Sheena couldn't move.
    She froze as the door knob turned and the door opened.


    Thanks Julie. Hopefully I'll make it by tonight!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  91. Thanks, Julie! I agree, "swallow" fits better. Thanks!

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  92. Mary,
    To second what Walt said....
    She needs red hair. DEFINITELY!
    and a sneaky grin.

    But don't bring those cute labs into it. I just can't picture them hanging out with a serial killer ;-)

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  93. WALT ... OUCH!!! You nailed it, buddy, literally and figuratively!! a slam to the head definitely qualifies as a great scene ending!! LOVE the "honey, plum, etc. before the utter darkness. Very nicely done!

    ERICA!!! "I love Seekerville, friends, food, fellowship ..." Alliteration gets me EVERY TIME, girl -- I'm a sucker for it!!:)

    VICKIE SAID: "Makes me want to read each one of these books." Grin ... well, my friend, my work here is done, then, because THAT is my ulterior motive, you know!! ;) Thanks for coming by, Vickie -- always great to see you!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  94. RENEE SAID: "Julie, I said it before and I'll say it again your books could be 1000 pages and we would still not be able to get enough!!!"

    Well ... since you put it that way, Renee, I forgive you ... :) Thanks, sweetie! Just don't try to carry my books in your purse, K?

    PEPPER SAID: "I guess if you put the word 'lunch' with 'break' you can't go wrong :-)" NOPE, SURE CAN'T! Now, get back to work, miss!! :)

    ROSE ...Oooooo ... tense ending, girl, I like that!!! The ONLY thing I might change would be to delete the last line because it's best to infuse a little mystery rather than "tell" that it's a heart attack, which you already imply in the paragraphs above. So, how about this?

    God, please let her forgive me for this. “Caroline,” he rasped. “I think you better call 911 ...”

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  95. MARY SAID: "it's just that I'm running out of names for people." UH, I GUESS SO, YOU LITTLE BRAT, PUTTING OUT TEN BOOKS A YEAR ... :)

    PATSY SAID: "Wow, that is a long post!" Rub it in, why don't you, girl?? You in cahoots with Renee or something?? Seriously, thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

    MOLLY ... thanks, sweetie, but you hang around us long enough and you'll end up becoming a writer too!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  96. Hmm, thanks Julie. That is a very good point that I hadn't even thought of. Now my only question (just if you have time) is, this is about chapter 2 and right away in chapter 3 "Carole's" identity is revealed. Do you think I should still add that comment? I would really love to know your opinion.

    I know, I'm not into the social networking sites. But STILL all the fun contests/ conversations are always hosted on FB. Ah well I can honestly say I can't WAIT to hear who the winner of your Kindle is. *big grin*

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  97. Julie said, "And I just want to APPLAUD those brave souls that put their samples on the chopping block today, because that takes GUTS to do, seriously."
    That made me laugh because I am SCARED to death about doing this!!! I even considered posting the ending hook from one of my stories I'm less attatched to to be critiqued. But I am taking the plunge and posting part of my most personal work. Which is definately still a MAJOR work in progress...
    *deep breath*
    Anyway here is the end to Chapter One...

    “I’m Elliana,” the little girl said importantly. “I’m almost five. And look, do you see that chair? It has wheels on it so I can go places. Did you know I can’t walk?”
    “Really? Well, that is a very neat chair. My mom couldn’t walk either but she was very smart. I bet you’re pretty smart, too.” Kat said.
    “Yep. This is David, my brother. He’s twenty-one and he’s super smart. He goes to college. Do you have a sibling?”
    Kat felt moisture sting her eyes. “A sister,” she whispered, trying to keep the tears from her voice.
    “Neat! I always wanted a sister.” Ellianna didn’t seem to notice Kat’s reaction. David did though.
    “We’re reading The Three Bears. Do you want to listen?”
    “Not right now,” Kat said. David was making her nervous. Besides he seemed uncomfortable whenever she was around. And he seemed even more upset now than when he had found her. “I was looking for the bathroom.”
    “Oh, it’s down that way,” Elle told her, pointing in the direction from which Kat had just come.
    “Okay, thank you,” Katrina said and hurried out the room. Once in the bathroom, she turned on the water and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She really did look as awful as she felt. She was surprised Elliana hadn’t said anything about the way she looked. No wonder David wasn’t comfortable around her! Sara had washed off most of the blood but Kat still had a swollen, black eye, and her face and arms were a mass of scratches, cuts and bruises. If the phone hadn’t stopped Mr. Holt… Katrina shuddered, not wanting to consider what could have happened.
    Half an hour later Kat left the bathroom and tip-toed to her room. She was clean and felt much better than she had. She was exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Just as Kat reached her bedroom door and dropped her soiled clothes in a heap, a bloodcurdling scream filled the air.


    Julie, you may tell me whatever you'd like. I know I need help... Thanks! :)

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  98. Julie said, "And I just want to APPLAUD those brave souls that put their samples on the chopping block today, because that takes GUTS to do, seriously."
    That made me laugh because I am SCARED to death about doing this!!! I even considered posting the ending hook from one of my stories I'm less attatched to to be critiqued. But I am taking the plunge and posting part of my most personal work. Which is definately still a MAJOR work in progress...
    *deep breath*
    Anyway here is the end to Chapter One...

    “I’m Elliana,” the little girl said importantly. “I’m almost five. And look, do you see that chair? It has wheels on it so I can go places. Did you know I can’t walk?”
    “Really? Well, that is a very neat chair. My mom couldn’t walk either but she was very smart. I bet you’re pretty smart, too.” Kat said.
    “Yep. This is David, my brother. He’s twenty-one and he’s super smart. He goes to college. Do you have a sibling?”
    Kat felt moisture sting her eyes. “A sister,” she whispered, trying to keep the tears from her voice.
    “Neat! I always wanted a sister.” Ellianna didn’t seem to notice Kat’s reaction. David did though.
    “We’re reading The Three Bears. Do you want to listen?”
    “Not right now,” Kat said. David was making her nervous. Besides he seemed uncomfortable whenever she was around. And he seemed even more upset now than when he had found her. “I was looking for the bathroom.”
    “Oh, it’s down that way,” Elle told her, pointing in the direction from which Kat had just come.
    “Okay, thank you,” Katrina said and hurried out the room. Once in the bathroom, she turned on the water and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She really did look as awful as she felt. She was surprised Elliana hadn’t said anything about the way she looked. No wonder David wasn’t comfortable around her! Sara had washed off most of the blood but Kat still had a swollen, black eye, and her face and arms were a mass of scratches, cuts and bruises. If the phone hadn’t stopped Mr. Holt… Katrina shuddered, not wanting to consider what could have happened.
    Half an hour later Kat left the bathroom and tip-toed to her room. She was clean and felt much better than she had. She was exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Just as Kat reached her bedroom door and dropped her soiled clothes in a heap, a bloodcurdling scream filled the air.


    Julie, you may tell me whatever you'd like. I know I need help... Thanks! :)

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  99. Very clever post--because not only is it informative and helpful, it sparked my interest in some books I haven't read. I'm so enjoying having access to such great info and examples through Seekerville. Thanks so much! . . . And if there are any prizes left, I'd love a chance at one! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  100. Sorry that last comment got posted twice. I'm not sure what happened... Also, I apologize for using such a long excerpt. I just wasn't sure where to start.

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  101. WALT ... :)

    KC ... you're welcome, sweetie! :)

    EVA MARIA ... Oooo, goosebumps on this one, girlfriend, sounds like a thriller!! Is it? Because if it is you may want to jack up the tension just a wee bit by showing how Sheena feels when she hears the voice on the other side of the door. And if were me, I'd ditch the word "coarsely" for "hissed" since I try to avoid "ly" words by going for stronger verbs instead. Also, "freeze" and "couldn't move" mean the same thing, so I'd only use "freeze." See what you think below:

    Original Version:

    "Sheena." A familiar male voice whispered coarsely at the door. "Can I come in?"
    Sheena couldn't move.
    She froze as the door knob turned and the door opened.

    Tweaked Version:

    "Sheena." A familiar male voice whispered on the other side of the door, stilling her blood to a crawl. "Can I come in?"

    She froze, all air fused to her throat. No, please, her mind screamed, but it didn't stop the eerie squeal as the knob slowly turned ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  102. Some great lines. I really enjoyed reading them!!

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  103. Wow, great post Julie. I'm on my lunch break, and don't have time to read all the comments, but have a question for everyone.

    Should EVERY scene end with something over the top? IOW, can a writer go too far with constantly shocking, surprising, enticing, teasing the writer?

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  104. Grrrrrreat post, Julie! Loved reading all these super chapter ending hooks!

    Mary, I would LOVE to help you write that female serial killer book starring Ruthy. Let "Myra" be the one who arrests her and I'll forgive you for killing me off . . . slowly . . . in that other book.

    And we'll just forget about that incontinence part. It's all fiction anyway.

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  105. CASEY ... Absolutely, because then it heightens the tension all the more, don't you think? You know, raises the stakes?? And it doesn't have to be my suggestion of "the woman who ruined my life," but could be whatever fits -- the person who murdered my dream, the person who stole my youth, etc.

    TORI LYNN ... You brave, BRAVE soul, I promise to go easy on you, but I have to tell you that the little bit you posted has intrigued me A LOT!! Your dialogue is natural and very in keeping with a little girl, and quite frankly, wrenched my heart, so GREAT JOB!!

    I am also impressed how you strove to avoid double usage of the obvious choice of word "tears" by using "moisture" stinging her eyes instead of "tears" -- excellent!! I would suggest doing the same thing in the the following lines where you use the word "look" twice:

    Original Version:

    She really did look as awful as she felt. She was surprised Elliana hadn’t said anything about the way she looked.

    Tweaked Version:

    She really did look as awful as she felt. She was surprised Elliana hadn’t said anything about the cuts and bruises that now stung her face.

    The only other place that I would like to see you show some reaction is in the following lines, where I'd show HOW she knew David noticed, because if this is Kat's POV, you can't have her reading his mind ... only his actions with something like this:

    Original Version:

    Ellianna didn’t seem to notice Kat’s reaction. David did though.

    Tweaked Version:

    Ellianna didn’t seem to notice Kat’s reaction, but the clamp of David's lips told her he had.

    Now that wasn't too bad, was it??? Hope it helps because you have a great story there, I think.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  106. Julie: If we're taking a vote, longer books, definitely longer.

    Here's the end of my third chapter. My characters are traveling in the African interior to a mission station.

    William turned to see what the chief was pointing to, and, if there had been any doubt in her that she was the object of attention, the glare from William removed it.

    The bowler hat man began to speak. Mary wasn’t close enough to hear Hannabo’s translation for William. By the frequency of gestures, there was a debate going on. Maybe a trade? She knew that trading was one way a missionary made inroads into a tribe’s favor.

    The conversation seemed to end abruptly. Bowler hat’s arms were back in place across his chest. William and Hannabo turned and headed toward the caravan. Hannabo looked on stolidly but William’s face morphed from blank and emotionless to raw fury.

    When William drew near, his voice came out as a low hiss. “I told you to stay put. Turn around and follow behind me.”

    “I beg your pardon. I….”

    “If you don’t want to be that old man’s newest wife, you’ll do as I say and you’ll do it right now.”

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  107. RENEE ... oh, I am SO glad it sparked your interest in the books mentioned because honestly, I have read every single one of them, with the exception of Mary's July 2011 release and Audra and Tina's Jan. 2011 releases, and you will love the all!!

    TORI LYNN ... no apology necessary, sweetie. If you're brave enough to post it, no forgiveness needed. :)

    RUNNER10 ... thank you, and good luck in the contest!

    PAM ASKED A GREAT QUESTION:
    "Should EVERY scene end with something over the top? IOW, can a writer go too far with constantly shocking, surprising, enticing, teasing the writer?"

    Grin ... well, if your chapters and scenes are as long as mine (30-page chapters and sometimes 10-page scenes!!), you can get away with a dramatic ending every time. But for the rest of the normal world who write short scenes/chapters, then I wouldn't do a zinger every time, obviously because, YES, I think you can go too far. But certainly each scene/chapter ending needs to have a bit more drama than the rest of the scene, wrapping it up with a nice flair that puts the proverbial period at the end of the sentence, or in this case, the scene.

    Not sure if that's true or not, Pammy, because that's just my opinion, but that's what I think would be the norm ... of course, everybody knows I'm not normal ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  108. MYRA SAID: "Mary, I would LOVE to help you write that female serial killer book starring Ruthy."

    GRIN ... I'll just bet you would, sweetie, after the nursing home and incontinence bit ... :)


    DEBBIE SAID: "Julie: If we're taking a vote, longer books, definitely longer."

    Now, Deb, you are MY kind of gal!! :) And, LOL, GREAT ending to what sounds like a great scene AND story -- LOVE IT!! Good job!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  109. Alright, THANK YOU JULIE!!! :D

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  110. Julie, thank you for the insight. I'll definately give it some thought. I like the idea of the gun. Even though this is a romance and not a suspense, I'm all for using suspenseful elements.

    Thank you for catching the double phrase. Amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can find.

    Happy Birthday and hugs right back!

    ~Linnette

    lr . mullin AT live . com

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  111. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  112. My name is Carol and I am a literary voyeur. I always want more of a good book [and I can't keep things short - I blame the Italian side of the family - even though I married into that... ;)].

    This post got starred in Google Reader. I'm in for the Facebook party [I hope] and would love to be in a drawing =D. carol at carolmoncado dot com.

    I too feel out of my league and contemplated posting something I don't care as much about but here it is, from my first completed novel. I hope it isn't too long...

    This is the end of Chapter 3 of Unbreak Her Heart. It's Mandie's POV. She's out to dinner with her twin sister, Liz, who is about to get engaged to Joe. Joe happens to be the twin brother of Mandie's ex-boyfriend, Nate.

    **

    He had held my seat for me as I sat down. It would be so easy to let myself pretend that the intervening five years hadn't happened and that we were in the same place Liz and Joe were. I wondered what it would be like dancing with him, now that he was all grown up and filled out just right. I thought he might even be slightly taller than he had been when he'd moved away. Though if the last five years hadn't happened, if he hadn't broken up with me, I would probably have been his wife for at least a year by this point. I sighed and couldn't let myself dwell on what could have - or even should have - been.

    I mentally shook myself. I wasn't going to go there. If he asked me to dance, I might dance with him, but I wasn't going to set myself up to be hurt again. The pain of the breakup with Mark was still way too recent and I had promised myself years ago to never trust Nate again. After Mark, I was beginning to wonder if any men were truly trustworthy.

    Our appetizers had arrived when I heard something that made my skin crawl. It couldn't be. I must have heard wrong. I used my fork to take a bite of something I barely tasted, focusing on anything but the voice behind me. The one calling my name. The hand resting on my shoulder. Nate standing up next to me, eyes blazing. I closed my eyes and prayed desperately for strength to get through the next few moments with a bit of grace and my dignity intact.

    Finally, I looked up. "Mark," I said, nearly wincing at my tone of voice. I was sure everyone else was, too. "What do you want?"

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  113. ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN COMMENTS!!!!!!??????

    : O

    Guys, this is crazy!! What a week for Seekerville! If we keep this up, can you even imagine how many commetns we're going to have to leave NEXT month?? Or even worse, next YEAR?!

    *dun, Dun, DUUUUUUUUUN*

    Okay, Julie this post was really good!! However, I agree with what people have been saying about how the whole thing is a tease! Was it really that necessary to use SO many examples from unreleased books??!

    Anywho, I had some things that are SO appropriate for ya *wink* I was in my Desire class today and KEPT thinking of you (which made me want to read your books....or come here....or chat with ya....basically not be in class! Bahaha!)! It was pretty mean, but cool too *wink*

    So we're studying St. Augustine and his story. One thing that got me was that my teacher kept referring to our relationship with God as our "love affair with God" and if my memory isn't failing me, YOU have used that same reference, Julie : ) Right?? Maybe I'm wrong, either way it's an awesome concept!

    Then I jotted down two quotes that I wanted to share with not just you Julie, but everyone because they really touched my heart today : )

    One: "Faith is the gift that we don't deserve."
    ~ St. Augustine
    His point being that we don't deserve God's love, God chose to let us have it. I mean, isn't that a miracle in and of itself?? He thinks that we're special enough to earn his love. Wow, that's beautiful!

    Two: Our heart is restless, until it rests in you, O LOrd.
    ~ St. Augustine
    I don't even have words for this one. Isn't it so true??

    I hope these two confessions (as Augustine called them) speak to you all today. I hope you all get a chance to see and read them : )

    Well, it's freezing here!! Pouring rain! And I think the rain is trying to become SNOW

    : /

    Say it isn't SO!?!?! YES though....seriously not good....lol....

    Holding up in my room....just got back in from meetings and class. Don't have to go out again until dinner then the CSC Players meeting. THEN I'm staying in!! LOL! Way too ugh outside to do anything or go anywhere. So it's looking like a Lost/Grey's night

    : D

    NOT a bad thign!!

    Oh yeah, like everyone else I CAN'T wait for the partay tomorrow night!!!!
    Talk to you soon,
    Hannah

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  114. Oh wait, forgot my email....not that you ladies need it anymore *wink*

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

    I'm still trying, Julie!!!
    Hannah

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  115. Julie, Great fun reading all those hooky endings that keep readers turning the pages! Love how you classified the ways to accomplish this too. This post is definitely a keeper!

    Sounds like you have a great day planned tomorrow on Facebook! Hope everyone comes out to share in the fun.

    Janet

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  116. I have a love/hate relationship with author "teases". I love that it hooks me into reading 'just one more chapter'. I hate the sleep that I lose reading late into the night! :) Just kidding! Love the post!

    wendi{at}gmail{dot}come

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  117. *whine* it's one thing to print teasers from stuff in print but it's not fair to print teasers from stuff that's not out til next summer! :-( not a happy camper I need to win something!

    Susanna
    quilt938(at)clear(dot)net

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  118. OKAY GUYS ... Heading out the door to meet my prayer partners, so I'll say one for all of you, K? :)

    Keep posting those tease endings, and I'll be back tonight after 8:00 PM or so to comment/tweak some more. And no worries if you are late ... I won't be picking winners till tomorrow sometime OR ... if I'm as busy tomorrow as I was today and there's a good chance with the Facebook Party (JUST POSTED INSTRUCTIONS ON MY WEBSITE ... YEAH!!), then I won't be picking winners till Friday, so you have plenty of time ... uh, unlike me at the moment!!

    Ciao!! Or "abbracci," which is "hugs" in Italian ... ;)

    Julie

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  119. Great post...I'm not a writer, just love to read, so I'm hoping for a book win!

    Happy Birthday!!!
    ~Lauri M
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

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  120. Renee...

    1000 pages long.

    On my world, child, DO NOT encourage her thus.

    Keith???

    Keith where are you??? Renee is trying to influence your pretty wife into even LONGER books.

    Oh mylanta.

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  121. Julie's gone for a while...

    The mice get to play.

    SWEET.

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  122. Ok...I just can't resist since Julie put the invite out there. Here's another chapter ending teaser from "Finding Beth."

    “Adam. Thank you.”

    Her voice came out whispery thin, but he must have heard her. He lifted his gaze to hers and slowly brought his hands up to cup her face. He waited, as if to see whether or not she would pull away. His eyes, so full of questions, searched hers.

    Finally, he said, “He…God help me if he ever puts his hands on you again.”

    The strain in his voice and anguish in his eyes tore at her heart.

    Reaching up, she covered his hands with hers, closed her eyes and absorbed their strength. Realizing these were hands that would protect her at all costs, tears slipped out unbidden. He wiped at them with his thumbs. She opened her eyes longing for him to kiss her.

    Pulling her into his arms, he said, “Thank God you didn’t come home alone. Thank God I was here instead of your poor mother.”

    Holding her close, he gently rocked her side to side for several minutes until the doorbell pealed.


    Let me know what you think.

    ~Linnette

    lr . mullin at live . com

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  123. Great Post, Julie,

    Here's scene ending from my Sci-fi book Counting Tessa.

    Carter sat in the co-pilot’s seat watching his wife till the plane lifted and she was out of sight. One day he would get her to take a flight with him, but turn and banks to check the newly installed avionics package would probably bore her senseless.

    The plane mounted the wind and the pilot headed them due west. When they reached a decent altitude, he made a wide turn south that would bring him back in line to do an approach to Walker Field and check the GPS headings as he came over the threshold.

    The pilot directed the plane east for the Grand Mesa and the final turn. Carter turned to Davis to explain what they were getting ready to do. He froze when he saw the woman sitting in the rearmost seat.

    She looked just like Tessa. Tessa with flaming red hair.

    “What are you doing here?” Carter yelled and lifted the headset off his ear.

    “Taking care of loose ends.” She leaned forward and said loud enough to hear over the engines.

    Davis, Cory and the Pilot turned to look, just before she disappeared.

    Davis met Carter’s wide-eyed gaze.

    “What in the world?” Davis called out above the roar.

    “Was that mom?” Cory yelled.

    It was the last thing they would hear before the explosion.



    would love a chance at the critique.

    tpinson.co(at)netzero.net

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  124. Ruth, are you trying to get me in trouble with Julie's hubby? :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

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  125. Thank you so much, Julie! I will definitely use your suggestions.
    I went shopping today and couldn't resist flipping through A Hope Undaunted. It looks great! I will be buying A Passion Most Pure on Saturday for sure!
    :)

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  126. Yes, Renee.

    I only pretend to be nice and I don't pretend all that well, LOL!!!

    But I make great cyber food and I brought a tray of Texas sheet cake...

    Oh my stars, soooo good!

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  127. Hey Julie if you wrote shorter books you could sort of have them like breaking in half if that makes sense with the heroine in a series.
    Cindy Woodsmall did this in her first series. She finishes the book with a sentence and you need to know what next. (I was just glad I had the next book and didn't have to wait a year).

    Julie I know you have the contests and I know you will send to Australia but most say I cant enter. Also I was doing the order and it is about half the cost it will be in Australia and the dollar is doing so well!

    As I am feeling sick today my friend is now coming tomorrow so not sure how much I will get to be on for your Party. I did confuse Amy on my post.

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  128. CAKKKKE, Yum Ruthie,


    You're the bee's knees.

    What kind of frosting does it have? I've got a hankering for Chocolate.

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  129. Wow!!! So many to choose from.
    Great reviews of the tease.
    Please enter me in the drawing.
    Thank you for the chance.
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  130. Julie,
    That was so fun to read how you would have rewritten my lines. It's not a thriller. But, since I'm in my editing phase I'll look to your example and rewrite my wip staying super conscious of my wording. And now, after having read your rewrite I want to win the critique even more :)

    Thanks!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  131. "She met him on her first day of high school; he was getting off the bus, and she saw that almost every female eye was trained on him. His dark hair almost covered his icy blue eyes as he sauntered off toward class, unaware that almost every girl in high school would want to catch his eye by the end of the day. She never understood why he chose her; he could have had any girl at the school, but he chose her to be his friend. As a teenager, she read endless love stories, and she wanted to become a romantic novelist someday. The love stories she read always had problems; sometimes the couple would be separated for years, one of them died, or they would struggle letting go of their first love. In her mind, their story would be perfect, but in her heart, she knew that wasn’t true. "

    this was written by Kelsey, my sweet 16 year old daughter who introduced me to Julie Lessman..
    I cut and pasted it from her homework...praying I didn't mess it up!
    anyways... Julie, she is your # 1 fan, so just wanted to post something that she wrote...
    maybe she won't find out? or maybe I will be in big trouble..
    I've always wanted to write too..maybe someday..

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  132. "At the age of sixty-six years old, her fingers were finding it harder and harder to type as fast as her mind worked. She glanced up from the computer to look at the pictures sitting on top of the mantel; there were pictures of her wedding day, her four children, their wedding days, their grandchildren, and the happy moments in between. Her life was filled of love, happiness, and struggles, but she would never have changed any of them. She had a loving husband, children, and grandchildren, and she was a renowned author throughout the United States. Over the years, she had written book after book. Now, at the ripe old age of sixty-six, she was going to sit down and write her own love story. It was filled with hardships, loss, and uncertainty, but it was also jam packed with true love. Her romance story would touch people’s souls, bring tears to their eyes, and make them smile with happiness at the end; that was what a true love story was supposed to do. The thought gave energy to her tired fingers, and she drifted back in time to when it all started. It was a long time ago, but she still remembered that first day of high school; it was the day her love story began. "

    this is another part of Kelsey's story..
    thanks again for writing Julie!!

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  133. Oh, Julie! I finally made it here to read the Seeker post and saw you used an example from my book! Wow, I am so honored. :-)

    Oh, and BTW, I found some 1- and 2-star reviews for THA on Goodreads!!! LOL!

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  134. Julie, what a great post! I'll be more conscious of what I'm doing on my endings now. Great stuff and fun examples!

    And thanks to those willing to share your endings today!

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  135. this was a great post julie! i loved it!

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  136. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  137. Great post! Very helpful; thank you. :)

    I'd love to hear what you think of my work below.

    Thank you!
    Jessica
    animallover90(at)bellsouth(dot)net
    _ _ _ _ _


    “All right,” James acknowledged. “On my count. One …”

    The agents tensed in anticipation.

    “… Two …”

    They reached for the door handles.

    “… Three!”

    At that, they threw them open, busting in with their weapons at the ready. Shouts of “Clear!” echoed through the stillness as they made their way from room to room.

    James kept hoping Allen would hear their calls and let them know where he was, but there was nothing to be heard.

    “James,” Will’s voice came through again, “you might want to see this.”

    The other man came running. “What is it?”

    In answer, Will pointed at the door. Various wires ran from both the frame and the door itself to a small device stuck to the middle of the door.

    The digital face of the device read 00:01:49 and was steadily working downward.

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  138. Julie, Don't laugh BUT I headed over here this morning even before I heard from you and my NEW computer nearly shut down when it landed on Seekerville ~ it literally stopped running on your site and I had to shut everything down TWICE till I could get through here ~ LOL! And now, after looking at all the comments and great excerpts that were left, I know why:) Over-capacity at Seekerville!

    Bless u so very much for being so generous with your enthusiasm, time, knowledge, love, friendship and all else ~ you are simply amazing!!!! I know a lot of authors but no one tops you for being a fellow author advocate. It's such a JOY and privilege to be mentioned here along with these great comments. You are a TREASURE!! What a fantastic post.

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  139. Great hooks, Julie! And so fun to read. Thanks for giving us lots of info to absorb.

    I always love your writing...such depth...such creativity...such passion.

    PS. Thanks to everyone who posted comments for my son yesterday. Your kind words touched me deeply! I added a message about his homecoming when I got home today. :)

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  140. Oooh, I love this post. Thanks so much Julie for taking the time to tutor us. :)
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  141. I've already printed this post off. (Yesterday's too.) However, if I need to leave my address, here it is.

    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  142. I'M BACK .... AND, YES, WE REALLY DID PRAY FOR YOU GUYS ... EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO COMMENTED TODAY ... FOR A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, BLESSINGS ON YOUR LIFE AND WRITING!!

    OKAY ... HERE WE GO NOW ...

    CASEY -- You are MORE than welcome, sweetie, ALWAYS!!

    LINNETTE -- You're welcome, sweetie, and YES, it is "amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can find!!

    WALT -- Agreed!! Debbie's hook is good, as are everybody's today. I'm actually pretty blown away, you know? Kind of feel like I need to quit right now and have you guys teach me a few things ... :/

    CAROLM ..."literary voyeur." Now I believe that is the FIRST time I've heard that expression, girl, but I like it because it REALLY describes what readers do ... we peek into other people's lives and stories through books, and three cheers for that!! And WHOO-HOO, Carol, thanks for starring this post in "Google Reader" ... uh, I just wish I knew what that was ... care to enlighten me???

    CarolM, all I can say is ... WOW ... you had me in that story, girl, truly AND I really liked the ending!! I have to admit that I had to read it three times because you didn't give me enough setup, so I was confused at first, but once I got the gist, I loved it!!

    LOVED the lines: The one calling my name. The hand resting on my shoulder. But right after that, I got confused (could be my age, who knows?). But she's sitting at a table with Nate (old boyfriend) and ex-boyfriend Mark shows up, right?). Okay, to clarify, here's what I would do and note that you used the word "eyes" two sentences in a row, so I changed that:

    ORIGINAL VERSION:

    Our appetizers had arrived when I heard something that made my skin crawl. It couldn't be. I must have heard wrong. I used my fork to take a bite of something I barely tasted, focusing on anything but the voice behind me. The one calling my name. The hand resting on my shoulder. Nate standing up next to me, eyes blazing. I closed my eyes and prayed desperately for strength to get through the next few moments with a bit of grace and my dignity intact.

    Finally, I looked up. "Mark," I said, nearly wincing at my tone of voice. I was sure everyone else was, too. "What do you want?"

    TWEAKED VERSION:

    Our appetizers arrived when I heard something that made my skin crawl. It couldn't be. I must have heard wrong. I used my fork to take a bite of something I barely tasted, focusing on anything but the voice behind me. The one calling my name. The hand resting on my shoulder. (JULIE HERE: THIS PARAGRAPH IS SOOOO GOOD!!)

    MY BREATH CAUGHT AS Nate SLOWLY ROSE WITH A FIRM PRESS OF HIS JAW. EYES SHUT, I prayed for strength to get through the next few moments with a bit of grace and my dignity intact.

    I SUCKED IN A DEEP BREATH AND looked up WITH A STIFF SMILE. "Mark," I said, MY VOICE LITTLE MORE THAN A RASP. "SO GOOD TO SEE YOU."

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  143. Ruth you ARE mean! You try to get me in trouble then you tempt me with cake that I can't eat! :(

    XOXO~ Renee

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  144. HANNAH!!! Did you drink too much of Sandra's chocolate velvet coffee by chance, girl, because you are flying!!! Uh, can you ship just a little bit of that energy over my way because I'm dragging a wee bit here ... :)

    YES, I LOVE the term "love affair with God" because it SOOO describes what we should have with Him AND what He wants with us!! And I LOVE those St. Augustine quotes, but especially "Our heart is restless, until it rests in you, O LOrd." AMEN to that, for sure, and I could use some of that precious rest today! Sorry about the lousy cold weather, but you know, snuggling in to watch TV doesn't sound half bad to me tonight ... See you tomorrow at 7:00 CST, okay??

    JANET ... thank you, and at first I was worried nobody would show at the Facebook party because only 33 rsvp'd, but then I found out that my publicist expected me to contact all my Facebook friends to let them know, but I didn't!! YIKES!! So she did it, and now the rsvp's are pouring in, thank God!! Nothing's worse than sitting at a chat talking to yourself ... :/

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  145. Julie I totally didn't know that you had a FB fan page until last night! I thought your personal FB page was your fan page LOL! I rsvp'd for the party earlier today and warned the fam that tomorrow from 8-9pm EST the computer is mine! It'll be fun!

    XOXO~ Rene

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  146. WENDI SAID: "I have a love/hate relationship with author "teases". Sooo, Wendi ... let me get this straight ... you'd rather have a book that puts you to sleep??? You know what? Me too!!! I've had insomnia the last week, so I'd give anything for one of those books, but unfortunately, I've been reading Melanie Dickerson's The Healer's Apprentice and no sleeping through that one for sure, ESPECIALLY at the end!! YIKES!! LOVED it, Mel, and you will get a review soon. Anyway, Wendi, I know you're teasing, so I'll go ahead and enter you in the contest. :) Good luck!

    SUSANNA ... girl, there are MORE than enough wonderful books here to keep you busy till summer, so get cracking, okay?? And good luck, in the contest. :)

    LAURI!!! You little book hound, you!! Fine by me, sweetie ... I'm just aching to send you another book ... :)

    RUTHY SAID: Renee...1000 pages long. On my world, child, DO NOT encourage her thus. Keith??? Keith where are you??? Renee is trying to influence your pretty wife into even LONGER books.

    LOL, RUTHY, Keith and I both laughed on that one, you little brat. I'll show you -- I'll write the shortest LI you ever saw!! But don't hold your breath ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  147. Julie,
    Thanks for a great article and the encouragement--I do worry about my chapter endings simply because I CAN. LOL! Your advice and examples really helped me a lot!

    Thanks,
    Patty
    pattywrites(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  148. LOL
    Julie writing the shortest LI?
    Which Julie?
    There must be another one on Seekerville today

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  149. Julie -

    Thank you! I am completely beside myself now ;)! I have squee'd on my blog and to my 'other mom' on Skype [and out loud to my husband who is very supportive but kind of glazes over when I talk about it =D].

    Google Reader is Google's blog reader. It uses the same log in as say your gmail and then you subscribe to blogs and it updates you :). Easy peasy. I star the ones I want to come back to or keep for future reference. And they're searchable. Today, I was looking for a post Megan DiMaria did a couple years ago on professional photos - but it was linked from another blog [Rachelle Gardner's I believe]. Did a search and viola there it was :). It's kept in 'the cloud' so it's not in your email box [email clutter /shudder/] and can be accessed from any device with internet access.

    Literary voyeur... So I can claim that? ;) I ALWAYS want to see what comes after 'the end' of a good book! Even with the happiest ending, I want more!

    I wondered how much set up to give. Nate is the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart 5 years earlier [Dear Jane letter - ouch]. Her twin sister fully expects to be engaged to Nate's twin brother by the time the night is over - they're at the table but they barely got a mention here.

    Mark is the ex-fiance from 2 weeks earlier. [All of that should be clear to the reader before getting to this point, of course].

    Thank you for the tweaks :). Hoping to be querying shortly so they'll come in handy.

    Back to squeeing ;).

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  150. What a fantastic article, Julie! Your love scenes are simply the best! Thanks for mentioning the ending of one of my chapters from No Place for a Lady as one of the cliff hangers. I'm honored that you thought to chose it. Thanks, Mags!

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  151. Kelsey asked me to "proof" her story tonight! She NEVER asks me to do that... too much has changed since I've been in high school..
    it was just too cute, she has NO idea I posted parts of her story here and then she ask me to proof it! if only she knew...

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  152. Bahahahah!!! Julie please take some of it so I can get to bed at a decent time tongiht *wink*

    Aren't those quotes good?? I love that one too : )

    Yeah watching TV sounds like a GREAT plan to me right now too....cept ummmmm NO TV!! It's broken...so I have to just take Lost, Grey's, Ugly Betty, Gilmore Girls...you know what I have on hand *wink* LOL!! I'm going to watch an episode of Lost after this...almost on season 3!! YAY!

    I will most definitely see you at 7 tomorrow night!! Do you know how excited I am for this?? And I wrote you some kind words when I responded back to your email, hahahaha!!!
    Talk to yo ualter,
    Hannah

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  153. LINNETTE ... oh-oh, sweetie, you're breaking the rule of only one scene ending per person!! I'd love to, honestly, but I would be here all night and God help my husband if I don't get my beauty sleep. So I will tell you one thing I saw right off the bat, okay? Loved everything, but one line jumped out where you could show rather than tell, and that line is: She opened her eyes longing for him to kiss her.

    The minute I read it, it bothered me for some reason, and I'm not really sure why ... maybe because you should SHOW it instead of TELL it??? Not sure.

    Anyway, how about this instead:

    Reaching up, she covered his hands with hers, closed her eyes and absorbed their strength. Realizing these were hands that would protect her at all costs, tears slipped out unbidden. He wiped at them with his thumbs. She slowly opened her eyes, heart racing as her gaze strayed to his lips.

    TINA ... Oooooo, girl, GREAT ending!! The only thing that threw me off was the first sentence because it wasn't clear enough for a old hard-drive like me, so I didn't realize that Tessa was supposed to be on the tarmac, not in the plane. That said, I think I would change the first sentence to something like this:

    Carter sat in the co-pilot’s seat watching his wife on the tarmac until the plane lifted and she was out of sight.

    Hope this helps!


    RENEE ... Yes, she was, sweetie. She's a trouble-maker with a capital "T"! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  154. TORI LYNN!!! You little sweetheart, you -- THANK YOU!! I am tickled pink, not only because you are buying my book, BUT because you're buying them in order!! People on the Seeker blog and my blog giveaways get SO tired of me harping that you need to read these series in order, with A Passion Most Pure first, but I'm only looking out for the readers, trust me! I've gotten too many letters saying they wished they'd read them in order, so THREE CHEERS FOR YOU, GIRL!! Bless you!!

    RUTH ... NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Not Texas Sheet Cake!!! Lord help me, after peach pie/cobbler, TSC is one of my FAVORITE desserts. Now I want to raid the pantry for Reeses cups left over from last Halloween. Mmm ... maybe I can get rid of them this year ... :)

    JENNY, like I told Elizabeth, if you see any contest that has a giveaway of my books where I am responding to comments, then that means I am sending the book out, so you just shoot me an e-mail that you left a comment, and I will contact the blogger to clear it, okay? And if you can't make the Facebook Party, sweetie, do not worry about it. If you entered, you don't have to be present to win the Kindle ... just the giveways going on every ten minutes.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  155. Thanks, WENDY, for coming by, and here's to a win in the contest!!

    EVA, well thriller or not, you got yourself a winner there, sweetie! Good luck in the contest. :)

    JOETTA!!!! Oh my, how FUN to read Kelsey's work -- it's WONDERFUL!! I ESPECIALLY LOVE the second example of the 66-year-old woman ... uh, maybe because I relate??? Please tell that sweetheart that I love her and I will be here for her with TONS of advice when she's ready to begin her journey to publication. ONLY 24 DAYS TILL FLORIDA!!!!! :)

    MELANIE!!! JUST finished THA last night and I LOVED it!! WHEW ... the ending was especially good. Not sure what that one 3-star gal was talking about, but it's my cup of tea. I will post a review soon, sweetie, after I get past these CRAZEEEE couple of weeks. And blow off those 1- and 2-star reviews. Trust me, they're not worth the brain cells.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  156. MISSY, thanks for your great example, girl, and for coming by! I can always count on you later in the evening. :)

    GABE!!! Gosh, girl, it's SO good to see you here, sweetie!! You probably should be hitting Seekerville up more often since you are DEFINITELY a writer, my friend. I've read you (in letters and FB posts), so I know!!

    JESSICA ... Ooooo, sounds like a very interesting (and tense!) story. I love both the first part and the ending, but since it is such a tense scene (and since I'm a drama queen), what if we pumped up the tension just a bit by showing Will's reaction and using scary words like "snaked" and "ominous"? Also, in the original first paragraph below, you used the word "door" three times, so I eliminated two of them. Trust me, I have to do this little exercise with my copy ALL THE TIME!! So what about something like this?

    ORIGINAL VERSION:
    In answer, Will pointed at the door. Various wires ran from both the frame and the door itself to a small device stuck to the middle of the door.

    The digital face of the device read 00:01:49 and was steadily working downward.

    TWEAKED VERSION:

    Will pointed, his face as pale as the dingy white wall. Various wires snaked from the frame to the door, where a small device was mounted, red light blinking like an ominous warning.

    The digital face read 00:01:49 and worked down, its steady decline in perfect rhythm with the thudding of Jame's heart.

    Or ... something like that! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  157. LAURA -- that is SOOO funny!!! Let's hope it was because of traffic at Seekerville and not your computer, eh? And, girl, yes, "no one tops (me) for being a fellow author advocate" when the author is as good as you, my friend, because I can not NOT brag enough about you!! :) Thanks for coming by and for "lending" me one of your great endings!

    Aw, DEB, thanks so much, my friend! LOVED your scene ending above -- FABULOUS!! And I am thrilled your son got home -- PRAISE GOD!!

    ANN!!! You're welcome, girl, but I learn as much as you do when I read Seeker posts, so we're all in this together, eh? Thanks for coming by, and I'd wish you luck, but I know better! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  158. WALT!! Silly boy ... as if I wouldn't know where to find you!! :)

    RENEE ... OH, I am SO thrilled you will be there, my friend -- THANK YOU!! And, yes, sadly I have two FB pages, but not by choice. My regular one I was strong-armed into by a author Miralee Ferrel last year at ACFW (for my own good, she said), and the other (my FB "fan" page (hate that word!) was actually set up by a reader friend who asked me if she could do it. I said "sure," and am thrilled now because you have to have a FB "fan" page to do a Face Book party, I believe. Sigh. I still don't have the hang of it just yet, however. :(

    PATTY, you're welcome, girl, and I am SO looking forward to your Seeker guest blog next Wednesday!! Can't wait to read it!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  159. PEPPER SAID: "Julie writing the shortest LI? Which Julie? There must be another one on Seekerville today." BRAT. You've either come by it naturally or you've been hanging with Ruthy and Renee too much ...

    CAROLM ... goodness, "squee-ing and Skyping ... you've been busy, girl! :) And GOOD LUCK on the query, sweetie ... saying one for you RIGHT NOW for supernatural favor!

    Aw thanks, MAGS, yours aren't too shabby either, sweetie! And of course I would mention you, are you kidding??? You don't sell tons of books for nothing, girl! :)

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  160. JOETTA ... Well, I won't tell if you won't! Hey, I know ... let's break it to her in Florida??!! You'll be in BIG trouble, Mom.

    HANNAH ... girl, you will be PERFECT for a Facebook party with all of your crazy energy tonight, sweetie. MAKE SURE YOU SHOW UP, YA HERE??? :)

    AHHHHHHHHH ... a lull in the action. Can I go to bed now?????

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  161. Yes go to bed, Julie!! Tomorrow's going to be SOOOOOO much fun *wink*

    I'll be sure to bring lots of energy to the party, not that that'll be very hard when YOU'RE around

    : O

    YAY!!! It's actually coming now! FInally!!
    Get some good sleep tonight!
    Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!
    Hannah
    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  162. Julie,

    Thank you so much for your suggestions! :) This scene does take place in the middle-ish part of the book, so I could definitely add more tension if need be. ;) I think right now I need to keep writing more for my manuscript and then when it's finished be willing to fine-tune it. (Oh boy, that's a scary thought!)

    I really appreciate your time, and I hope your party on Facebook goes well tomorrow! :D I deactivated my Facebook account last Christmas break (after 6 months), and I confess that blogging takes up enough of any "leftover" time. ;) It's a bummer I'll miss out on your party, though! :(

    Anyway, have a fabulous day!!! :D

    ~Amber

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  163. I came back to see what comments Julie would make on my hook, but also to read the others. So much to learn from what others are doing and the feedback they receive. But, wow, who would have thunk there'd be so many?

    Julie, you hit on something special here. A whole lot of effort from you to be sure, but more posts where we have an opportunity to get a little feedback like this from the Seekers would be great. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

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  164. KRSBishop: I too read the first Stephenie Meyer book to see what all the fuss was about because the first movie didn't do anything that special for me. I read all four books back to back and went seeking and found her book "The Host". Ok - science fiction, alien worlds, silver worms ... not your normal romance - but it was amazing.

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  165. HANNAH!!! I hope you got some sleep, too, girl because we've got a big night tonight at my FaceBook Party!!! Details on my website, so HOPE to see you there!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  166. AMBER ... I am SO glad I could help you, girl. And, YES ... do finish writing and then go back to do revisions, which actually is the FUN part for me because SO much jumps out that needs to be fixed or tweaked, but I love that about writing. The important part is getting it down in the first place, though, so it sounds like you have a great start!!

    And I know what you mean about Facebook! My daughter just de-activated her account last week because she is in law school and just can't keep up with it. And I wouldn't be on it either except that it's an absolute MUST for an author in today's online world.

    Anyway, thank you for ALL you do to support me and Seekerville, Amber -- you are a blessing!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  167. PATRICIA ... I am SO glad it was a help to you and so many others, and to be honest, it's a lot of fun for me too, although it is very time-consuming. But SO worth it to connect with Seeker reader friends!!

    And I will try to do more of this on my blog days and mention it to the other Seekers as well, because you're right -- this is hands-on learning for everyone -- including me!!

    Thanks, Patricia, for ALL of your invaluable support, not only for the Seekers, but for me personally. It is appreciated more than I can say.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  168. KAREN!!! SOOOO fun to see you here at Seekerville, sweetie!! And you have to be one of the most well-read bookworms out there, seriously! You sure cover the genres, I'll tell you that.

    Stephenie Meyer has definitely struck a chord with the reading community, and to think it all started with a little ol' dream she had one night ...

    Don't know if you were planning on attending my Facebook Party tonight at 7:00 PM, but I hope you do if you can make it.

    Love you!

    Hugs,

    Julie

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  169. very good examples of teasers!! Who would have thought(not being a writer), lol.

    yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

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  170. Lol....I did don't worry!

    Bringing the energy, right?? *wink*

    Renee and I have been chatting ALL afternoon about this shindig tonight! Hopefully there's lots of people, but not so many that you're swamped/overwhelmed. We want you to be ok so you can write more books you know *wink, wink*

    See you later!!
    Hannah

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  171. This is a fabulous post! I have to admit I wasn't on the Twilight bandwagon for a long time. Didn't think I'd enjoy the books even though everyone was raving about them. Once I started I couldn't put them down.

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  172. ROBYNL ... Thanks, sweetie! Sooo glad you dropped by and good luck in the contest!

    HANNAH ... yeah, I agree, but I've seen the script (which I get to write parts of), so it's been fun so far, and hopefully will go off without a hitch tonight. Say one for me, will ya?

    REBECKAH ... Thanks for the birthday greetings and good luck in the contest!

    VICKI ... yeah, they certainly seem to have that effect for sure, which speaks volumes about Stephenie Meyer's ability as an author! Good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  173. "Out of your league"??? Are you kidding me??? I almost gasped at the last line, girl -- is it supposed to be a surprise that Dathan is Sir Edwin's son?? If so, AWESOME!!! You better start writing this story now, LD, because you had me glued to the paragraph, seriously. The only thing that jumped out at me as needing to be tweaked were two sentences in a row that you both begin with an "ing" word:

    Sensing an opening, the squire pressed in, the force causing Edwin to fall on one knee. Not letting up, Dathan pushed, sword against sword, driving his blade downward.

    I'd mix it up a bit with something like:

    Sensing an opening, the squire pressed in, the force causing Edwin to fall on one knee. Sword against sword, Dathan pushed in for the kill, driving his blade downward."

    =D Yes, Dathan is Edwin's son . . . I don't think it's historically accurate, but I could always go for the Fantasy fic. route. <3 Thank you so much for your help (and encouragement) Mrs. Lessman! I'd love to finish this one day. =) Can't wait for the FB party (or rather, can't wait to hear about it --I'm working then, but I told my sister about it, so she should be there). ;-)

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  174. This is an amazing post - definitely a keeper.
    Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

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  175. Thanks for the great info with all the wonderful examples!

    A great reference.

    Sue

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  176. @ Julie - I know I have plenty to read girl! I just wanna read Ruth's and that other one I saw the other day featured!
    Susanna

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  177. LD!!!! SOOOO glad your sister won you a book at the Facebook Party, girl -- WHOO-HOO!!!

    MARGAY ... Thank you SO much, and thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the contest.

    SUE ... So good to see you here, too, girl, so thanks for coming by.

    SUSANNA ... Well, whatever you start with, you can't go wrong with Ruthy's or any of the books mentioned. Happy reading!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  178. How did I miss this post the first time around?

    Yikes, sorry so late. I love the tease excerpts, Julie.

    Stephenie Meyer caught me hook, line and sinker too.

    Lots of great reading you've got listed there. :)

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  179. JOY!!! Thanks for coming by, girl, and I tweeted it, but if you're like me, you're NEVER on Twitter!!

    Hope all is going well with you, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  180. Great post, Julie! Thankfully, a lot of the books you referenced are waiting on my shelf to be read!

    You do a FANTASTIC job of leading your readers on to the next chapter! :D

    Did you end up reading all of the Twilight Saga? I've never read them, but my daughter, Julie, has read all of them . . . three times! I have no inclination to read them, but maybe I will someday. Maybe I can bargain with her . . . if she reads A Passion Most Pure, I'll read Twilight. ;-)

    Hugs,
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  181. OOOOO, MICHELLE ... great bargain with your daughter, girl, DO IT!!! :)

    Twilight wasn't too bad -- it will keep your interest, but I never read any of the others, except for the first chapter of book 2, which I mentioned in this blog. I would have bought it in a heartbeat if I'd had the chance at the time, but once some time passed, I wasn't so inclined nor had the the time, so I didn't continue the series.

    Thanks, my friend, for your kind comment -- you are SUCH a blessing to me, you know that???

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  182. Oh, MYYY! One hundred eighty-four comments??? Girl you are HOT!!!

    Just finished A Hope Undaunted and know what the flurry is all about!!!

    Somehow you've managed to outdo yourself. Look for a review SOON!

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  183. Thank you for all these wonderful ideas, Julie!

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  184. PATTI!!! Oh, I am SO glad you liked it, my friend -- coming from you, one of my VERY favorite writers, not to mention friends -- means more than I can say. Bless you!!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  185. PHYLLIS!!! No, thank YOU for coming by to read them, my friend -- MUCH appreciated.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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