When elderly client Doris Hargrave informs private investigator Alexandra Neve that her beloved antique ruby heart necklace has gone missing for the second time in a period of over sixty years, Alexandra knows this is no ordinary jewellery theft. The ruby heart is a family heirloom and the only thing that connects an ailing Mrs Hargrave to her parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust.
To solve the case, Alexandra and her business partner, blind history professor Ashford Egan, must sift through obscure Holocaust documents to find out the truth. It’s that way that they learn of a secret World War II-era love affair which could hold the key to all the answers they are looking for. Meanwhile, Egan is under immense pressure from the university to quit his private investigating business, and Alexandra is afraid that a man she trusts will leave her. Again.
When Alexandra begins to receive anonymous threats and her flat is vandalized, this all becomes personal. Knowing that there is someone out there to hurt her, Alexandra vows to find that elusive ruby heart if it’s the last thing she ever does.
Alexandra is a struggling PI with a blind university professor as her assistant. Most of her cases range from missing pets to cheating spouses. All of which barely pays her bills. She longs for a real case. She gets it in the form of an elderly woman who's heirloom, a ruby heart necklace is stolen, for the second time in a period of sixty years. This necklace is no ordinary piece of jewelry. It has a historical connection to the holocaust era. In order to solve the case of the stolen necklace, Alexandra and her partner, Ashford, delve into the past to figure out who stole it the first time. Her investigation lands her in a lot of trouble. When her home is sacked, her family threatened, and the only evidence she has linking the past thief to the recent one, Alexandra knows she is close to the truth.
Ruby Heart is the second book in the Neve and Egan series. Having not read the first book in the series, I was afraid I would miss a lot but I was pleasantly surprised that while sometimes references were made to incidents in the first book, they did not confuse or hamper the story line in Ruby Heart. I love a good detective story and this one has been added to my list. I have to admit, I was worried how a blind character could possibly be of any use to a PI but I loved Ash in the story, he certainly can pull his weight if he needs too (and he does :D)
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About the Author:
Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.
Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.
She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.
Ruby Heart is her second new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.
Cristelle Comby's Amazon page
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Cristelle Comby's Web Site:
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Cristelle Comby's Twitter:https://twitter.com/Cristelle
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Ruby Heart blog tour site:
You are now entering the world of my thoughts.
This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.
Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved
Friday, December 13, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Pitching my work in progress is the hardest thing for me to do. One would think I should be able to pitch my own story but actually, it is hard to give a description of a story without rambling and giving it all away. Well, it is hard for me.
I have joined quite a few groups, blogs and forums, looking for ways to develop the art of pitching books. I get a lot of practice reading other pitches over on Susanna Hill's blog. She has a wonderful weekly blog post called Would You Read It, where writers post a pitch of their work in progress. Readers are given the opportunity to say why they would or would not read a book based on the given pitch. The exercise gives the writer help in tightening their pitches. It is also great for people like me to learn just what makes a good pitch.
But I was even more thrilled a few days ago to find a really super and simple way to pitch a story plot. This wonderful example comes from Mandy over at Picture Book Academy. Her post, Plotting Your Picture Book with a logline or pitch is quite informative. She begins with the basic elements of a character based/plot driven picture book. Then Mandy gives an example of a generic pitch.
Character wants to do something but can’t because there are obstacles. But when something drastic changes or happens, the character is able to do something and solves the problem.
_________________________ wants to _______________________ but can’t because _____________________ .But when _____________________, he/she is able to_________________ and __________ .
Visit Mandy's blog post and download her awesome worksheet that outlines the basic structure of a story pitch.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Inspiration is a key ingredient of writers.
We find inspiration in every moment, in every word, and in every feeling. Writers can find inspiration for their stories just about any and everywhere. If you ask any writer or author where they get their inspiration, you will get a whole host of fun and interesting ideas.
Some ideas include:
Take a walk: Nature provides an unlimited source of inspiration. My poem, Autumn Song was inspired by a picture I took on a walk with some friends along Point Defiance Park a few years back. Wind Journey was inspired as I walked around my sister’s university campus.
Take a trip: to the zoo, the park, the beach, (Hawaii) anywhere there are lots of sights, sounds and smells (yes, I said smells. J )
The Coffee Shop: You will find lots of fun and unique characters in a coffee shop. Tully's has a delightful Macha Green Tea Latte, so my sisters and I often go. Next to our table I noticed an older gentleman sketching in a notepad from a fashion magazine. Then I saw him look around then begin to sketch the environment of the coffee shop. It was really neat to watch. I also got a poem out of it!
Magazines and newspapers: Magazines usually have a lot of beautiful pictures that inspire the writer’s soul. Newspapers are a fun way to create a story out of headlines and want adds J
Other books and authors: are also a great source of inspiration.
Daily life/events: What’s the saying, ‘write what you know’ who knows your life, your family, your kids, your friends, co-workers better than you do? Some of my poems and stories were inspired things children said or did in my classroom or things other teachers said happened in their classrooms. 'When Baby Has A Bad Day,' was inspired by, yes a baby in my classroom who was having a really bad day!
Pictures: Old photos, paintings, illustrations, doodles and more offer a wonderful source of inspiration for writers. My flash fiction piece, ‘The Dark Side’ was inspired by a picture of the moon I took some years ago.
Inspiration is everywhere for the taking and for the giving J What will inspire you today?
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I love November! So much happens in this month for writers.
1. National Novel Writing Month
2. National Picture Book Month
3. Picture Book Idea Month
4. Thanksgiving with the family! :D (had to add that one in or my family would never forgive me!)
This year I have been slacking on my writing and I look forward to the challenge of creating 30 picture book ideas this month as well as writing a picture book draft (12x12 challenge). On my Family-Ship Experience blog, I will feature awesome picture books both new and old to celebrate National Picture Book Month.
If you are looking for a fun writing challenge this month, check out Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo challenge if you write picture books or the NaNoWriMo site if you write novel length stories.
Posted by Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) at 7:36 PM
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Every once in a while you come across a book that is really different from all the rest. I would like to introduce a wonderful new series written by Fatimah Ashaela Moore Ibrahim called, The Azurean Trilogy. I love scifi and the fact that this was a spiritual fiction, put the icing on the cake. It is unique, fresh and has all the fun and adventure I like in science fiction/fantasy. The Azurean Trilogy follows the adventure of five gifted teens as they train to save their planet from an evil that is oppressing them and sending their new found home into the same chaos and destruction that planet Earth went through. Today, I am happy to introduce the author of this exciting new series as she shares her publishing journey.
I would love to know a little bit about your writing and publishing journey of The Azurean Trilogy (Books 1&2).
My writing and publishing journey for "The Azurean Trilogy" (Essentia and Burgeon) has been a really awesome experience. I had the basic ideas for the story in my heart for a long time; exploring, showing the power of faith, Earth conservation, world peace, healthcare, and caring about each other on a human level regardless of color, religion, etc. were at the top of the list. But every time I tried to think of the actual story-- it just wouldn't come. Then, one day, I sat down and said to myself, "Let me just start writing, see what happens, and then go from there." And the characters and storyline just flowed out! From then on, I wrote everywhere I could. I have three children, so writing was often done late at night. I found this great site (Wattpad.com) where you could post chapters of your story up to build an audience and get feedback, and seeing all of the people who read my book motivated me to finish it. Once I was done, I found another great site, Createspace.com, which allows authors to self-publish their book in paperback and Kindle, and sell it on Amazon.com--all without an upfront cost. They were very user-friendly with great customer service for any questions I had. The whole experience was a blessing.
How long did it take?
It took about 1 year to write, edit and publish Books 1&2. Looking back, I can't believe it took that long...the time just flew by. But I enjoyed every moment of it.
Was it difficult balancing family life and making time for writing?
It was definitely a challenge. It can be really tough to balance home, work, family and staying on top of your prayers too. And then to have a passion to do something in addition to it all can be overwhelming. But staying focused and prayerful was invaluable.
What challenges did you face?
The biggest challenge for me was finding the actual (quiet) time to write. The things God has given me in my life as responsibilities are my priority. But it was also a priority to nourish the passion I had for this project. I have such a strong desire to use my talents and gifts to bless others and bring more light and love into this world. I may sound like a hippie, lol, but I truly do.
Which part of your publishing journey was your favorite? Which was your worst?
I actually have two favorites: Writing and doing the graphic design. I am also a Visual Artist, so I really enjoyed writing the actual story as well as creating the graphics for the cover and promotional materials. The worst was the editing!!! I literally read through the story about 10 times once it was done trying to catch errors....my eyes were crossing by the 5th read through! But I have to say, each time I finished, I was like, "Even if this was a story I hadn't written myself, I would really enjoy it." That's what makes me the most excited about it.
Why did you choose to self-publish your work?
I chose to self-publish because there was a shorter wait for when my book could be available to the public. I didn't like the idea of sending my manuscript off and waiting months to see if someone would read it. It just seemed like it would take so long, lol. And then, the genre (Spiritual Science Fiction, or Spi-Fi) is still working to carve out a real niche for itself....so there aren't a lot of publishers looking for books in this relatively new genre.
What sets your story apart from other books about human survival after the death of our planet?
The difference with my story is that it really explores the power of faith-- it just takes it to a new and exciting level...and in a way that I have never read before.
Tell us a little bit about your story, The Azurean Trilogy (Essential and Burgeon)?
The Azurean Trilogy is an adventure that takes a look at where we have been, and what can be if we all work really hard not to repeat the mistakes of our past. All of this is done within a framework of characters who are God-conscious. I don't want to give away anything, lol...in essence, it is an adventure that feeds your faith.
What inspired you to write your story?
A desire to see a reality where we truly have world peace inspired me to write this book. I wanted people to be hopeful and empowered when they look out at the state of things on this planet of ours. I wanted to write a story that is entertaining, fulfilling and healing. I wanted people to be excited about being believers.
What is the significance of using both Qur'anic and Biblical references in your book?
My original draft used references from the Qur'an, Bible and Torah, but I wasn't able to find a public domain source for the Torah scripture- so I ended up using Qur'an, and then Old Testament and New Testament from the Bible. I used them to unite people in their similarities rather than divide them with their differences. I wanted people of different faiths to not see each other as so different and foreign to each other.
Why do you call your work 'spiritual' fiction as oppose to 'Islamic or Muslim' fiction since your main character is a Muslim?
My main character is a Muslim, but the story, like life, includes many different people. I chose to put it under the genre of Spiritual Fiction because it is a story that can be enjoyed by people of many different faiths, because it focuses on our spirituality. For me, spirituality is a person's understanding that there is something greater than them that created them and all that they see. We all choose a different practice/religions to cultivate that.
I'm curious, why was Yaya chosen to be the narrator? How different would the story be if one of the other Gifted Five narrated it? Or maybe even one of the Guardians?
The moment I sat down to write the story, Yaya was narrator. It felt most natural to tell the story through her eyes, probably because she is most like me: A female and a Muslimah. I think the story could have been just as good through the eyes of one of the other characters...but for me, it just felt easy and most natural.
Do you have plans to write more spiritual fiction?
Absolutely!!! I have already begun writing an outline for Book 3, Manifest. I also have two other stories in the wings... but am giving all of the attention to completing The Azurean Trilogy and making it as full and exciting as I can first! My prayer while writing it is that it would inspire people to get a closer relationship with the Creator. If I accomplish that through anything I write, then that is the greatest gift to me.