Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving has come and gone...Are you ready for Christmas?

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I did for the most part. I enjoyed my turkey dinner with my In-Laws. And I got to visit my family in Folsom, LA that night as well. However, I'm still in that, "I miss my mom mode." Especially during holidays.

Holidays are the hardest. I'm always thinking about her and how we would celebrate. She'd always cook certain dishes like oyster dressing, coconut-orange balls (don't ask), fruit salad, and even though my sister and/or brother would try to make those dishes, they never come out the same.

My father has a new wife, and while she is a sweet lady and makes my dad very happy, (I'm grateful for that)  I still miss my mom's company, ya know.

So enough about the holiday blues. So what is going on you ask?

Woot! I just got my contract from Entangled for the Vegas novella, and I'm super excited to start on edits and the whole process. Some authors fear the edits, etc.  I look forward to them. This is the part that I feel like I grow the most as an author. I try and absorb from the masters of editing. :-)

(Yuck! I just ate a nasty jelly bean! Sorry for the interruption. Back to the blog.)

Anyway, while I was waiting on the contract I was writing. It helps to pass the time, plus you have another book being created while waiting.  Did it take my mind off the contract? Hell no. LOL  But it certainly kept me sane. (Liz might say otherwise because I bugged her to death, checking in on the status more often than I should have. I should be lucky she hadn't changed her mind or maybe she had. Hope not.)

So, what else? I took my baby girl on a college tour. That was fun! I asked the people if I could attend too. The college was fantastic. I just need to write faster and sell some books so I can afford to send her there. Yep. Expensive. But its hard to say no to your kids dream, esp. when you know you missed out on the same exact one. And esp. since you know they will do great there. We also did her Senior pictures which came out great. I'll post once I get them back.  She's a gamer and captain on her school bowling team, so she wanted to take pictures with those items. They came out really cute.

What else? I threw my oldest daughter her baby shower at the house. It took about 2 months to get the house in shape. Glad it's over. We invited about 80 people, thinking 1/2 would show - don't ever count on that. We had about 80 people show up. I only had about 40 or so chairs set up. But the shower turned out beautiful and my daughter had lots of family and friends shower her with love. :-)  My grandbaby isn't due until February 4th, but I had to get the shower done before the holidays began.

Now on to Christmas. Have you started shopping yet? I have a few things bought, but normally I'm a last minute shopper.  I like to put myself through hell I guess. LOL 

Oh yeah. I got my tree up on December 1st, but as you can see we had a problem with the lights, so there are no decorations up yet. Maybe I'll just leave it like that. Not. Family is coming over Christmas day. Guess this tree has seen its last Christmas.

p.s. If I disappear for a while you know I've gotten my edits to work on.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloweenie, y'all!

I just checked the last time I posted a blog and discovered it was back in September.
Well...I'm not one of those who likes to blog. Sure you'll catch me every now and then on Twitter and more so on FB.  So if you're ever bored to death and want to know what the heck I'm doing - follow me on FB. ;-) (I can't promise much happens there either.)

Sooooo, what have I been doing you asked? (LOL)

I was invited to go to Colorado for a writers retreat with the awesome, Liz Pelletier (Entangled Publishing), and her local writers chapter, plus 3 of her authors. When I was waiting at the airport for Liz to pick us up - all I kept thinking was that I'm the only one she's picking up that is not one of her authors. Boo-hoo! I felt intimidated I guess you could say, but honored and super excited to the bone that she asked me to go... You see I'd submitted a short story to Liz back in July, and I knew she'd passed it on to her directorial editor, but that's all I knew.

I met 2 of her authors at the airport, (Cecily (next to me in pic below) & Tonya (not in this pic) and then I met (Cynthia - in white below) at Liz's house. Later I met (MK - with the scarf on right) and many other great ladies. And let me just say meeting these fabulous women was soooo worth the trip! We created a unique bond that will last forever! :-) (p.s. It snowed! Woot! I don't get snow in NOLA, and like a big kid - I couldn't help stare out the cabin's windows.

Anyway, on the drive back to Liz's house she had to stop for gas for her racecar. (I felt like I was riding in one, seriously. LOL) When she got back in the SUV she turned around and asked me to remind her to send me the novella bible for the anthology I wrote. A few seconds go by because my wheels are turning....Maybe I have to rewrite this story now that they have the bible done.  So I think I said something like, "Oh. Sure. Um. Why are you sending me the bible?" Please let her say she wants the story!

Liz said something like, "I told you - we are acquiring your story."

I think I said, "Um. You did?" I think that is something I would remember. LOL  But maybe she did weeks ago when she said "she really liked it and was sending it to her directorial editor." I hadn't a clue what that meant. I figured she was really saying it sucked and someone else would send me the rejection. Well, that's how I roll...Hehe...

So I'd gotten the "call" or rather a DM on Twitter and never even knew it. Ha!

Now what? Now I'm about to start another story for NANO and write for the entire month. (Book #2 in my Witch series.) I'm sure I'll get the edits for the novella during the crazy month of November, but maybe not. I can handle it! I'm ready! On top of all that I'm planning a baby shower for my daughter and I'm sooooooooo excited about the baby coming in Jan or Feb. Woot!...So between writing, working the day job and planning the baby shower, and the holidays my mind is soooo worked up at  night - its hard to fall asleep.

So if I'm gone the entire month of November and December you'll know why.

Happy Reading & Happy Halloweenie! (I have one Halloween picture of myself on FB, but I didn't want to scare you here. Ha.)


Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer's over for me....Boo Hoo...

So now that summer is over I feel like I can start my old routine again.  The kiddo goes to school and I get about an hour of writing in before I go to work, etc. During the summer I slept in until I had to go to work. Only writing I did was after work on most days.  My days off the kiddo was home, so I was easily distracted.

This summer we went to the condo for about 4 days or so, and no it is never long enough.  I keep trying to get the hubby to take more than two days off of work, but it never seems to happen.  The beach was great though and I can't wait to go back.

Another great summer moment was when Liz Pelletier (Entangled Publishing) came down for the weekend to teach a day long class. I love, Liz. She's pretty awesome. She also invited me to write a short story for a submission call they are putting out soon. I wrote it in 4 days. LOL  Maybe submission requests are they way to go for me.

Then I went to Atlanta in July to RWA National. There were about 9 Sola-RWA chapter mates there, and we all got together for lunch one day and breakfast another day.

I attended several classes, but I missed many of them too.  Seems self-publishing was the biggie this year, and that's great, but I'm still working on my craft. I took lots of craft classes. I'm still learning my voice right now, which I'm thinking is pretty simple. No flowery prose at all.  I say what I gotta' say and get out. Sometimes its more telling, though I do work hard to show when needed.

While at RWA I decided I know what I want when I grow up.  I want my book covers on elevator doors. Those elevator covers were just too cool! And Sylvia Day had drink coasters in the bar with her books and name on them. Whoa. Now that was a great idea. Mostly everyone hung out at the bar.

I got to chat with Barbara Vey, Jade Lee, Laura Bradford, Pamela Clare, (and her cute audio guy, Kaleo.), Sabrina Jeffries, and we even sat next to Nora Roberts once. Yes. I was an amazing time. And for the Rita/Golden Heart awards my buddy Devon Alexander and I got to sit with some amazing talented people.

 So where is my name you ask....Well, we sort of just sat down, and then realized we were crashing Table #64. We leaned over and asked two ladies who happened to be The Librarian and Bookseller of the year, Cathy and Sarah if someone was sitting there, and they said nope. LOL They said Devon and I where there guest. Sweet, huh. Congrats to these wonderful ladies...They rock!

So what did I learn from the conference? The number one thing was to write the next book.  Series sell better on Amazon. Readers still love paperbacks as much as e-readers.

So what did I do all summer on the writing front? Well I wrote a short novella in less than a week as I mentioned above. And I'm working on another short contemporary set in a small Louisiana town set in the Bayou. I'm still playing around with my witch novel, but it's been the hardest book to write.  Maybe because I re-wrote it 3x's and it's telling me enough.(Never)  I also got a new critique partner. And I hope she'll push me to do my best. She's already doing really awesome, but she has lots more on the way. I'll do my best to help her as best I can too. :-)

I hope you had a great summer. I would love to hear what you did or still doing.

Dawn Chartier

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jennifer Crusie on Sharknado

For anyone with a creative imagination - please read Jennifer Crusie's blog. She had great insight.

Click here

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A little secret from Liz Pelletier with Entangled Publishing (Self-Editing Class)

Self-Editing Class

A little editors secret from Liz Pelletier, Sr. Editor, Co-Owner of Entangled Publishing:

How many times have you heard that you need to polish your manuscript until it's gleaming before sending it out the door? Armed with an almost infinite supply of caffeine, you toil over your baby for hours, cutting a few words here, changing a few words there. You diligently run spell and grammar checker over and over. You may even use a macro that points out you used the word "that" 16 times per page and smack yourself in the head. You argue with your critique partner over appropriate comma usage and dialogue tags until neither one of you can remember when to use a comma. And finally… Finally, you deem your baby ready for public consumption and send it off to your dream agent or editor.

After what seems like an eternity, you get a polite rejection in the mail claiming she just didn't "connect with your characters" or she felt your "plot was too passive" (my personal favorite) or he "didn't think your story started in the right place" or any number of things. I betno one mentioned a single thing about comma usage or redundant word choice, did they? And yet, every time we sit down to edit our manuscripts, those are the things we tend to focus on.

I'm going to share a little secret with you... Editors typically consider the mechanics of your writing only if they're truly horrible, but that's only after they decide if they can sell your story, if they love your voice. In the history of publishing, I don't think anyone has ever lost a book deal due to a missing comma or over-usage of adverbs. If you can write a story that a reader can't put down, even despite grammatical errors… Now that's a bestseller.
With that in mind, during this workshop we're going to focus on both the big picture and line edits, but we'll be focusing on concepts that will help you craft a bestseller: How to review your book through the standard three pass editing structure used by professionals, how to evaluate character growth arcs and story structure, how to peel away those bad writing habits to reveal your voice, and how to refine your writing style so a fluid and engaging story emerges.
By the end of the day, I hope everyone will have the tools they'll need to "Edit a Bestseller Like A Pro"!
Join us near New Orleans, LA. as we learn from Entangled Publishing co-founder and editor Liz Pelletier. Registration information is here. Early registration prices have been extended until June 10th.  Class is on June 22, 2013...  (if the links above don't work try this one below)

I hope to see you there!
~ Dawn Chartier

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 11th and June 22nd - Writing Events in the New Orleans Region

This Saturday at 10am to 3pm Sola Writers is having a small fundraiser ($10 members / $15 non-members) in Westwego, LA (at Salaville Perk - Sala Avenue) (15 minutes from New Orleans).

It's more about getting writers (any writer in the NOLA/Gulf Coast area) to come on out for a day for writing and/or plotting. Giving each other ideas to help you move past just an idea, etc.  Can you imagine if 5 or more authors gave you 5 to 10 ideas on where you can take your story next? Or maybe you are stuck on a character? Or maybe just the plot. Whatever it is, these writers will help. And you'll help them right back.

OR if you rather just sit and write - going 20 minute writing sprints, then we will make sure that is what you do. :-) (anyone can attend...) (Lunch not included.)

For more info you can go here...

Self-Editing Class::::You don't want to miss this Self-Editing class on June 22, 2013.  Sr. Editor, Liz Pelletier with Entangled Publishing is going to be teach us how to self-edit our novels before they are sent to a publisher or before we self-publish. (This is an opportunity you don't want to miss!) 

This is an all day class in Metairie, LA - Lunch and Lite Breakfast included. (10 minutes from New Orleans) and it's worth a drive from where ever you are... (You do not need to be a member - anyone can sign up.)

For more info go here...

Can't wait for these events... I hope to see lots of people attend...

Happy Writing,
Dawn Chartier

Monday, April 22, 2013

Self-Editing Class by Liz Pelletier - June 22, 2013 (Metairie, LA)

Sola-RWA Writers group is having a full day class on Self-Editing and our instructor is the fabulous instructor, Liz Pelletier, Sr. Editor of Entangled Publishing. (See info below or go to

~ Have you completed a rough draft of your book but have no idea how to tackle your edits?
Have your submission efforts netted a full request from an editor or agent only to end in
rejection after they’ve reviewed your manuscript? Do you want to learn how to edit like a
professional editor? Then you are a prime candidate for this Self-Editing Workshop by Entangled Publishing Co-Owner and Editor Liz Pelletier. ~
  • When: Saturday, June 22, 2013
  • Where: Andrea’s Restaurant, 3100 19th Street, Metairie, LA 70002 (map)
  • Time: 8:30am – 4:00pm with pitches from 4:00pm-5:00pm
  • Cost: SOLA Members $85/ Non-members $90 (Early registration ends June 1st.)
    • Late registration (June 2-10) SOLA Members $95/ Non-members $100
    • Registration includes light breakfast and lunch.
    • Space for the workshop and pitches is limited. Sign up early to ensure your spot.

To sign up go to: and click on the Events page.

Hope to see you there!

Dawn Chartier

Friday, April 5, 2013

Paranormal Author: Jami Gold shares 3 tips for being a better beta-reader...

I'm about to start searching for beta-readers for my witch series, Book #1, and I came across this great article written by author, Jami Gold.   Thought I should share it with those you who like to beta-read like I do. Enjoy her tips, and go and buy her books! :-)

Link below:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Author Kristen Lamb's Blog - My new favorite blog!

If you are an author and you are following my blog, I have one piece of advice for you.

Follow Kristen Lamb's blog.  Seriously.  Every day I read her blog and she inspires me in a such a way that no one else does.  She doesn't sugar coat the real world of the struggles of an author/writer.
And I think that is something we as writers need.  She tells you how you need to toughen up and keep going.  Yes, you will get bad reviews. Yes, you'll have people not like you. Yes, you'll want to give up and cry because of this or that, but the real writers, they get back in the ring and fight.

So do yourself a favor, and follow her blog.  Even if you don't want to follow, just head over there and read a few posts and make a comment or two. She has lots of tips for writing as well...

I promise you, it will make you feel better. You will not feel so alone after reading her blog. And if you are not a writer, it still might help you get through a tough time.

So here is the link.  Kristen Lamb. 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Madness...

It's been a while since I've posted, and that's because I've been busy with editing one novella and finishing up the other one. 

I've also been reading other authors blogs. Eating up advice like mixed M&M's and popcorn. So what have I learned you asked? Well, let me just put it like this.  I'm confused. 

Here is a list of advice from authors: (Just some examples so you can see my dilema.)

1.) Write what you know.
2.) Write what you "don't" know.
3.) Don't self-publish. Editors don't like self-published authors.
4.) Do self-publish.  Editors like a track record.
5.) Blog - To gain readers.
6.) Don't blog - Readers don't read them. Writers do. (Um. I'm a reader too.)
7.) Don't promote your book on Twitter or FB.
8.) Promote on Twitter and FB and everywhere else.  (To me, this is a fine line to walk, but if you do it often, it is annoying and I will unfriend you and never buy your book. Well, unless you are Kenyon, Ward or Shayne.)
9.) Interviews are a waste of time.
10.) Put your name out there.  Do interviews, etc.
11.) Make your book free on Amazon.
12.) Don't make your book free. People will think the book is bad.

The conflicting list goes on and on. Which ones are right? Crap. I don't know...but who does?

It seems like a lot of authors are trying to find that special magic formula that turns you into an instant hit.  Sorry, I wish I had the answers.  I can only share with you my journey and the bumps along the way, what worked and what didn't. Everyone has a different path. So you have to find yours. 

It could be just being in the right place at the right time with a great book ready to go.

Do what feels right.  Even if you fail at first, don't give up. Try a new angle.

I would love to hear some positive stories on how you found a home for your book(s) or if you are still looking for a book home, how are you going about it? 

~ Dawn

Friday, February 8, 2013

All About Mardi Gras ~ New Orleans Style...

So what is Mardi Gras all about?  When will Mardi Gras be next year and the year after that?
What is with the King Cakes and the baby inside of them?
Well, I'm not going to tell you all about it, instead I'm going to be lazy and let you follow this link and dive right into all the wonderful information already posted at this other website.

I love Mardi Gras, however, I stick with 1 or 2 parades a year (maybe that many), and never on Mardi Gras day. Too many people for my taste. I hate huge crowds with not enough restrooms. Yuck.

The first Mardi Gras I remember was when I was around 3 yrs. old, and my parents took me, my brother and sister. (My lil brother wasn't around yet.) I think we were in Grenta on Fourth Street. And all of a sudden I recall these beautiful horses. They were huge! I was standing in front of my mom, aching to get closer to them. Well my Mom was waving to the men on the horses to try and get them to throw beads to us, but instead of throwing them the man on the horse decided to get a closer look at my Mom.

The next thing I recall was my foot hurting real bad. And then my Mom arguing with the man on the horse who happened to be a policeman. Oy. From what I heard, he got an ear full. Luckily, she wasn't arrested. :-)  Ahh, the good ole' days of Mardi Gras. Now all I have to worry about is the kiddo's being flashed. I stay clear of the horses...even though I love them still today...

Oh yeah, you want the link: Mardi Gras New Orleans .

Happy Mardi Gras...Enjoy!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Jack Reacher Movie Review

I thought Jack Reacher would be like Broken City, but it wasn't.  This movie was so much better.
It had plot. It had motive. It had plenty of conflict.  It didn't have sex, but it had heat...I loved it.

And even though I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan, he still did an excellent job. Kuddo's to Tom! The man can act...

The movie starts off with a shooting of 5 "random" people (or at least that's what it seems), and the shooter is caught.  The evidence was laid out perfectly for the cops. And when the police start to interogate him, he writes, "Get Jack Reacher."

Well, they have no idea how to find Jack, but it didn't matter, Jack found them. Jack sees the bad guy on the news and knows him.  Knows they have the right guy or do they?

Jack hook's up with the defending attorney (she asks him to investigate for her), even though he just wants to prove that the shooter is guilty, (not what the atty wants) but then he starts piecing the puzzle together and things don't add up.  Now, the real bad guys start after Reacher, but Reacher is a little too smart for those clowns.  They also go after the atty. Reacher is a little sweat on the atty., so of course he helps her out...Reacher is a bad ass, but the kind you have to like...

I don't think I'm giving the movie justice with this review, and I won't spoil it either, so go and see it for yourself.  You'll be happy you did.  I'm giving this a 4 out of 5 Stars.  Oh, and don't forget to look for Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher series.  Child's plays the cop who hands Reacher back his belongings after he gets out of jail.

Review by Dawn Chartier  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Broken City - Movie Review

Broken City * Movie Review by Dawn Chartier

I give Broken City 3.5 stars out of 5. This was a crime drama, car crashing, shoot-em up type of movie which stars some really good actors, (Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe) but the plot was a same ole' same ole'. It lacked a better twist and more sub-plots.

Quick Summary: An ex-cop was hired by the Mayor (who is running for Mayor again) to investigate his wife. The ex-cop (who is now a P.I.) believes he is trying to capture pictures of the wife cheating on the Mayor, but it's not what it seems. The Mayor has a bigger agenda.

The Mayor takes the pictures from the P.I. and pays him, then bad things happen to wife's supposed lover who is the Mayor's rival campaign manager. The P.I. realizes the Mayor is up to no good, and then it's too late. The Mayor has proof against the P.I., and he can't get out of it. He has two choices. Do the right or wrong thing. I won't ruin the ending and tell you which one he does.

I like my movies with a little more thought out plot. But this might be just me, so I wouldn't say it was a waste of money, it just wasn't what I'd hoped for. (p.s. I didn't pay for this one, a friend won the tickets, and I enjoyed her company as always.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hit as Many Balls as You Can...

I got up this morning dreading my 9am appointment with the nice golf instructor, Brian.  Not because I didn't want to practice my golf swing, but because it was like 50 degrees out there. Brrrrrrr.
I hate the cold. (And yes, that is freezing cold to me.)

This was only my second lesson to date, and I found out that golfing is much like writing. The more you practice the better you will be.  Well, I wasn't much better, but it was still fun learning how to hold the clubs, which clubs to use, where to stand, how to bend my knees, and twist my body just so. Then all I had to do was swing and hit the ball. Let me just tell you, it's not as simple as you think...

I can do each of those steps listed above, but when I put them all together they don't always go in the proper order.  My hips are supposed to led the way, but for some reason, they don't want to. Sounds like writing to me. You have to have characters, setting, dialogue, etc. and you have to figure out how to put all that writing in a certain order so it makes sense... I'm learning how to both though. And it's a lot of fun.

I had some great pictures, but for some reason I can't post them here anymore, not sure what's up there... Grrr...

Looking forward to trying my new skills out on a golf course. :-)

Have a great weekend,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Part II - New Year - New me...(Golf anyone?)

So this is what I found out about the new me.  She's as stubborn as the old me, but guess what?
I sent in my first query of the year.  Yep. Sure did.  Am I nervous? Well, of course I am, but I had the urge to get it out and so be it.  No matter what happens - all is good...  I have faith in the story, and faith in my series - one day it will be published...

Tonight I'll finished up plotting another book, and keep on writing...

Anywho, my next New Year adventure is learning how to play golf.  Yep. You heard that right.
My first lesson is tomorrow, but it looks like rain is coming. Cross your fingers for me...

Why golf?  Well, because my hubby plays, and he enjoys when I go with him. (I enjoy it too, but not like him.) I would probably enjoy it a lot more if I knew how to actually hit the ball... I hate swinging at air, and spinning into a complete circle. I know I look like a fool, but hubby never laughs...

Until then...keep on reading or whatever your new adventure is...

Last read book: 'Twas the Night After Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries - 4.5 Stars - A very touching Christmas romance story...

About to read: (I haven't decided yet.)

Enjoy 2013!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year...New me?

So it's a new year and I thought a lot about a new years resolution for 2013. Sending several days vacationing in Florida will do that to you...

Then after a friend's comment (Ursula Whistler) on Twitter, I figured out what that resolution would be. (Thanks UW)

And here it is:  "I will not let fear (or anyone) stand in the way of my dreams."

Once upon a time this was how I lived life, but then somehow fear slid its way into my mind and halted me in my tracks.  FEAR whispered in my ear, telling me that I couldn't fulfill my dreams. That I needed to give up.... and when you think you can't do it - guess what?  You can't.

Now that I realize what (who) was standing in my way (me!), I will kick myself in the butt and get back into the "I can do anything I put my mind to, and not worry about fear or rejection" attitude and all will be well again. Maybe December was just a bad month for me, but this is a new year and a new attitude.

Plus, you'd think after TOR and Penguin requested to read my MS that I'd get over the fear, but no....I think it made the fear grow a little more.  But that's over with now.  I got past the "Oh shit!" moment, and will finish up the edits for Mixed Magic and finish up revising Buried Magic and send those submissions out asap. Fear will let go of my hands and allow me to grow once again...

So time to kick that fear bitch to the side, and allow the positive vibes to flow through out my body, mind and soul....and I hope the positive vibes flow through you as well.

Happy New Year All!  And Happy 2013 Reading and/or Writing!