Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just the Facts, Jack

I'm not usually one for a soapbox, but I'm getting very concerned about the state of journalism these days.

It wasn’t too long ago when accurate reporting was more important than how fast you could get the words, any words, slapped up for the maximum number of clicks. Apparently, that’s how “internet journalists” get paid now, on a per click basis. Not by story, editing not necessary, just slap it up and add a title that will make people click on the link - no matter how misleading and/or hurtful the lack of information or truth may be.

Here’s a recent example:

Twins Drown After Mother Lets Go of Stroller to Swat Bee

Makes you want to click on it, right? I did. Problem is, it’s sensationalism at best, and at worst? According to comments made by people who are local to where it happened, the truth isn’t even close. Yes, twin boys drowned. Yes, the mother let go of the stroller, and yes, it involved bees. As in plural, not singular.

From what I can gather by further digging, there's another version of the story. A mother was jogging on a popular jogging/walking path next to a canal when she was attacked by a swarm of killer bees. Not swatting one bee, but a full-on attack by a swarm of killer bees. She held onto that stroller until she was nearly passed out from stings, and even then managed to jump into the canal to try to save her 18 month old twins when she realized they’d rolled into the canal, strapped into the stroller. The canal was swelled and the current swift. 

Yet another version has all three victims going into the canal after being attacked by a swarm of bees, and the mother making it out and going for help.

I can’t imagine what that family is going through right now. I also can’t imagine how it feels if the commenters are giving the entire story, and the family sees: Twins Drown After Mother Lets Go of Stroller to Swat Bee.

I need to do my part and not click on these things anymore. I like having the instant blurb of news right away, but is it really worth it if the information is incomplete or incorrect? This is but one example, albeit a particularly disturbing one.

So what is the truth? Was there one bee? A swarm of killer bees? Something else entirely? I don’t know. But until any story is complete and verified, it should not be posted as news. If the commenters are correct, then the story “reported” is not only inaccurate and incomplete, it is very, very cruel.

Opinions?



Friday, April 10, 2015

My RT Convention Workshops

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Hey y'all,


The Romantic Times Booklovers convention is nearly a month away! Who's going to Dallas with me? It's always a blast catching up with old friends, meeting tons of new writers and readers, and my fav....scoping out the hot cover models. ***happy sigh****

This year I'm honored to be presenting two workshops. This first is "Brand New You". It's a marketing workshop with my Seymour agency sibs Jennifer Fusco and Sparrow Beckett. Jen wrote MARKET OR DIE and has an article in the March issue of Romance Writer's Report. Here's the link in case you missed it. 
 http://www.omagdigital.com/publication/?i=246056

The other workshop is "Pitch Perfect" with some serious star power. (Not me! LOL). YA author Brenda Drake, Agent Louise Fury and Entangled Publishing CEO Liz Pelletier. Geez, I'm nervous just thinking about sitting at that table! I'll be discussing loglines. 

How do you come up with a good, exciting logline? Got one you'd like to share?

The most important thing I can say about pitching is show enthusiasm! Editor Chris Keeslar says the purpose of the pitch is not to the e/a to ask for it. They are most likely going to do that anyway if you made the effort to attend a conference and it’s remotely marketable. The purpose is to get them excited about reading the book so it doesn’t sit on their desk. You want it to be the first story they get to."
I also want to invite all the RT attendees to the Annual Shooting Stars Gala hosted by The Seymour Agency who represents me and another fellow NAC chick Ashlynn Chase.  Hope to see you there!                               
                                                                                                           Southern Smiles,
                                                                                                                Casey Crow



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Civil War Time Travel: What if you met up with your twin...who lived 150 years ago?


Love Me Forever is on Kindle Scout

The Civil War ended this week 150 years ago...

We hear so much about how the Civil War was a conflict about brother against brother.

What about the women of the North and South?

Sister against sister?

In "LOVE ME FOREVER," my story on Kindle Scout, two women with very different beliefs learn to accept each other for who they are.

They’re not only separated by what they believe in, but by more than 150 years when my heroine travels back to 1862.

Here is an excerpt when my heroine, Liberty Jordan, a re-enactor from today disguised as a Confederate officer, meets up with Pauletta Sue Buckingham when Liberty escapes from the clutches of a dastardly sergeant in a Union prison camp. Pauletta Sue sees her dashing across the field and races after her in her buggy and carriage:
“Climb aboard, Lieutenant, it you want to live to fight another day,” the dark-haired woman called out, holding her horse steady with her gloved hands in black net.

“You don’t have to ask me twice, ma’am,” Liberty said, pulling up her collar. Thank God they stopped shooting at her. That didn’t mean she was free.

Not yet.

“Whoa, Savannah Lady, whoa,” the woman murmured to the skittish animal pulling her carriage. She fidgeted with the veil covering her face, straightening her back as if she were struggling with an inner turmoil. Liberty was amazed at her small waist and tight bodice that pulled across her full breasts with a rigid, stiff crackle as she moved. Her full skirts flowed around her like she was a mermaid in an ocean of blue, swimming in their sumptuous depths.

And that hat.

A straw riding bonnet with curved pheasant feathers swaying delicately in the breeze.

“I reckon your horse got spooked from all the noise,” Liberty said in a deep voice, keeping up her soldier act.

“Nonsense,” the woman smirked. “It’s not the first time Savannah Lady and I have outrun the Yankees with bullets flying over our heads.”

God knows what she meant by that.

Liberty looked around, trying to get her bearings. She felt invigorated by the idea of freedom so close she could smell it. Sweet and welcoming, like the fresh scent of her rescuer’s perfume heavy in the air. She smiled. The late afternoon sky blazed a dazzling deep pink overhead, but it would soon dissipate into a dark blue velvet.

Hiding her from the soldiers.

Oh, God, if only she could get away. She’d survive somehow. But even if this woman helped her, where would she go? She had no map, no idea where the road would lead her.

“The whole Union Army’s on my tail, ma’am,” Liberty said, pulling her hat down low to shield her face. “I’d be dead if you hadn’t raced over the hill when you did.”

“You must be brave, sir. The cause needs you,” the woman whispered with urgency, startling Liberty.

So that’s why she helped her. She was a Confederate sympathizer. Here? In a Union camp?

Would they both be shot?

“Hurry, get in,” she ordered. “The bluecoats are coming.”

Holding onto the side of the carriage, Liberty lifted herself up when suddenly she felt her feet give way from underneath her. Damn, she hadn’t counted on the slippery step glistening with dew. It caught her unaware and threw her off balance. She lost her footing on the soggy, wet earth, staggered, then with a loud plop, landed on the ground, the wind knocked out of her.

Her officer’s wide brim hat flying off her head.

Liberty heard the woman gasp when her long reddish-blond hair tumbled down her back like a cascade of corn silk popping up out of its stalk.

“You’re a woman,” the Southerner cried out, her hand going to her mouth.

“Haven’t you ever seen a girl in pants before?” Liberty said, a weak smile curling over her lips. She was surprised the woman didn’t faint.

“Dear Lord, the soldiers mustn’t find out you’re a female,” she said, taking charge. “No telling what they’d do, seeing they have the manners of a country hog.” Holding up her skirts, she climbed out of the carriage to retrieve Liberty’s brim hat.

“Then you won’t give me away?” Liberty asked, surprised. The Southern belle was no pushover.

“You fool girl. I admire what you’re doing, but the Yankees will never understand what we women will do for the cause. Even if we suffer from a broken heart, we’ll never give up,” she said with an emotion so deep it surprised Liberty. She handed her hat back to her. “Run! I’ll hold them off. You can take shelter in the old mill down the road till morning. There’s a secret hiding place behind the pantry.”

How did she know that?

Liberty had no time to ponder the belle and her cause. Instead, she pulled the soggy hat back onto her head and muttered her thanks. She lifted her chin, the sun hitting her cheeks with its fading rays and revealing her face. Before she could pull down the brim of her hat, the woman grabbed her hand.

“Wait,” the dark-haired beauty muttered with surprise. Or was it shock? “Who are you, Missy?”'

“Nobody, ma’am—” Liberty began, her breath catching in her chest when she saw blue-uniformed soldiers on horseback racing toward them, kicking up dust. She had to get out of here, now.

“I demand to know who you are, where you’re from.” The Confederate woman pulled the veil off her face framed by dark hair. “And why you look like me.”

Yes, that's Pauletta Sue on the left and Liberty on the right in the graphic at the top of the page. The two women are twins except for their hair color. Not only are they on opposite sides, but they both vie for the same man...course, I can't tell what happens...but sparks fly and it isn't just on the battlefield...

LOVE ME FOREVER is on Kindle Scout — you can read the first 5,000 words HERE. You’ll meet both my heroines and both my heroes in the excerpt. If you nominate my story and it’s published by Kindle Scout, then you’ll receive a free copy! It’s a saga of love and romance and war. Believe me, I walked every road, fought every battle with my characters, even walked around in a hoop skirt to “get it right.”

This is a book of the heart…any questions? Please ask!!

Thank you for stopping by…………..

~Jina


PS -- As I post tonight LOVE ME FOREVER is Hot & Trending!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

OMG! Outlander is Finally Back!

I've always said that I don't drink, smoke, or fool around - I read (& collect) books. Outlander in any form falls under the obsession category, and I've been jonesing for a fix since September of last year. Okay, make that a new fix since I have it On Demand, DVR, and I bought the blue ray. Yeah, I'm just slightly obsessed.

So there'd better not be any kind of interruption, human or technical. No rainstorm, cloud blockage, snowstorm, ice storm, electrical storm, or plain old blackouts. Did I leave anything out? Just, NO!

The two weeks following this Saturday's premier are going to be even harder. In a previous Outlander post (obsessed, remember? Click here to read post), I told you about the pact I made with two just-as-obsessed friends, that we'll wait for each other to watch new episodes. Well, one of them is in Germany for three weeks! Aargh! She granted special dispensation to watch the episode on Saturday, then we'll grit our teeth and wait out the next two before doubling up for two weeks after that. If that's confusing, I'll bottom-line it: There will be two brand new, unseen episodes of Outlander at my fingertips for two weeks...and I can't watch them.

Just shoot me now. Wait, I take that back. Shoot me after this Saturday's episode, please.

I gave my word, so I will somehow manage. We are planning to do it up right when the friend gets back from Germany. I'm planning an Outlander dinner, including making bannocks. Hey, done right, they are Paleo! They'll also probably double as doorstops, but it will be a nice change from the bag of sweet potato chips - each - that we inhale per episode. And by we I mean me, since I seem to be the only one left holding an empty bag.

Check it out, if you haven't already. Grab a seat, have a bannock (or you can try for a sweet potato chip at your own risk). You'll become obsessed, too! Outlander on Starz