Happy Book Birthday Accidental Valentine! My Fiction Debut!

13 02 2015

Happy Book Birthday Accidental Valentine!

Accidental Valentine
Author:  Various Authors
Publisher:  Roane Publishing
Release Date:  February 13, 2015
Keywords:  Contemporary, Romance, Valentine’s Day, Short Stories, Anthology, Sweet
Guiding Hearts by Claire Gillian
Description: Is a lonely woman’s GPS sentient or is her subconscious taking her by the hand to help heal a scarred heart?When Jemma Ernst’s GPS malfunctions and sends her to the home of handsome and engaging Gabriel Nash, she writes it off as a fluke. But she can’t seem to reprogram him out of her thoughts nor her GPS.

Better Latte Than Never by Katrina Sizemore
Description: Single and cold on Valentine’s Day, Hailey Merritt is not looking forward to working all day at the coffee shop while everyone around her is cheery with romance and she’s stuck trying to figure out her next step in life.

But, when a special bouquet arrives for her from a secret admirer, she decides to reserve judgment on this holiday and find whomever sent the flowers.

Maybe Cupid has a plan to make this her favorite Valentine’s Day ever.

Dream Architect by S.L. Hughson
Description: Taylor and Sons Custom Design keeps Ashlin Taylor at arm’s length from her dream job. If only she were a son, she could follow her architectural dream. In the Taylor creed, girls get married and boys have careers. Dylan Cutright focuses on finishing college and landing an architectural engineering job in a large firm. Minus emotional ties.

After their accidental encounter, their attraction is amplified during their work interaction. Unlike her family, Dylan encourages Ashlin to pursue her dream by enrolling in college. Which confuses Ashlin since whenever she moves closer to him, he rebuffs her – reasons unknown.

Valentine’s Day might be the perfect opportunity for Ashlin to make him notice her. They are working together – alone – on the most romantic day of the year. Dylan builds her dream of career, but will he ever lower his walls and become more than just the man IN her dreams?

One Hot Angel by Jaylee Austin
Description: Oblivious to Tiffany Jenkins in three short weeks her life will end—unless she makes the perfect choice. Will she chose revenge and expose her ex-husband? Or chose love and surrender her heart to the only man who can save her?

Rock My Bones by Wendy Sparrow
Description: Jared has been eyeing the sexy mural painter from inside the museum’s paleontology lab, but she’s way out of his league. He can’t let her paint that obviously misplaced fern, though…even if it means initiating contact.

You could call her a paleontology groupie, but Shay Meyers is interested in a more modern specimen. An adult male Homo Sapien to be exact—one who needs to be dragged out of his lab for a practical course in mating rituals. If she’s lucky, this will be the Valentine’s Day she rocks his bones.

Purchase Links:



Tour Schedule
Book Blitz & Tour-Wide giveaway: A paperback copy of Accidental Valentine and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
My Personal Giveaway
An electronic ARC of this anthology
To win, all you have to do is comment on this post before Monday, February 16, 2015, with a romantic anecdote OR one place you love to read on your electronic reader.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

*My apologies for this duplicate post if you follow me at my new blog. I know some people don’t, and I wanted to make sure to share my excitement with them. Everyone loves good news, right???

Please follow this link to my new website and sign up for my newsletter, so you’ll never miss sharing my celebrations again.





New Location – Same Great Content

3 01 2014

Yeah, the old YEAR will be gone soon, too.

New Year: New Location

The creator of Sharon Lee Hughson’s World invites you to continue exploring this and other realities with her at her new location: www.sharonleehughson.com.  This blog has served its purpose and finished its course. This is the final post in this location.

It’s a new year. We have a new location, but we don’t want to lose any of our old friends. See you over at the new author webpage.





2013 in Review

31 12 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I hope you’ll make 2014 even better by following my blog in its new location on http://www.sharonleehughson.com.

May you live long and prosper is 2014. See you around the blogosphere.





Many Faces of Winning

2 12 2013

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

To read today’s blog: http://sharonleehughson.com/the-many-faces-of-winning/

Please sign up to follow my blog on my author website. In 2014, I won’t be updating Sharon Lee Hughson’s World any longer.





Can I Learn from someone I Don’t Like?

8 11 2013

In the world of writing, I’m a newbie. As far as expertise in the genre which I’m writing, I have none. For these reasons, I sought instruction from someone considered an authority in the genre of science fiction and fantasy: Orson Scott Card.

I purchased the book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy over a year ago, shortly after I decided to write a young adult fantasy novel. Rave reviews and recommendations from writers I trusted spurred me to make the investment in this slim volume.

At that point, I hadn’t read a single book written my Mr. Card. It didn’t matter. As an instructor, he came highly recommended. As a writer, his long list of published novels, many of which were best sellers, and his numerous awards seemed like firm second opinions.

Then I read Pathfinder. It’s an interesting blend of science fiction and fantasy (since the main character, Rigg, has a special ability). I enjoyed the story – right up until the end.

More recently, I read Ender’s Game. I noticed that Card used the same style of prefacing each chapter with a scene happening outside the main action as he had used in Pathfinder. They divulged information and motivation for the benefit of the reader. In that book, these scenes were actually things that happened in eons past that would eventually help the reader understand the conclusion of the book.

I surmise the purpose for these additions is three-fold: build tension, exposit backstory and offer information the protagonist doesn’t have.

I don’t care for this style of writing, especially not for young adults. I’ve worked with reluctant and struggling readers for the past seven years and this sort of writing confuses and frustrates them.

Okay, but Shari, isn’t that just a small percentage of the young adult population? You might be surprised to learn that according to findings presented by Scholastic only 50% of young adults claimed to read for pleasure. Percentages decline for 16-18 year olds (school work and extracurricular activities are peaking then).

Back from the statistical tangent: Orson Scott Card is surely an accomplished writer and an authority in his field. I haven’t been impressed with his fiction writing.

The How to Write book netted a slightly different response. Card freely shared his methods for finding ideas and nurturing them to the point where they can support a story. His insight into world building – essential for fantasy writers – helped me outline rules for the magic used in my current novels.

In short, Card taught me important things. If I had decided not to read his writing instructional manual because I didn’t care for a couple fiction stories he’d written, my writing would have suffered.

We can all think of experts we aren’t impressed with in one way or another. Why would the field of writing be any different? Any expert with the inclination to share their wealth of knowledge deserves our attention.

What are your experiences with this phenomenon? Have you ever been surprised to learn from someone who your preconceived notions tempted you to disregard?

You can find my blog posts on my author website at: http://sharonleehughson.com/blogs/

Beginning in December, all my future posts will only be available at that site. Please click the link and follow my blog from my website. Thanks.





National Novel Writing Month

1 11 2013

2013-Participant-Twitter-Header[1]

Four years ago, a teacher I worked with sent me an announcement for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). His message: “You sound like you might have a novel in you.”

His observation came on the heels of our first ever Open Microphone event in the middle school library. The librarian wanted to encourage students to write, so she offered a forum where they could read aloud a piece of personal writing.

As with everything you hope to see young students do effectively, creative writing and baring your soul to others should be modeled. She asked staff members to voluntarily read some of their writing. In response, I read the opening pages of a story that kept popping into my mind.

I fully intended to write that story. It was going to be the first in a series of a Middle School Mayhem series that would make me famous.

In my defense, I do have two chapters completed and saved in a Scrivener folder. Like so many other writing projects, life got in the way.

If you’ve been following me long, you know that I spent three years completing my bachelor’s degree while working full-time. The idea of writing something creative in addition to all the research papers and term papers made random, fleeting appearances in my mind. Obligations drowned them.

After I was assigned a blog for my nonfiction writing workshop, I decided to attempt to write a thousand words per week to post online. No one would read most of this stuff, but I would get back in the habit of writing, even if it was creative nonfiction.

Fast forward to present day: college degree completed. Now it’s time to pursue my real dream: writing.

I’ve always imagined myself as a novelist. My imagination has taken me to the top of Mt. Everest, to Mars and to realms beyond this reality. I wanted to invite young readers into the alternate universe between the covers of the book.

An admirer of C.S. Lewis (whose Chronicles of Narnia rescued me from the ugliness of domestic abuse and divorce), I didn’t want to just entertain. I wanted my fiction to include a deeper truth. Allegory seemed like the way to accomplish this goal.

Thus, my idea for the Gates of Astrya emerged from my soul into my mind. With a little work and a ton of time, words on a page birthed it into actuality.

During November, my goal is to write the second book in this series (originally, I thought it would be a trilogy, but it’s taking on a life of its own and might require four books to fully resolve).  I’ve already signed up on the NaNoWriMo website.

To ensure I can keep writing to the end, I completed a beat sheet (thanks to Jami Gold) and an extensive setting sketch. I’ve done some research to authenticate the setting I’ve chosen. Major character arcs have been outlined, along with the cast of supporting characters.

Today, I write the first 3,000 words of the novel. Since I want to complete the challenge (to write 50,000 words in 30 days) by November 27, I’m setting my daily word count at this level.

I promise not to bog down my blog with updates and commentary about this event. I have worked feverishly the past two weeks to get most of my posts pre-written so content will continue here without interruption.

Are any of you taking this challenge? What other sorts of challenges have you pursued? What’s the most important advice you have to help someone stay the course when things seem overwhelming?





Story Engineering

20 09 2013

At the behest of my Jedi Master, Kristen Lamb, I’ve begun dog-earring a copy of Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. It’s a masterful guide for creating a strong, complex story.

If you’re thinking, “I’ve got story structure down,” I thought similarly after highlighting James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure into rainbow-like proportions. Brooks subtitled his book “Mastering the 6 core competencies of successful writing.” Structure is only one of the six.

Two hours on the phone with Kristen reiterated for me the fact that I’m still a noob in the writing arena. Sure, I’ve been writing stories since I was nine. Does that mean they were well-written stories?

My first attempt at young adult fantasy flopped because I didn’t understand my antagonist’s motivation before I started writing. In the past, I had an idea and I sat down and wrote it. That might work for a short story, but all it provides in the novel-writing world is 60,000 words of warming up to the real story.

Trust me. I was halfway through the revision process when Master Lamb tapped the major plot points with her force push. The resulting pile of rubble buried my heart. A novel shouldn’t be a wobbly house of cards. It needs to have bones of steel beneath its thin skin (or maybe it’s the writer who has thin skin?).

Most of us right-brained artistic types see the word “engineering” and lose our appetite. Isn’t engineering all about calculus and equations with 18 variables and figuring out how to use all the buttons on a $200 calculator? So not interested.

The point behind Brooks’ use of “engineering” in his title is that writing a great story doesn’t just happen. We all know that only a fool would run out to build a tower without having blueprints and expertise. Brooks presents a logical (yes, very left-brained) argument for planning the major plot points and character arc before you attempt to build your novel.

The six core competencies of writing according to Brooks are:

  • Concept
  • Character
  • Theme
  • Story Structure
  • Scene Execution
  • Writing Voice

I was directed to this stellar directory for story-planning for the lesson in story structure. I started with Part Five of the book so I could take my medicine and “do” rather than “try” to plan a successful novel.

In reading the entire book, I see that Brooks marries character arc to story structure in a way that simplifies the planning process. He offers sage advice for weaving theme between these major elements, as well, and erases the gray area between concept and theme.

In short, this book should be required reading for newbie writers. Using a conversational tone, Brooks invites the panster to do a little planning and gives the outlining mavens a blueprint to follow. He never talks above our heads or down his nose and he uses examples from fiction and film to illustrate every point.

Is your work in progress a mess of Bondo? I highly recommend Brooks’ book. It works better than an air sander at smoothing out the rough spots.








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