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Drew Duncan: A character study

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In TornAway, readers are introduced to Drew Duncan, a man who an entire town believes got away with murder. At the beginning of his senior year of high school, he and his girlfriend Molly Winters got into a public fight at a dance. After having his face slapped, Drew stalked off while Molly remained. By the end of the night, Drew was found unconscious in a parking lot, nearly dead from an overdose, and Molly had disappeared. He was arrested and held for months for a trial that would never come, released only when there was a new chief of police of Ember Falls who put pressure on the new DA. Drew and his sisters were victims of horrific abuse at the hands of their alcoholic father. It affected each of them in different ways. For Kelli, the sister whose murder brings Drew back to Ember Falls, she married a man who was even worse than their father and only escaped with her son weeks before her untimely death. Ashley has kept everyone at arm’s length, refusing to believe that anyone could…

Writing Advice: Let it suck.

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Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction
Best advice ever. Let it suck. That may sound like really bad advice, but it’s not. Trust me. When you’re writing your story, you will inevitably come to a point where you get stuck. You may know what the scene needs to do, or where you need to go with the character, but you feel like every word you’re putting on the page is just horrendous. The temptation is to stop, rethink and wait for inspiration to hit you. Don’t do that. Finish the scene, put it on the page and move on. Remember, when you get to that part where you type those infamous words, ‘The End’ it’s not really the end. You’re not even at the half way mark. You need to read it from start to finish, review, revise, edit, cut, and polish it until it shines. In my first published book, Visionof Shadows, I had a scene that was important. The main character a 17 year old psychic named Bristol Blackburn sits down with the Grandfather she’s only recently met to get a family history less…

Big Boys Do Cry

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One of the most important scenes for me in Torn Away is the one where Drew Duncan takes his nephew Cole to see his mother’s body. Up until that point, Cole who is only 8 years old is internally saying he can’t cry in front of anyone. His emotions have shut down, in part because he doesn’t want to feel what he needs to feel, and in part because of the abuse Cole has endured. But there’s another aspect, and that’s the underlying idea that boys don’t cry.             Cole’s entire life is in turmoil. He and his mother finally escape the man that terrorized them, only to have someone else murder the one person he believed loved him, yet Cole is convinced that crying is a sign of weakness. He’s able to cry only when Drew, this big, massive man with a bad ass tattoo does.
            Most guys I know will tell you that they hate crying in front of anyone. We’re called sissy’s or wimps, made to question our manhood. We’re told man up. Because men don’t cry. Boys don’t cry. I …

Deleted Scene from Torn Away

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This is a scene from Torn Away, available now, that was deleted. I always loved this scene, and so did the editor. However, she pointed out it wasn't needed and the novel would be tighter without it.

My original plan was to include it in book 2, however there just wasn't a place or space for it. Too much else going on. So I decided to share it with everyone on here. I hope everyone enjoys it!


Less than two minutes later, the phone rang, dashing Ashley’s hopes of putting her feet up and watching the game. Ashley walked into the kitchen and grabbed the portable phone off the cradle on the counter near the toaster and can opener. Hitting the button to answer the call, she snarled into the receiver. “Yes?”
There was a breath on the other side. “Um…”
Ashley rolled her eyes. “Yeah? Say something or I’m hanging up.”
She winced as there was another breath on the other side of the line. In her mind, she started to count, thinking if she reached ten she’d hand up, knowing all along she …

Shrimp Far Diavolo!

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In my book Torn Away, there's a scene where Sam makes dinner for Drew. I wanted to have a dish that wasn't hard to make, yet was really good and spoke to their relationship a little. Somehow, I got it in my head to use Shrimp Fra Diavolo. Only problem was, I'd never made it. So I looked up a few recipes and decided I'd have to try it. Of course, I don't follow anyone else's recipe to a T, but rather add my own flair.

My first attempt, my wife wasn't to keen on trying it so she had me make her shrimp cocktail style, but she tried mine and loved it. Since then, she's decided it's one of her favorite dishes that I make.

Below is the recipe as I make it.

 Shrimp Fra Diavolo
2 bags raw shrimp
4 clovesgarlic
4-5 tbsextra virgin olive oil
Sprinklingsea salt
1 bottlewhite cooking wine
2 lg cansHunts diced tomatoes
1 tbsparsley
1 tbsoregano
½ - 1 tbscayenne pepper (to taste)
1 box angel hair pasta

1)Peel shrimp (2 bags)
2)Dice 4 cloves of garlic
3)In Dutch…

Dedication in Torn Away

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I wanted to share the dedication that's in Torn Away, coming 11-01-17

Dedication

     Writing this book made me think about how important being connected to family can be, and in the early stages, I had the chance to reconnect with several members of my own.
      Many years ago, when becoming an author was nothing more than a dream, there was an argument within my family. While I was only a witness to the dispute as I was a kid, the actions of the adults in my life affected me greatly. I lost all contact with my aunts, uncles, and all of my cousins from one side of the family. This was before the age of the internet when contact could have easily been maintained on social media sites.
     Decades later, my cousin Marcus found me through one of these social media sites. It was amazing talking to everyone, even if I felt a little like a kid who had just found out his face had been on the side of a milk carton for years. Since then, I’ve had several wonderful conversations with man…

Welcome to my Mind

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Here, I hope to share with you all the news about my adventures as an author. I'll post about everything. My books as they're being written, released and promoted. Personal stuff. (But not too personal.) Thoughts on writing, the emotional journey's I'm going through, the learning process about the craft of writing, and anything else blog worthy.

Let me start by telling you about who I am. I'm a married father of twin girls, both currently in their 2nd year of college. I also have 3 terrific foster kids here, 1 of who is also in college.

I started writing young adult fiction. My debut novel was Vision of Shadows, about a 17 year old girl who was a psychic. She's  about to literally meet the boy of her dreams, and he'll either be the love of her life, or the end of it.

Soon I'd write a book called Just Breathe, which dealt with a girl named Cassie who is sexually assaulted, but saved by a young man named Noah. As the pair grow closer, she starts to realiz…