Friday, April 29, 2011

"You look stunning, babe."

According to a lip reader, that's what Prince William said to Kate Middleton when she reached him at the end of the aisle in Westminster Abbey. It was quite a sweet moment.

That's my way of telling you that, yes, I've been up since 3 AM. I didn't intend to, but one of the cats woke me up at 2:58 and I decided to pop the TV (telly?) on to see what was happening. Five and a half hours later, I'm still watching. (I'd like to add I've worked out, showered and had breakfast during that time too.)

It's only fitting I watched since I got up to see Diana get married. Kate and Will's day was no disappointment. It was sweet and solemn with some spiritual overtones not always seen in modern weddings. Her dress was beautiful, his uniform resplendent, their love obvious in the most touching way.

One of the nicest touches was the English maple trees lining the aisle. It gave the austere gothic beauty of Westminster Abbey a shot of freshness. Those trees brought down the towering arches without diminishing them. They made the whole ceremony somehow more accessible.

Did you get up? Did you see any of it? What did you think? Personally, I thought it was a romance writer's dream. All in all, I'm glad the cat woke me up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So...whatcha reading?

I've been in a book-buying frenzy lately, haha. Not only have I been buying print books, but I've been stockpiling ebooks like the apocalypse is just around the corner.

Right now I'm in the middle of two books (I'm on an historical kick at the moment): Mistress Shakespeare, and The Boleyn Inheritance.

So, what are you digging into right now? Dish it up!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My bad. I was supposed to blog yesterday. Then life happenend...

Then last night, death and destruction happened in my little state. A tornado tore through Arkansas, cut a path a half mile wide while staying on the ground for more than an hour, destroying everythin in its way.

A friend of mine's parents lost their house last night, but thankfully they're ok. Sadly, we are expecting Same Song; Second Verse tonight. But at least I won't be driving in it this time.

Do me a favor, and send some good thoughts toward the good folks of Arkansas this week. It's no fun living in tornado alley sometimes...especially in the spring...

Friday, April 22, 2011


“The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations.” ~ Eli Khamarov

One of the things I loved the most about writing Falling Under was that is was such an organic process to me. The story was there, I just had to write it. I didn't know what happened next, and it didn't really matter because whatever was coming was how it was supposed to be. 

Book two is a little different.

The sequel for Falling Under has been a struggle for me because the story wasn't just waiting for me to write it--I am having to go in and FIND it. Some days, I totally don't feel up for the task. One of the things that is getting in the way....wait for it....are you sure you're ready....praise for Falling Under. Yes, praise. 

I have been blessed with some fantastic readers who give me such joy when they write to me or write reviews about Haden and Theia. But the flip side of that joy is that I am now terrified of letting them down. I keep trying to recreate the magic, and we all know from disasters like Speed 2 and Jar Jar Binks that some things are better left alone. 

But then I remember that one of my favorite scenes in a move EVER came from a sequel. And I cling to it and hope that I can find that sweet spot in Dreaming Awake and that fans of Haden and Theia will still be fans by the time I am done. about you? Do expectations help you raise the bar or do they paralyze you instead?

And that scene I love?

Monday, April 18, 2011


My official launch date isn't until Thursday, but I guess I should start promoting, because Codename: Dancer went live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords this weekend!

Here's the blurb:

Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is thrilled when hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off comes to the campus of her performing arts boarding school. She trades the barre for the ballroom and gets set to cha-cha-cha to stardom with Hollywood wonderboy Nick Galliano.

At first their partnership is awkward, because Dani is in awe of her longtime teen idol crush. But soon their chemistry is heating up the dance floor and the attraction moves into real life.

Her excitement is short-lived, because someone wants her off the show. Bombs, poisoning, arson… Will Dani’s 15 minutes of fame be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn’t find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her last.

It’s like Nancy Drew in toe shoes in this light-hearted tween mystery, a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award for Best Young Adult Romance.

And here's what people are saying:

"Fans of Pretty Little Liars and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls will love Codename: Dancer. Sparks fly, tutus twirl, and a clever mystery unravels in what is sure to become a favorite among teens and tweens everywhere. Amanda Brice’s debut is a must read for every girl who ever danced – or ever wanted to!"
~ Gemma Halliday, award-winning author of Deadly Cool and Spying in High Heels

"Amanda Brice's debut novel Codename: Dancer has something that will appeal to everyone, especially ballet enthusiasts, mystery lovers and fans of reality TV competitions. Even if you don't know a thing about dance, you'll be easily drawn into this quick-paced story with authentic characters and big stakes. I adored Dani and found myself rooting for this spunky heroine. Can't wait for the sequel!"
~ Rhonda Stapleton, author of the Stupid Cupid trilogy

You can read the first chapter here:

And check out my BRAND NEW website, that just went live this weekend:

Buy links:




To celebrate, I'll give away an e-book copy (in the format of your choice) to one lucky commenter.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Mini Writing Lesson

Today I want to talk a little bit about deep POV (point of view) because a lot of times when I mention it, I get a blank stare. Here's my take on that topic.


I love Deep POV. I strive for it in everything I write. (Doesn’t mean I always achieve it, but I try.) Is it right for everything? No, but when it’s properly utilized it will help you write tighter. What is it? Deep POV is showing the scene through the character’s eyes, not watching it as it happens to the characters. Let me show you what I mean.

Shallow POV: Betty watched Bob carry the groceries into the house, listening to his grunting and mumbling with a wry smile on her face.

Deep POV: She shook her head. Bob might be carrying the groceries in, but his muttering said it all. His unhappiness gave her a perverse tingle that went all the way to her grin.

Can you see the difference? The first snippet is like you’re watching Betty in this scene. In the second snippet, you are Betty. You’re experiencing the scene right along with her.

*Filtering or distancing words will take your writing out of Deep POV, words like watched, heard, noticed, saw, felt, thought, decided, etc. I’m sure there are a few more you can think of. Do a search for them in your work and see how many you find. How can you rewrite the sentence to take them out?

*Having your characters refer to themselves by name over and over diminishes Deep POV. Do you refer to yourself by name when you’re thinking?

*Lastly, make each character’s descriptions distinct to their personality. Would a military man describe something as a gentle shade of mauve or pink? Would a female kindergarten teacher see a weapon as a Smith and Wesson 9 mil or a gun? Sure, there are exceptions in every case, but make the descriptions ring true. If those characters above answer with the first option, there had better be a reason why.

Make sense?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do you like superheroes?

It's been a while since I've had any story news to post on here. But I'm pleased to announce I've decided to publish Super Zero, my superhero romantic comedy. Whoop whoop! It should be out end of April/early May, on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.

I've always had a fondness for this novel, and I hope you guys like it too!

Here's the cover:

And here's what this story is about:

When Jenna Peterson signs on as personal shopper-slash-assistant for top superhero The Machine, she's disgusted to learn of his philandering ways against his wife Rapido, the second most powerful superhero in the area—and he's cheating with Jenna's cousin, to boot! But when The Machine gives Jenna the opportunity to safeguard the changing crystal, a jewel that grants or changes superpowers, Jenna jumps on the opportunity, eager to do this so-called "cake" job that will help her earn more street cred with the Midwest League of Superheroes. 

The League pairs Jenna up with a bodyguard, the dark, mysterious and thoroughly grumpy Vigilante. Their personalities are like oil and water but a deep attraction pulls them together, even if they don't fully trust one another. 

Soon Jenna learns the threat to the changing crystal is all too real, and the list of people she can trust grows shorter by the minute. But when she discovers something even more sinister afoot, involving Vigilante's sexy arch nemesis Dementrix, it'll take all her skills to keep the mad villainess from executing her plan to unmask the world's superheroes...especially when Jenna accidentally becomes one herself. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Fictionistas are very sad to announce that Chrissy has left the building. We all love and miss her terribly. There is no replacement for someone as awesome as Chrissy and so in hopes that she will be able to return when her schedule and life settles down, we've decided to offer guest posts every other Monday. If you're interested in doing a guest blog for us, please feel free to email me at tellmel @ melissafrancis [dot] net or leave us a comment with your email address and one of us will contact you. Chrissy, we are gonna miss you, Max, and Jeeves! Be happy, healthy, and come back to us when you can!

Friday, April 08, 2011

College trip

I'm on the road today with my daughter checking out her new campus for the next four years. It's a long drive, but I'm looking forward to some mom/daughter time.

I never went to a university and I know I missed out on a lot, so I'm really happy for her. It got me to thinking that there are not a lot of books that take place during the college years. Can you think of any? Favorites? And why do you think there is such a gap between YA and Adult? Should we write more? I mean, come on...double secret probation is awesome, right?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A Blast from the Past

As you may or may not know, my debut YA, Codename: Dancer, will be released 2 weeks from today. (Gulp)

In preparation for the launch, I'm in the process of getting my website completely redesigned. (Yeah, I know, nothing like procrastination...)

Since the book features a teen ballerina, I decided maybe I should show the evidence that I did in fact dance when I was growing up. Of course, all those pics are at my parents' house more than 250 miles away, and not easily accessible.

So I asked my dad to scan some old family photos for me. I received the results yesterday by email. Some of them are quite hilarious. Dad went overboard and scanned more than I asked for. I don't have room to include them all on my new website, but I can include them here, right?

For some reason, he didn't include any dance pics of me as an older teen. Not sure why. They seem to run through my early-to-mid-teens. Maybe 15 towards the end. (And sadly, you can see that I remained rather flat-chested for quite a long time. Something I share in common with Codename's heroine, Dani.)

I'm going to try to ask some friends on Facebook if they have any old dance pics of me, particularly from my ballroom dance team days in college.

Alas, no prom pic (a Fictionistas fave!) but we've got a nice representation of stellar 70s, 80s, and 90s hair for your Wednesday entertainment.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Look for her!

Our own Kitteh, er I mean, Kristen Painter will be at the Romantic Times Convention this week! Check out all the panels she's going to be on.

Wednesday, April 6th:

BUSINESS: Plotting Your Career
Time: 03:30 pm - 04:30 pm

Thursday, April 7th:

E-BOOK: Wooing the Masses
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”(Dead Poets Society, 1989)

You can’t sell e-books without getting the reader’s attention. Learn marketing tips for promoting yourself and your digital works online to reach your full potential audience. More to come.

STEAMPUNK: Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?: Gadgets, Gizmos and Automatons
Time: 02:45 pm - 03:45 pm

Rumor has it, she's also going to be involved in a steampunk fashion show while there. All I have to say is there better be pictures!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Big News!

My cat Scooter is running for President! Yes, I know it might be a little early to announce, but clearly he's going to need all the support he can get.

Fortunately, he's got the feline vote locked up thanks to a resounding endorsement by my other cat, Sam, who posed for this campaign poster.
Scooter's campaign promises include:

* Naps in the sun for everyone
* Free Fish Fridays
* Less reliance on foreign catnip
* Unrestricted trade on fuzzy mice
* Mandatory scratching posts in every workplace

Campaign contributions can be made here.