Thursday, 25 July 2019

Writing Hints and Tips: Dialogue

Some people love writing dialogue. It comes easily to them. They are simply the scribe for the voices in their head, living the conversation and letting it flow onto the page. For others, it's not so simple, and even when your dialogue flows well there's no guarantee it's punctuated properly.

I am by no means an expert on dialogue in particular or grammar/punctuation in general, but I have picked up some tips along the way that I would like to share.

1. Listen to people. If you want to write dialogue with good flow, using age/class/area etc appropriate words, particularly slang or accent, there are no better teachers than the people themselves. Listen to the conversations going on around you - on the bus, in the restaurant, hanging around outside the liquor store, etc - and think about it. What words are they using? What kind of things are they talking about? How might the accent look on the page?

2. Following on from above be careful that the words you put in the mouths of your characters are appropriate for that mouth, that person. There is nothing more frustrating than to read a young character using words or phrases their grandmother might have been familiar with but have never, realistically, entered their head. When was the last time you heard a teenager say things like "atop", "unseemly", or "uncouth"? Unless they're members of the aristocracy in which case they use ancient language all the time.

3. Make sure the words used are appropriate to the setting. You won't hear British characters using words like "diaper", "sidewalk" "store" or "trunk"(of a car). Think about who your character is, where they're from, how old they are and what social class they belong to.

4. Consider names carefully. During your, notice how many times people use the name of whoever they're speaking to. Not often. You can spend a whole day with someone and say their name no more than a handful of times, if at all, and usually when you're calling them. It's particularly frustrating to read dialogue that's full of names. If you have to rely on dialogue to convey who is speaking to whom then dialogue is not your main issue.

5. Free up on the grammar. We don't always speak correctly, so get into the head of the character and if the character would say something that is not grammatically correct then be true to them when you write them.

6. Some punctuation tips

If dialogue ends with the end of a sentence, punctuate it as if it was the end of a sentence then start a new one.

"It's raining outside." She picked up the umbrella to keep dry.
"Is it raining outside?" She picked up the umbrella to keep dry.

If dialogue does not end with the end of a sentence, punctuate it with a comma, and continue with no capital.

"It's raining outside," she said, picking up the umbrella.
"Is it raining outside," she asked and picked up the umbrella.

The same thing applies at the other end. If the dialogue continues afterwards, then think about whether a new sentence is required or whether the bit in the middle simply interrupts a sentence.

"It's raining outside," she said, picking up the umbrella, "and I really don't want to get wet."
"It's raining outside," she said, picking up the umbrella. "I really don't want to get wet."

Dialogue that ends with things such as ellipses and dashes do not have any punctuation after them whether they end a sentence or not.

"It's raining outside and..." She sighed and picked up the umbrella.

7. Action tags. Try to avoid "he said", "she said" and be careful about adverbs (the "ly" words). It actually hurt me to say that because I love adverbs, but it's true. Instead of saying things like, "It's raining outside," she said miserably, picking up the umbrella." use an action tag. An action tag is simply a short sentence conveying an action or emotion. "It's raining outside." She thrust out her bottom lip and gave me than hangdog expression. "I'd better take the umbrella."

Not particularly inspiring examples of dialogue I know, but I hope you get the idea and have a little bit more confidence about writing good dialogue.

Note: I am not particularly good at punctuation generally. I'm confident that the specific comments regarding dialogue are correct, as for the rest...maybe not so much.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Wendy Rathbone. The Foundling Trilogy

I'm happy to announce all three books in The Foundling Trilogy are now live on Amazon and in KU! The third book just went live today!

#Billionaire, #amnesia, #organized crime, #romantic, #hurt/comfort, #tropical hot-hot, #happy ending
Great for summer reading! But have a cool drink or breeze on hand. These books are erotic.
"Rescue Me"
What do you do when you find an unconscious man floating on a raft in the middle of the Caribbean?
Rescue and fall in love with him, of course!
"Sacrifice Me"
What do you do when your beautiful new lover’s life is in danger and he wants to be bait to catch the enemy? You protect him with all your might.
"Remember Me"
What do you do when your memories return and the most horrific nightmare you can imagine is real?
You try to bury it. You try to run. But none of that works.
Your lover is rock solid. He is always there for you, but is it enough?

Friday, 12 July 2019


Due to a tad of miscommunication, we were taken by surprise with this release. It's out today guys! Head over to eXtasy and get your cope and find out what our boys are up to now. 

WARNING: This book contains serious issues of mental health and suicide. Also, there is some stereotyping of women with regard to taking over weddings.


You think you’re holding someone close, but if you’re not paying attention, they could slip right out of your arms and fall.

Asher and Erik are getting married, but Asher isn’t happy about the pressure being put on him by their families and unwittingly by Erik himself. Issues that have plagued him for a long time come bubbling to the surface and threaten to overwhelm him. Although he cries out for help, no one hears; instead they write it off as Asher throwing a tantrum again. Only Angel sees the cracks, but it’s too much for him to handle on his own, although he tries.

The pressure builds, and even though there are breakouts, still no one sees the extent of the problem until the night before the wedding, when Asher is confronted by Erik in front of all their family and friends, and bolts.

Fortunately, Asher is rescued by Vince’s Uncle Tony, who makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

The Band heads off to London for a three-month tour, and not everyone is happy about it. Vince is stressed out and worried that Angel is not being entirely faithful. Should he say something? Then Connor meets an old friend, just when he starts having doubts about his relationship with Angel, and the fur starts to fly.

Will any of the couples survive?


“So, how’re the final touches on the wedding coming, guys?”

Erik waggled his eyebrows in mock horror. “For heaven sake, Vince. Don’t say the W word in front of Asher. He might explode…or kill someone.”

Asher punched him in the arm, none too gently, and scowled. “I told you from the very start this would get out of hand and we’d have been better off eloping. But no, Mr. Von Nordgren had to have his day in the spotlight. Not as if he doesn’t have enough of them. I knew damn well as soon as the women got their hands on it, things would get out of control.” He said women as if it was a swear word. “I feel like I’ve been catapulted into hell and surrounded by she-demons, constantly beating me over the head with seating plans and menus and flowers.” He shuddered. “Can you believe my mother actually believes she’s going to get me into a suit?”

“And so she will,” Daisy said, firmly. “It’s your wedding. You have to be smart.”

“What’s smart about wearing a suit? When have you ever seen me wearing a suit?”

“At Grandma’s funeral.”

“It wasn’t a suit. It was black slacks and a vintage jacket with silver buttons and—”

“It was close to a suit,” Daisy snapped, “and this time it’s your wedding.” She sat back as if the point was decided.

“And, because it’s my wedding, how about cutting me a bit of slack?” Asher growled back. “You’ve already blown every idea I’ve had about the stupid wedding right out of the water and if you really think—”

Daisy huffed. “Your ideas have been ridiculous. Who gets married at midnight in a cave with the officiant dressed as death?”

“I do,” Asher said grimly. “Or rather, I don’t.”

“We’ve reached compromises—”

“Compromises? You mean you’ve thrown me a few scraps, like agreeing to have the wedding in the evening, putting some black serviettes on the table, and going for red roses instead of white ones. Big deal. Well, I’m warning you, keep pushing me and you’ll be sorry. If you force that fucking suit on me, I’ll walk down the aisle in a dress.”

Vince nearly dropped his drink. “Oh gawd, Asher. I shudder to think what else you’d wear. You’re at the very least—er, how can I put it—shocking with what you choose to wear.”

Billy nodded. “Truth there, baby. You looked smokin’ hot at our wedding, but I can’t fathom what you’d wear to yours if you had the chance. Something toeing the line of legality, I’m sure.” He laughed. “Aw, Ash. You’re setting a bad example for Angel. That boy looks up to you, you know.”

“Tsk, tsk. Must behave now, mustn’t we?” Vince joked, catching the scowl Asher sent to Billy. 
Thankfully, Asher smiled and relaxed back into his seat. He was such a powder keg lately, and the last thing Vince wanted was a stand-up row. “You’re not the only ones, you know. Our mothers took 
over our wedding, and the hens clucked so damn much together over it they became best friends.” He chuckled, lost in memories.

“Sure did. How are yours getting along? Have you had much of a chance to help out, Daisy, or have the moms just hoarded it all?”

“Are you serious?” Asher said, still hyper. “She’s a fucking woman, of course she’s doing her bit to help. And as for our mothers…” He shuddered. “You’d swear they were twins separated at birth.”

“Whoa, there. Just simmer down, Asher.” Erik laid a hand on his arm.

Asher shook it off. 


S.L. Danielson began writing at the age of six. She knew it was her calling from the moment she put pen to paper. In her teens, she began writing alternative works, and the genre stuck. She also wove more elaborate tales and finally, in her college years, began to weave her new love of male romance into long novels.
She is classically trained in business, accounting, and education, holding both undergrad and graduate degrees. Her other hobbies include painting, gaming, and spending time with her husband and two cherished cats.

Contact S.L. at:
or follow her blog at:

Cheryl Headford was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was sixteen, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden, and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry, and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews, and cousin, and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re-enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller, the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close.

The Upstaged Series also has it’s very own Facebook page

And if you want exclusive snippets, gossip, more information about the group and what our boys look like as Sims then you can have an exclusive Backstage Pass

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

June Newsletter (Received in July)

First, why am I sending out the June Newsletter in July? Answer: because it was mostly completed in June and I'm hopeful I will be able to get another one out in July with some more exciting news.

To enter the giveaway for June's newsletter, please comment below.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

COMING SOON Upstaged #4 Aria

Upstaged is back for its fourth installment

Erik and Asher are getting married, but the pressure is getting to Asher and the lid is about to fly off the pressure cooker. 

Vince and Billy are celebrating a year of married life, but stresses of separation and new life are plucking at the seams of their relationship.

Connor and Angel are steaming forward, but one of them is pulling a little too far ahead.

The Von is on its way to stardom, but it's a bumpy ride for members and their partners. 

If you thought these guys had settled down and the angst level must be dropping by now, you're so wrong a whole different ballpark.

With the book in final line edits we're hoping for a release date at the end of this month or the beginning of the next. Keept watching this space or head over and get a Backstage Pass for news, views and snippets.