Friday, September 14, 2018

Get Rid of Those Nasty Adverbs #amwriting #MFRWAuthor

What is An Adverb? Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They’re the ones that usually end in -ly.

In Stephen King's book On Writing, he claims the overuse of adverbs shows a writer's fear. Mr. King avoids using adverbs in his writing because he says, "Adverbs weaken your writing."
I agree wholeheartedly, and have come to notice and dislike the use of adverbs when I read. One time a New York publishing editor told me the best way to spot a 'newbie writer' is their use of adverbs in a manuscript. Here's an example of what she meant (in fact, I think she wrote it in the margins): He kissed her soundly. "What really matters to a reader is that he kissed her. If you feel a need to define the kiss you might say: He kissed her hard and with heartfelt passion." See, that tells the reader his kiss was bold and demanding. Soundly is a weak word to describe a kiss. .
Read the following three sentences (without the use of adverbs)
‘Put it down!’ she shouted.
‘Give it back,’ he pleaded, ‘it’s mine.’
‘Don’t be such a fool, Jekyll,’ Utterson said.
In these sentences, shouted, pleaded, and said are verbs of dialogue attribution.
Now, read the same three sentences, and I think you'll agree with the originator (Brain Pickings web site). "The three latter sentences are all weaker than the first three and most readers will see why."

‘Put it down! she shouted menacingly.
‘Give it back,’ he pleaded abjectly, ‘it’s mine.’
‘Don’t be such a fool, Jekyll,’ Utterson said contemptuously.
Brain Pickings continues to say, "Adverbs are like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day . . . fifty the day after that . . . and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late."
Adverbs pull a reader out of the story. Too many can really bog the entire story down. It's more vivid and exciting to write: He slammed the door. Rather than: He closed the door firmly. Here's another example. You decide which brings forth an immediate feeling/ambiance about the room. Heat filled the room entirely. Or, Heat emanated from every corner of the room.
Even worse, adverbs are many times redundant.
Running quickly for the end zone, the widely recruited fullback tripped. (If he's RUNNING, doesn't that convey speed? And, if he was recruited does it matter if it was widely?)
After she looked carefully in both directions, Mary sprinted across. (The point is Mary looked both ways. We don't need to know she did it carefully).
Now that Royce has arrived safely, the group can settle down. (If Royce hadn't arrived safely the group wouldn't be settled down, would they?)
Ginger spoke glowingly of Kyoko’s extraordinary acting skills. (It should be obvious to the reader, if she's speaking about "her extraordinary skills, it would be glowing. Duh.)
Here's a double whammy: Speak softly into the microphone or we will suffer greatly. (Speak into the microphone or we'll suffer). That's all one needs to write.
I know, I know, writers love adverbs. I did too at one time. That's not to say I NEVER use them, but when I'm in the editing process I search for all "ly" words and cull 4 out of 5. I use them very sparingly (pun intended).
Try it. I think you'll discover your manuscript reads better, flows fast and smooth, and doesn't pull the reader out of your fabulous story.
Write tight. Get rid of those nasty adverbs. In other words, cut to the chase and before long, you'll know right away when you type another adverb.
Happy writing and Happy reading,
Follow Keta on Twitter: @ketadiablo
And pre-order her latest book, Comes A Specter

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Five Haunted Cities - Put Them on Your Bucket List #MFRWAuthor

And thanks for dropping by today! We're talking about haunted cities here, ladies and gents, historical haunted cities with numerous sightings of dead spirits (ghosts). Here are five that should be on your bucket list if you, number 1, like to travel, 2, love ghost tours and, 3, are addicted to historical places like me. 

1) Quebec City
Quebec’s dark history dates back to when it was New France more than 400 years ago. Join Ghost Tours of Quebec or Les Promenades Fantomes to visit sites such as the Plains of Abraham, which was a former battleground during the Seven Years’ War between the British and French. The worst fighting occurred during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, when more than 1,000 soldiers were killed. Venture into the surrounding tunnels, where some have smelled gunpowder and heard cannon shots. The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is one of the world’s most Instagrammed hotels, and yes, it’s haunted. It was named for Louis de Buade, a former 17th-century governor of Quebec, who died before marrying his fiancée. He roams the halls searching for her, and has been seen everywhere from the hallways to guest rooms.
2) Washington, D.C.
The White House, The National Theatre and Hay-Adams Hotel are among the city’s haunted hot spots. Get the lowdown on its seedy past with Washington DC Ghost Tours, Scary DC or Washington Walks. However, The U.S. Capitol Building, which was built in the mid-1800s, is filled with specters, from construction workers to politicians (John Quincy Adams actually died there). In fact, there’s even a “demon cat” that appears right before national tragedies.
Historical hauntings also happen at The Octagon House. Dolley Madison, wife of president James Madison, lived there for a spell, and loved throwing parties; she’s sometimes seen in her party frock. Less happy occurrences in the mansion’s past include rumored murders and unexplained deaths. If you take a self-guided tour of the now museum, don’t be alarmed to feel cold spots on the staircase or hear knocking inside the walls.

3) Chicago
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 lasted two days and killed at least 300 people. However, even worse was the 1903 fire at the much-touted fireproof Iroquois Theater, which killed more than 600 people at an afternoon performance. In fact, the alley behind it has been nicknamed “Death Alley,” after those who jumped to their death to escape the fire. It’s also where recovered bodies were temporarily placed. The Oriental Theater (pictured) now resides on the spot, and people have seen ghosts in period dress, heard screams and smelled smoke.
Try your luck by booking a room at the Congress Plaza Hotel, said to be overflowing with ghosts. Room 441 is believed to be among the most haunted, with a woman that shakes the bed, shadowy figures and projectile objects. Even scarier, there’s a sealed shut room with no doornob on the 12th floor. You probably wouldn’t want to spend the night there anyway. Weird Chicago Tours and Chicago Hauntings cover more haunted spots around the city.

4) San Francisco, CA
The lawless gold rush period and the 1906 earthquake, which triggered a fire that killed at least 3,000 people, likely contributed to San Francisco’s haunted present. However, Alcatraz Island is also notoriously haunted. Tales of death, murder and insanity surround the prison that once held mobster Al Capone. You can visit at night for the chance to experience cold spots, whispering in empty cells and sounds of slamming doors. Learn about other haunted sites, from the USS Hornet to Chinatown, with San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour, Haunted Haight Walking Tour or SF Chinatown Ghost Tours.

Although about an hour from the city, it’s worth detouring to visit the Winchester Mystery House, whose history is just as fascinating as its hauntings. Long story short, a medium advised Mrs. Winchester to never stop building a house in order to prevent ghosts from haunting her. Mr. Winchester took this to heart, and after 38 years of endless construction, the result was 160 rooms with baffling architecture, from doors that open into walls to staircases that don’t lead anywhere. Ironically, despite her efforts, Winchester is most certainly haunted; take a candlelight tour in October and watch out for lights turning on or Mrs. Winchester herself calling your name.

5) Portland, Oregon
At one point, Portland was considered one of the most dangerous port cities in the world thanks to prostitution, gangs, opium dens and gambling rings. One of the most persistent stories from this era is about the Shanghai Tunnels, which are underground tunnels that connected hotel and bar basements to the docks. Originally intended to transport goods from the waterfront, they're rumored to be where hired hands in the 19th century would kidnap, or “shanghai” men to work as slaves on ships bound for Asia. Victims would be dropped into the tunnel via trapdoors found in bars and imprisoned in cells until their ship set sail. Some ghost tours such as Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour, Haunted Pub Tour, Hawthorne Ghost Tour and Shanghai Tunnels/Portland Underground Tours start at Hobo’s Restaurant, where there’s a basement entrance to the tunnels. Besides hearing screaming and crying, people report seeing Nina, a prostitute who met an untimely end at the bottom of an elevator shaft of what’s now Old Town Pizza.
Speaking of ghosts, I'd like to share an excerpt from my most recent book Comes A Specter (now on pre-order). Several reviewers said the ghost scared the bejeebers out of them, but they also loved the book!

"I can't recall the last time I read such a fascinating ghost story."
"This story is heavy and rich and enthralling. It begs the question,
What next?" with every turn of the page."

Setup: Sutter (known as the shaman Yellow Smoke) confronts the ghost, Ten Wounds.

A haze of gray mist swirled around the spirit's form, his human form. If the situation weren't so serious, Sutter could have shouted with joy. He took in the ghost's visage. A quiver hung from his shoulder stocked with sharp, pointed arrows—a sign he'd transformed into the fierce warrior who once walked the earth. Steeped in blood (no doubt from his recent kills), his clothing hung in tatters around his massive frame—a vest made of animal hides, a breechcloth and fringed leggings. Sutter's gaze traveled to his painted, pock-marked face. Yellow and white stripes marked his forehead and chin, and black circles blended into his dark eyes. For a brief second, Sutter's insides quivered and ropes of tension knotted every cord and fiber of his body.
 Bleary, unearthly eyes speared Sutter when the wraith raised a hand of claw-like fingers and pointed at his enemy’s chest. The wind, much like the sound of a thousand women wailing, keened into the deafening silence. Fire exploded from the ghost's eyes—flames the fires of Hell couldn't compete with.
Sutter shouted over the infernal noise and flames. "You are not welcome here! Hear my words, you are dead!"

Like a misty cloud of energy, Ten Wounds lurched forward, a staccato rhythm of hisses and howls spewing from his foam-drooling mouth. Sutter had never imagined such a demonic apparition.

Thanks so much for dropping by today! I really appreciate it.

Follow me on Twitter: @ketadiablo
And pre-order her latest book, Comes A Specter (Click to preorder)

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Ghost To Die For - Read An Excerpt #ghosts #contemporary #romance

Hello, and thanks for stopping by Keta's Keep. 

Today, I'm thrilled to share an excerpt from one of my latest releases A GHOST TO DIE FOR.

Setup: Rooney returns to her hotel room after a seance and finds a man seated in a chair near the window. 

When she saw the man seated in the club chair next to the draperies, she did the first thing that came to her mind…grabbed a weapon. Seconds later, she faced him with a fully loaded can of hair spray in one hand and her curling iron in the other.
He put a hand in the air. Whoa, now, I mean you no harm, Miss.  
"How did you get in here? What are you doing here? And just who-who are you?"
Wait…you're looking at me when you speak. Not only can you hear me but you can see me?
"Of course I can hear you…and see you. I'm not standing here with a curling iron and a can of hair spray to attack the chair."
Oh, that. Won't do you any good. Both would go through me.
He didn't look menacing. In fact, he looked forlorn and way too calm for someone bent on attacking her. Dressed in a pair of denim jeans and a white cotton shirt, his hair was cut short, his features fine and symmetrical. Despite his calm demeanor, a chill ran down her spine. A white aura circled his translucent body. Something about the stranger wasn't quite authentic…tangible. "Don't change the subject. I asked what you're doing in my room." She glanced toward the door. "And how did you get in here?"
Why don't you take a seat on the edge of the bed and I'll explain everything.
"Are you out of your mind? I have no intention of holding a conversation with a stranger who's broken into my room."
I didn't break into your room; I walked through that door, or was it the wall?  He shrugged. In any event, there was no break in.  
"Not listening to this, calling security."
Rooney, that's you, right?
"Oh. My. God. You know my name?"
He gave a sheepish nod. I heard you talking to your sister backstage after the séance.
"You followed me?"
I wouldn't call it following you. I entered the elevator with you and sort of walked shoulder-to-shoulder with you up here.
"You weren't at the séance on stage, so what then, were you in the audience?"
No, I was on stage, but kind of hanging around in the background.  He put his hands in the air, palms out. I swear, I won't hurt you, but I been lurking around this hotel for two months now wondering how I was going to get out of thismess. Then you arrived at La Bonne Chance with your sister, you know, the fabulous Fontaine sisters, the crème-dela-crème of psychics, and my prayers were answered.
She snorted. "I'm not a psychic, mister. Looks like you picked the wrong sister."
No, I picked the right sister. Now if only I can get her to hear me out.
"I don't want to hear you out; I want you to get the hell out of my hotel room. Like now!" When he didn't comply, she moved the can of hair spray until it loomed inches from his face.
"I'm going to count to three. If you aren't out of that chair and out that door by then, I'm giving you a face full of hair spray."
Go ahead. Maybe then you'll realize what I am and listen.
"You asked for it." She held the nozzle down and let him have it between the eyes. Not a muscle on his body moved.
Much to her dismay, she didn't have the satisfaction of seeing him blink. The aroma of hair spray hung heavy in the air, but it didn't seem to bother him as much as it did her. Through a series of chokes and chortles she managed to eke out the words.
"What are you, some kind of weirdo with inhuman defenses?"
A ghost.
You asked me what I am and I'm telling you. I'm a ghost.
Eyes wide, voice in shriek mode, she fell onto the edge of the bed and glared at him. "You can't be a ghost. I don't believe in ghosts!"
Understandable. Neither did I until I became one.

What reviewers are saying about A Ghost To Die For
"Ms. Diablo packs a lot of punch into a 123-page novella. Between the paranormal activity, humor, action, romance, and even a bit of steam—A GHOST TO DIE FOR has everything. It kept me up reading all night.  And, I agree with the person who wrote the first review. As another veteran, I love stories in which vets are the heroes/heroines.
Thanks so much, Ms. Diablo!"

"You can’t go wrong with this novella or this great author. Keta knows how to write a book to keep the reader interested and on the edge of their seats."

"I loved It! It was a page-turner, full of suspense, romance, and cleverly written.
 I felt the emotions of her characters."

Monday, September 3, 2018

Bab's Bookmark Ezine For #Readers & #Authors - Subscribe NOW

Hello and welcome back to Keta's Keep.

Today I want to tell you about a FAB Ezine for Readers and Authors called BABS BOOKMARK. I know you'll want to subscribe to her ezine. Babs Hightower is a wonderful supporter of authors, and her magazine/ezine is one you'll not only want to subscribe to but get featured in!

Here are the details:
Volume 6 has just arrived. Read it HERE If you're prompted to give an access code, use this:ql7DXI
In the September issue you'll find: Keta Diablo, Amy M. Reade, Britta Addams, Kayelle Allen, book reviews, interviews and more.

In every issue you'll find:
1) Babs helping authors get noticed by new readers.
2) Reviews for the books featured in the magazine.
3) Book features
4) Author features
5) Giveaways
6) Recipes,
7) Craft Corner 
8) The Magazine is uploaded to Amazon and Goodreads

and more....! Now what more could you ask for an Ezine?

Subscribe to BABS BOOKMARK quarterly ezine HERE 
You can contact Babs Hightower and asked to be featured in one of the next Ezines: EMAIL:

Better hurry! You Don't want to miss this opportunity!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Free Book Friday - Romance Lives Forever Blog #MFRWAuthor

A huge thanks to Kayelle for hosting my Free book on Free Books Friday on the FAB Romance Lives Forever Blog 

Don't forget to download your free copy of THREE FOR THE WIN, a contemporary romance (western).

About Three For The Win

I’ve loved Hollis forever, it seems.
I meant to tell her so many times but always chickened out. 
Then Stede rode into town on his big shiny motorcycle and saved my life.
Hollis fell hard for him. I get that, what’s not to love about Stede? 
I watched and waited, hoped whatever they felt for one another would pass.
It didn’t, and now Stede’s hot head has landed him in trouble…again.

I should have known better than to fall for a bone-melting man like Stede Marrow.
A man who hides everything about his past.
I know Stede loves me and I know he loves Eli too, like a brother.
Stede’s gone now and Eli’s here to pick up the pieces of my broken life.

I should have kept on riding after I saved Eli at the creek.                  
But then I saw Hollis and forgot about that road up ahead.
I wanted to tell her why I’m running and who I am.
But I haven’t even told Eli. It’s safer that way.
I said I’d never go back to that hick town, swore I’d forget about Hollis.
I didn’t bank on her being so damn unforgettable.

Download at your favorite venue:
If You enjoyed the book, please leave a review!
Reviews are the best way to support an author and encourage
us to read more books for your readking pleasure. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Do U Love #Ghost Stories? Read Ghostland Series #MFRWHooks

Hey friends, readers and writers, thanks for stopping by!

I'm talking #ghosts today. If you're as intrigued with the supernatual as I am, you'll want to check out the first two books in my#western #romance Ghostland Series.

"I really enjoyed Comes an Outlaw. Keta Diablo creates another set of compelling characters."

About Comes An Outlaw:
When a tragic accident claims her husband's life, Jesse Santos must find a way to keep the ranch, the only home her 12-year-old son has ever known.  The ranch hands have abandoned her, a gang of cutthroat ranchers want her land and an ancient Yaqui Indian insists a spirit has taken up residence in the house.

Tome Tender Reviews - "Once again, Keta Diablo creates an atmosphere where the dust and back-breaking work of brave souls, comes to life around the magic of mystical spirits in a world tamed long ago."

"I love ghost stories and western romance. I liked the native quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Keta's writing as she knows how to tell a story in which the reader stays glued to the pages. You will be on the edge of your seat with the ghost and Anya and her friend Sutter. The characters were well done the plot was exceptional."

About Comes A Specter 
Six months ago, Anya Fleming's ten- year-old son, Willie-boy, found his father hanging in the barn. Traumatized over his father's suicide, the boy hasn't spoken a word since. Now, Willie-boy has come down with a grave, unknown illness and there's only one man who can save him, Sutter Sky, a learned Blackfoot shaman known as Yellow Smoke—a shaman who was once deeply in love with Anya.

As if Anya didn't have enough to deal with after her husband's death and son's illness, an evil, sinister ghost is terrorizing their ranch. Anya is convinced the spirit is Lewis, who apparently isn't done making her life miserable. When she turns to Yellow Smoke for help, will he put side his bitterness and save Willie-boy? And can the renowned shaman dispel the powerful ghost from their lives and send him back to Hades?

"Comes a Specter by Keta Diablo will raise the hair on the back of your necks as she mesmerizes you, chapter by chapter, through a story of love, determination, and a ghost that wants them all to die. The history of the Blackfeet tribe is woven into the pattern of this story like a delicate chain, connecting the characters together. Keta has done her research well. The anticipation of what will happen next flows through her chapters like warm honey down a sun warmed rock. You think you know what will happen, but then you realize you never had it quite right."

Thanks so much for stoppin by! Click on the links below to read more delicious #BookHooks from some FAB authors.