I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Elizabeth Over!

Today I'm handing over the reigns to one of my favorite people in the whole wide world AND the interwebs - Author Elizabeth Seckman! Elizabeth, for those who don't know her, is not only a champion of authors everywhere, but she manages to be a prolific writer as well as Super Mom and Super Wife. She is my hero! And her Coulter Men series is a seriously smart, snarky, and realistic romance series you have to read. I've never been one to pick up a romance series, but Elizabeth makes it fun for even those of us who still believe that boys have cooties!

So without further ado.... here's Elizabeth and her newest release - Defying Reason!


Thanks for having me over Ashley! It's so good to be here. I tried to think of something I could teach a smart gal like yourself, and decided I'd show you how to be a cheap and easy tease.

I know you're now married to an uber smart guy and don't really need to worry about easy, but there are plenty of people who do. 

For my book launch, I wanted to have some teasers. Problem was, I didn't even know where to begin. 

But with hard work and plenty of frustration, I made this:

I have to admit, this tech moron was pretty pleased with the results. And honestly, it was so easy!

1. I bought pictures at Dollar Photo Club. There are plenty of stock photo purchase sites, but I chose this one. I like easy and their rules were simple. A dollar a picture, with a minimum purchase of ten. 

2. I then went to PicMonkey. They have plenty of free photo shop applications, like adding text and overlays, or you can get the full site for under $50 a year. (Great for fixing blemishes on family photos too...when I have time, my albums are getting an update!)

3. Download a picture on Pic Monkey and start tinkering. There are tutorials to watch, or you can do trial and error with all the cursing and hair pulling until you get it right. 

4. Then save your masterpiece. 

5. Share.

I even made one for you, Ashley! I know you're quite the Star Wars fan, so I gathered up a few of my favorite lines and put them together. It was so easy! I mean seriously? If I can do it...anyone can!

The Blurb:

Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long line of trouble-making, white trash stock.
Tanner Coulter comes from a longer line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.
Jo graduated college top of her class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.
Tanner dropped out of college, trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.

A family crisis throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever- after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots. The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but dreams daily of the beach. 

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Friday the 13th!

Just swinging by to wish everyone a happy Friday. This happens to be my lucky day! I had turned 16 and got my driver’s permit on Friday the 13th, turned 21 on Friday the 13th, and tonight I’m going to drink a beer and play Borderlands until my heart is content. How are you spending yours?

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bad vs. Bad - The Secret Behind THAT Book

To so many authors and critical readers, it's the Book That Shall Not Be Named. Every conversation surrounding bad literature or bad writing eventually mentions it, if not leads with it. We love to hate, hate, hate it almost as much as we love our coffee. Yes. It's that serious, and that ubiquitous in angsty Top Ten Terrible Books lists across the interwebs. In fact, you probably figured out from the very first sentence that the book to which I'm referring is none other than the dreaded...

Fifty Shades of Gray. (Dun-dun-DUNNNNN!!!)

And why - moral issues with misrepresenting actual BDSM culture and legitimizing various forms of actual abuse (climbs down from soapbox for now) - do we hate this book so? We say it's a Bad Book. A Very, Very Bad Book. And then we offer it no treats and would threaten to put it back in its cage if we didn't think it would like it so much. We call it bad writing and rant quite happily about it while we guzzle our coffee and promise ourselves our writing will be so much better. (I feel better at least. Don't you?)

But now our friends at Grammarly have gone and outsmarted us by qualifying how bad the writing is, and the surprising truth of the matter is that is actually isn't that bad... technically. They put the entire text through their Rube Goldberg machine of Wordsmithery and found out that the errors aren't so out of line with other romances that we love, live, and get tattooed on, well, places. It forces us to make the distinction between poor technical execution of the language and poor esthetic use of language. That last part, by the way, we can still cling to tighter than our latex undies in regards to The Book That Shall Not Be Named.

I was reluctant to give even an inch of credit toward a book that I love to hate, but Grammarly makes it entirely worth your while to consider their evidence. If for no better reason, check it out to see your favorite authors decked out in leather, chains, and ball gags. It's worth it just for that.

Now, without further ado, enjoy this eye candy courtesy of grammarly.com/grammar-check.

Grammarly: Fifty Shades of Grammar