Monday, May 7, 2012

My latest craft book must have!

Cliches have met their match!

The Virgin Widow's Heart Stopped When She Saw the Book That Would Change Her Life Forever by Ellen Hartman and Sophie Gunn just released on Amazon (Kindle) last week, and I promise it really will change your life. Well, okay, your writing life, although it could inspire people everywhere to discover their individuality and revamp their social skills :). I mean, who likes a cliched pick-up line. Right? Seriously though, I rank this book up there with Debra Dixon's famous Goal, Motivation, and Conflict as a staple for all writers.

The book is based on Ellen and Sophie's popular workshop, which I attended at last year's RWA Nationals meeting. The room was packed with not only published and unpublished writers, but editors as well. You know the workshop where everyone laughs, takes notes like crazy, then they push and shove to get to the speakers and ask more questions at the end? Alright. Romance writers are more civilized than that, but yes, it's that great and this is your chance to find out their anti-cliche secrets, as well as their fail-proof way on how to find your voice. Whew, that was a long sentence! It's because my heart's racing with excitement! (Okay, that was bad ;)

This isn't just about killing cliched phrases. It's about fixing cliched characters, plots, situations, and even promo. I hate it when people point out problems but don't provide solutions. This book tells you how to un-cliche a cliche. It's full of examples and step by step approaches to making your writing unique. It's a fast-paced, funny read loaded with a phenomenal amount of information. Definitely a craft reference must have.

Buy it or find out more on Amazon.

Note: I'm aware that the word cliche has an accent, but I couldn't figure out how to make it happen. Let's just pretend that I'm wildly clever, and I left it off to symbolize ripping apart cliches :)


  1. Hi Rula,

    Sophie and I are beyond thrilled that you liked the book. We went to see Deb Dixon together way back in the beginning of our writing careers and her GMC changed our lives. I can't believe you mentioned our book in the same paragraph. (My heart is jumping with excitement. Hee.)

    One of the many things I learned when working on this book is how to make an accented é. On a Mac, you hold down the Option key and type e, then type e again.

    If I can answer any questions about the book, let me know.

    Thanks so much for your feedback.


  2. It sounds like a fun read and a good book that's very useful to writers. Going to have a look-see.

  3. Good to know!! Going to check it out now.
    I'm reading a lecture packet right now from Margie Lawson.

  4. Had you not recommended it, I might've passed on it because of the title. Thank you.

    Ref: accent marks
    I don't know how to get them to come up on Blogger either, but here is what I do:

    Type the word in Word. If it doesn't automatically add the accent mark, it will when you run spell check. Copy and paste it into your post. If Word doesn't help, you can also copy and paste from an online dictionary too.


  5. Ellen! It's always an honor to have you drop by :) I don't have a mac, but I've thought a lot about switching over.

    J.L. - It really is a fun, yet informative, read.

    Jennifer - I went to a Margie workshop at Nationals. She knows her stuff!

    Maria - I do recommend it :) And thanks on the accent tip. I'd googled it but I couldn't get it to work in blogger. Now I know! Thanks.

  6. I wonder if it's the same info as in Margie Lawson's course notes. Let me know!!!!!

    Are you going to the nationals this year?

  7. Hey Stina. I missed the first half of Margie's talk and I don't have her packets like Jennifer does. From what I know, I honestly think they're different. The focus/purpose and approaches are different. You'll notice that, for example, I have more than one favorite craft book that deals with plot or even character, but each stood out or resonated with me for different reasons. Each author had their wisdom to share.

    The Virgin Widow book really focuses on clichés (hey my accent worked :), where others gloss over the topic and simply say to avoid them. Well, as Ellen and Sophie point out, they're everywhere. We all use them. But they give great tips on how to twist them to your advantage. They also draw examples from a huge list of well known authors and show where and how the clichés were turned on their heads :) The nice thing about it being an e book (my first craft e book purchase) is that it's a great bargain for the info too!

  8. Oh and I forgot to add that, yes, I'll be at Nationals!

  9. Yay! Thank you so much for the reminder, Rula! I'm off to get my copy! :-)

  10. I'll be at the nationals too!!!

    I'll definitely check out the book. It couldn't hurt that's for sure.