Sunday, December 25, 2011
All Romance eBooks is offering a 50% rebate for all eligible purchases.. including my title, WAKING THE DEAD. Woohoo!
Find it here!
I'm a terrible blogger, I know. Work, writing and exercise pretty much take up all of my time. I've shifted a bit (no pun intended) away from paranormal romance for a while as I delve into my secret love of historicals. Which has meant a lot of research--reading, watching documentaries, and scouring for romance set in my target time period... the latter of which has turned up very little. Boo.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Yesterday I received my author copy of my book. Guys, I have an ISBN number! It looks phenomenal. But all parents say that about their children I suppose!
Please join me over on my good friend Ju Dimello's blog today where I celebrate the release of Waking The Dead with a giveaway!
Also check out my interview with Adonis Devereux!
Now available from Evernight Publishing! Even better, save 15% on the cover price!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Contests, interviews and parties to follow! Right now I have to hustle with the promotions because I'm a full month earlier than I anticipated.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Blah blah blah, Renee, get to the cowboys!
Today I have someone very very special with me, Evernight Publishing debut author Lorraine Nelson! I've been
When/How did you decide writing was something you just had to do?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve written poetry, short stories and children’s books. It’s always been an integral part of me. A bit of a loner growing up, my reading and writing kept me occupied. When my children were younger, I wrote for their age group. Now they’ve grown, I write for mine.
What steered you to romantic fiction, or your particular flavor of romance?
I’ve been an avid romance and mystery reader for many years. It seemed natural to com
bine the two and try writing one. Romantic suspense is a growing market and, as most of my novels end up with an element of suspense in them, that seems to be the genre for me... although some, such as Zakia, are quite hot. Writing romance and/or suspense is the one thing I’ve always wanted to try my hand at, but I didn’t complete my first manuscript until March 2009. To be able to combine the two and craft a believable, entertaining story gives me a great sense of satisfaction in what I do.
What is your writing routine? When/where is your preferred time to write? What obstacles do you deal with, if any?
Routine? I’m supposed to have a routine? LOL
Oh thank goodness, I thought I was the only one without a routine!
When I sit down to write I tend to read over the last couple pages I wrote to get back into the right mindset for that story before I start writing. If I need to research something, I do it as I go. It isn’t uncommon for me to be working half a dozen stories at a time, so it helps keep them straight. And if I stall out on one, there’s always another beckoning me from the background.
I write at my desk in my home office anytime the muse strikes. Peace and quiet is essential for me when I’m writing. Lately, I tend to write more at night to avoid interruptions, especially if I’m editing someone else’s work.
My youngest son moved home, complete with girlfriend and baby girl, my precious granddaughter, Alexis. I love having them, but it sure cuts into my writing time.
What is the most important thing you've learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?
Anyone can do it if they want it bad enough. When I started writing for adults in 2008, I thought I knew what I was doing. I mean, I’ve always had a good command of English grammar, and read mega loads of books, so what was the big deal? Well, let me tell you, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way! My first attempts were riddled with head-hopping and a few other things. Needless to say, writing is a continual learning experience and I’m enjoying the challenge.
As to publishing and being published, I’m loving it. Zakia and the Cowboy involved a fair amount of editing, but I didn’t have any trouble making the deadlines. My editor, Emma Shortt, is terrific; my cover is fabulous and everything has been done with efficiency. The Evernight team is great to work with! I find that I’m even enjoying all the promoting that comes with having books for sale.
On Thursday, October 13th, my Christmas novella went live on Amazon. I enjoyed learning the process of self-publishing and even designed my own cover. I’m toying with the idea of putting another one on Amazon, a full-length Christmas novel, in November.
What do you currently have your bookmark in?
LOL, Renee! I haven’t had much time to read lately. I’ve started A Question of Impropriety by Michelle Styles, which I keep in my purse. If I have a lengthy wait anywhere, that’s what I read. I’m loving the hero in that story… a reformed rake, and of course, the heroine has a hard time believing he’s changed and tries to keep her distance.
Are we going to see more smexy cowboys?
I’m working on books 2 and 3 of the Thunder Creek series, the sequels to Zakia.
The following is a scene from chapter two of Zakia and the Cowboy.
Her pace slow as she rounded the front of the truck, she paused for a moment to let reality sink in. She was home.
Strange to feel that way when she’d been gone so long but she now realized how much she’d missed the place, the country air, the smell of fresh cut hay… and the man. Once the shakes and numbness subsided, she strode purposefully in his direction.
She felt his eyes on her as she approached, the stream of light provided by the bare bulb hanging behind him highlighting her journey yet keeping him in shadow. Only a few feet away from him she paused, her husky voice cutting through the quiet of the night as she simply said, “Hello, Luke.”
Brisk and to the point, he acknowledged her presence. “Zakia. What brings you out here? Slumming these days?”
Zakia sighed, hurt but unsurprised by his words. “I never considered living on the ranch as slumming, Luke. My leaving had nothing to do with the ranch.”
“It had everything to do with it. You left for a better and brighter social scene. Why are you here now?”
“We’ll talk about my reasons for leaving later. Right now I have a long story to tell but the short answer is this…” Looking him in the eye as best she could in the near dark, she put all the emotion and desperation she could into her voice when she replied, “I’m in trouble, Luke. I need your help.”
“Hah! If that’s all you came for you might as well head back to town. Daddy’s money always seemed to be more comfort to you than I ever was.”
“That’s not true, Luke! As miserable as I was living way out here with only the bunkhouse cook to keep me company during the day, I was just as miserable alone in the city. I was packing to come back when the divorce papers came. I thought you didn’t want me anymore.”
“Nice try, but I’m not buying. You left without a word or a warning and you show up again the same way. I don’t want or need you in my life. Now go. Get off my property.”
* * * *
Turning his back on her was the hardest thing he’d ever done, other than watching her drive away. She’d been sick that morning and he’d rode home on Prince at noon to check on her, only to pull up short as he’d seen her car pull onto the road. Frantic, he’d dismounted and ran into the house hoping to find a note, something, anything to tell him where she was going and when she’d be back. Nothing greeted him except an empty dresser and closet.
Now she was back. Damned if she wasn’t more beautiful than ever. Her delightful teenage curves had filled out nicely, fulfilling the promise he remembered from their time together.
“Luke, please! I came here because you’re the only man I trust who can help. I can’t leave until you hear me out. Then, if you still want me to go, I’ll be out of here so fast, you’ll wonder if it was all a dream.”
As hard as it was to refuse her anything, even now, he had to for his own sanity. It had almost killed him when she left the first time. She wasn’t going to have the chance to do it again. “Trust? You wouldn’t know the meaning of the word. I don’t have time to listen to some trumped up story, Zakia. I’m busy.”
What would you like to promote here?
I’m pleased to announce that Zakia and the Cowboy is a Featured Title at All Romance Books and numbers in the top 40 on their bestseller list. It’s available at the following locations:
If you’re interested in a Christmas novella, His Christmas Wish is available at Amazon for 99 cents.
Where can readers find you?
I’m usually kicking around on Facebook, but they can message me directly through my website and/or blog. I love to hear from readers, so if you’ve read my work, please take a moment to contact me and let me know what you liked or didn’t like about Zakia and Luke’s story.
Please post a comment and your email addy to be entered in the draw for a free download of Zakia and the Cowboy. Winners will be announced on my blog tomorrow.
Thank you for having me here today, Renee.
Thank you so much for coming by today, Lorraine! I'm flattered to have had you here, and wish you much success with this series!
Guys, go ahead and comment to win; this is a BESTSELLER!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Okay, so that's a little dramatic. Anywho.
Probably my favorite band in the world, second only to another Swedish progressive metal band, Opeth is one of the few groups that can speak to every one of my moods.
Except happiness. There is a huge void where you might find "happy" in their albums.
Opeth inspired the opening scene of what was originally the beginning of "Waking The Dead" (which was worked and reworked until it resembled something entirely different). I turn to them whenever I need inspiration, particularly when my brooding male Alphas refuse to talk to me.
This song is something that's a bit different from their usual death metal growls.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I'm so excited today to have the opportunity to have Lucianne Rivers, author of the Caldwell Sisters series. The third installment, ENTICE ME, has just been released by Entangled Publishing. To celebrate the release, Lucy is giving away an incredible prize to a commenter here today!
And I start off as I always do, when did you decide writing was something you just had to do?
After the birth of my daughter, Lily, nearly two years ago, I felt this huge surge of creativity and took a screenwriting class at my local community college. This began a love of writing. From there I learned the craft of writing prose, and made the switch.
What steered you to romantic fiction, or your particular flavor of romance?
I've always read romance, beginning with anything by Austen or the Bronte sisters, and then moving on to more "adult" titles by Linda Howard and Jude Devereaux. At the movies, I tend to veer toward romantic thrillers. It makes sense that as a writer I'd be drawn to the genre. I'm a romantic, and my dream is to love passionately, and be loved the same way in return...
What is your writing routine? What obstacles do you deal with, if any?
I've just been through a break-up. Writing has been been next to impossible. I hope to return to it very soon.
Sorry to hear that, Lucy! I do hope you get back to writing soon, because I know you have some great stories in you that need to be told. (Just look at her back list, guys, great stuff!) What is the most important thing you've learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?
That it's not possible to make the switch from reader to writer without learning the "rules" of writing. Because there are many, and you probably won't pick up on them just from consuming fiction.
I wish someone had told me about all the stuff that goes into writing a book BEFORE I started! GMC, try explaining THAT to an eight-year-old, LOL. Speaking of reading, what have you read that you think readers should look out for?
My favorite book ever is Shirley by Charlotte Bronte, followed by any one of Susan Wiggs' historical romances. Currently I am reading Cover Me by Catherine Mann.
The heroine of Shirley is a girl called Caroline who loves a man who doesn't seem to love her back. Her story stays with me...
To celebrate the release of ENTICE ME, the third novella in the Caldwell Sisters Trilogy, I'm doing a giveaway of all three stories. Please leave a comment on this post to have your name entered into a draw. The winner will be chosen a week from today. (October 19)
Good luck, Lucy
All three books are available for purchase here:
Amazon.com: Lucianne Rivers
My blog: www.viceandvalkyries.blogspot.com
Wow, THREE BOOKS guys! Get to commenting!
I want to thank Lucy again for stopping by here today, and for giving away such a generous prize!
Monday, October 10, 2011
I moved from my employee housing on Saturday, and expect to move from my current apartment within the next two weeks or so. We're looking at Colorado, which I've never even been to, but I figure I can do anything for six months until I return to Arizona for work in the spring.
So please forgive the fact that I've left my autopostings to do all the work for me.
Winners of Evernight's BIG Birthday Bash!
$5 Giftcard to Evernight Publishing: Pommawolf
FIRST Copy of "Waking The Dead": Kathryn
Congratulations, guys! Kathryn, please e-mail me at your convenience, I'm not sure if my message made it to you!
Back to the music. What am I in the mood for today?
Swedish progressive ANYTHING. Rock, metal, you name it. The Swedish know how to write music.
A.C.T. is one of those rare gems I stumbled across completely by accident. They're super catchy, and their lead singer is adorable. Always helps. This song also was played on repeat after a particularly rough break-up, even though I'm fairly certain the concept of this album is about an insane groundskeeper, conniving landlord and a sentient apartment building.
Yep, those Swedes.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
When/How did you decide writing was something you just had to do?
Wow. I like the way that’s worded because I don’t get to answer with the standard “all my life” thing. I wrote a lot as a kid, Then wrote a ton of poetry as a teenager. Then I went to college and wrote papers (*yawn*) and dabbled with writing again (but not seriously at all). Sometime after graduating, I started noticeably suffering from depression. I didn’t realize how therapeutic writing was until after my son was born and I started doing it regularly. That was about the time I started for real, and I’ve never looked back.
What steered you to romantic fiction, or your particular flavor of romance?
Most of my stories have had strong romantic elements, though there are few that most people would classify as straight romance. For me, falling in love is such an integral part of life that to avoid it is doing a disservice to the characters (and in that way, to the reader as well). I want my characters to be whole people, and generally that means some sort of romantic entanglement, whether there is a happily-ever-after or not.
What is your writing routine?
I’m supposed to have a routine? Crap. (*jots down note to set up a routine stat*) Seriously, my biggest obstacle, now that my kids are back in school, is focus. During the day, I have a difficult time focusing on creating fiction. I can do blogs and edit and take care of all the business stuff, but my creative juices flow best at night when the house is dark and everyone else is asleep. So, most of my actual writing happens between the hours of 10pm and 2 am.
In my perfect world, I suppose I'd have a routine where I write for 20 minutes and miraculously 8,000 beautiful words appeared on the screen while I sip my morning coffee. I'm holding out hope this is possible!
What is the most important thing you've learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?
That no matter what, you have to do what’s best for the story. I won’t add sex just to add sex. Same with violence or anything else. My characters have a story to tell and other people don’t get to dictate what that story is. Luckily for the most part, my editors have all understood my characters and have helped me see deeper into things rather than having me change them.
As for publishing, the biggest thing I’ve learned is it’s a business and the moment things become personal, it means I’ve stepped away from that. I can like the people I work with (and in general do), but that doesn’t mean that I can put blinders on to my career path. It also means, like I mentioned above, I have my own path to follow, and I won’t let anyone else choose it for me (even if my way takes longer).
Favorite book/story you've read recently, or what are you reading now? Any scene, hero or heroine that just jumped out at you?
I just read Bloodlines and Hunter by Skyla Dawn Cameron. LOVED both books. Zara Lain is the most bad-ass, snarky heroine ever. I have a feeling those books are going to be go-to reads for whenever I need a good dose of kick-in-the-pants.
What is your favorite line from GunShy? Just to give us a taste before we hop into the excerpt :)
As soon as his zipper was down, her fingers searched for the waistband of his underwear... and found his dick instead. “Oh God,” she moaned against his mouth, and he pulled back from the kiss. “You go commando. Of course you go commando.”
Oh, wow! As if anyone needed any more incentive to read on!
GunShy is book 1 of Cupid’s Conquests
Banished from Olympus with orders to restore love to the world, Eros starts with a match no one sees coming. No one but him.
Straight-laced principal Kira isn’t looking for love, especially not right after getting dumped. Then a chance encounter leads her to Jesse, and damned if she isn’t drawn to the bad-boy with a heart of gold. A night of reckless abandon leaves her confused. Was there something there, or did she imagine the connection between them?
Jesse knows lying to Kira is a mistake, but she's the first woman in a long time to see the man and not just the rock star. When his plan to come clean goes terribly wrong, Kira bolts, leaving Jesse in the dust.
Now Eros has to nudge the star-crossed lovers together and prove to Zeus that love does exist, even among the gun shy.
At Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/products/GunShy-by-Seleste-deLaney.html
At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/GunShy-Cupids-Conquests-ebook/dp/B005N8WS1S
At All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-gunshy-601094-140.html
Where can readers find you?
I am literally all over the internet. I’m on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/SelestedeLaney) , Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001203081398), and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/114272582132948921800/) under Seleste deLaney. Plus, there’s my website (http://selestedelaney.com/), blog (http://selestedelaney.blogspot.com/), plus I blog periodically at Here Be Magic (http://herebemagic.blogspot.com/) and The Evil League of Evil Writers (http://www.skyladawncameron.com/ELEW/blog) , and I do occasional reviews at Wicked Lil Pixie (http://wickedlilpixie.com/). And sometimes I sleep too :P
Thanks so much for having me here!
And thank you for joining us today, Seleste! Now some homework for my readers. Go check
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I went through the entire manuscript of "Waking The Dead," trying to find the perfect six-sentence excerpt to demonstrate that, despite their differences, Adrian and Miriam are just meant to be. I hope this does it justice.
The need to feel his flesh against hers, to have her wrapped around him as he thrust into her over and over, tempted his restraint as he breathed in her scent.
“Incredible,” he said into her hair. “No witch should smell this good to a hellhound. It’s dangerous.”
“It’s called shampoo,” she said into his chest, with a gentle smile in her voice. “It wouldn’t hurt you hounds to use it either.”
Friday, September 30, 2011
Since we parallel each other very well, I'm also blogging over in her space. Go check me out! But make sure you give Ju loads of congratulations because this girl has earned it!
Without further ado, may I present Ms. Ju Dimello!
I want to say a big Thank You to Renee, who has been a lovely friend and a fab CP, forever…ahem, since the time I started writing at least. She’s right there at my blog, celebrating her “call story” since we got the respective “acceptance” from two totally different publishers within a couple of days of each other! How fantastic is that?
Yeah, now for the call, umm… email story:
“OMG! I got a contract!!!”
Repeat about 1000 times, each time in a different tune and there! You know what I'm singing from the moment I wake up until the instant my head hits the pillow.
Once upon a time, in my blissful, ignorant, aspiring writer days, I decided that when my “call/email” came, I wouldn't become as excited as a kitten in a wool shop.
I only wish.
I got up a bit late that morning (after a sleepless night worrying about stuffs as usual)..and bleary eyed, I opened my inbox at 6.45am. Not many mails…just some newsletters. :blink blink: Another 10 mins passed and suddenly I see my book title as the subject from someone I don't know. :Gulp: I seriously didn't feel like starting my day with another R...and the teeny weeny bit of info shown in the inbox didn't enlighten me as to it's contents.
I calmed myself almost immediately since I try not to let the R's faze me. One more wasn't going to be so tough (who was I kidding?) right? I clicked away, thinking it's easier to rip a bandaid off than peeling it bit by bit.
It was a lovely email from the editor at Ellora’s Cave, and I stared open-mouthed at the line where it said, "would like to extend a contract" and my brain shut down. I barely recall breathing, let alone feeling anything.
I walked calmly to my DH and said - I got a contract. He, the ever neutral person, smiled and said, "It's about time. Congrats." I smiled back, my brain feeling like cotton, and said, "I haven't read the full email yet. But I think it's an acceptance." He was like... "Go ahead, read it fully. Of course, it must be positive."
That's when the trembling began. First in my legs, and soon, I found I couldn't walk that few steps back to my chair. I managed somehow, plopped on it, and willed myself to go below that that first line in the email. I think I read it, but the words blurred. No, I didn't cry, but the shock settled in right away. This whole "I'm calm" disillusion must have been for about half a minute, but gosh…once the reality sunk in, that it really was an OK, I wanted to shout, jump. I think I did, but I'm not sure. LOL! I knew it was just an initial email, and that it would take a while before I got the actual contract in hand, but no way could I process such things.
Then the excitement started... I looked down to find out who was online.. whom could I contact. I sent out "Help me!" emails to a couple of fabulous Ellora's Cave authors who were my good friends and told them the news, asking "what should I do???", when obviously I just had to click a reply and say "YES".. LOL! As if I could think this clearly then. And I immediately pinged my super-duper CP's (even while they were shown offline) and even when they got back later in the day and held my hand throughout, it really, really took me a couple of days to even calm down enough to think.
And when I did start thinking, it was all about author bio's and websites.. uh! I guess the tough part begins….like edits, filling out cover art forms, create a website etc. But, WOW!
For now, excited is a mild word to describe the mix of euphoria tinged with anxiety that's churning my stomach. Sweet heavens (to stronger expletives)! The world is going to read my stories... The writer in me is both terrified and as pleased as punch, especially because Ellora’s Cave was one of the first publishers in my submission list!
I want to use this moment to thank everyone who has helped me get where I am today! I'm so glad to have found such a great network of really helpful authors and more than helpful friends :) The relationship might be online, but the companionship and encouragement I have gotten so far really has no boundaries!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Okay, guys. Take a deep breath first.
Okay. Time for a weekly cover art swoon!
This week, we're joined by Evernight author C.R. Moss! And some smokin' hot cowboy cover art for good measure!
When/How did you decide writing was something you just had to do?
~ I’ve been working toward a career in writing for as long as I can remember. I had been creating stories since I started to read, but the thought of writing for a living solidified when I was in middle school and received an A in English. I looked at the grade and that’s when my life was defined. I realized I could do it. From that point on, I put pen to paper to get my thoughts down and made sure to take classes appropriate to learning and honing the craft. I did Creative Writing and Drama in high school. My BA from Rutgers College stems from a concentration of courses in Communications and English. I’ve even taken a couple of novel writing workshops where I was mentored one-on-one by a Kensington author. Now, there are the classes at the conventions, conferences and through the local RWA chapter that I attend, which helps to keep me writing. So, yeah, it’s been in my blood a long, long time.
Wow! That is an enviable mentorship! So what steered you to romantic fiction?
~ My first reading/writing love was the horror genre. I was reading VC Andrews back in middle school and Stephen King in my early teens. In my early twenties, a friend lent me a copy of Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor and I fell in love with that story and the romance genre.
As a writer, what is your typical day like?
~ I check email, do promotion stuff. I'd love to write during the day, but I get tripped up with the promotion and marketing aspect of writing. I end up writing at night, which is all right. The house and world is quiet and that makes it great for concentration.
I could get so much more done if only my muse could stay up past 8 p.m.! What is the most important thing you've learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?
~ To keep writing, keep learning and that no matter what, follow your dreams.
What have you read recently that everyone should check out?
~ I've read the first and just finished the second book in Erin Kellison's shadow series, Shadow Bound & Shadow Fall. OMG, what wonderful books they are. Everything in them grabbed me and kept me hooked. She's now one of my favorite authors.
What is a scene or line from one of your stories that you'd like to share?
~ I have a story in Evernight Publishing's holiday anthology coming out this December. It's called Chasing Miss Kringle and this is a short paragraph from it: :: I continued to gaze into her eyes. An impression of being lost in a dark, dense forest filled my mind along with thoughts about stories by the brothers Grimm, cautionary tales about the pitfalls of life and love. Was she a pitfall or a love? ::
Tell us a little about that sexy cover.. erm, book, up there!
More information about the book and series can be found at: http://doubledranchtales.
So, now everyone's hooked! Where can readers find you?
~ Find C.R. Moss at the following locations:
Monday, September 26, 2011
Okay, so just as a fair warning. This is my favorite band e.v.e.r., and therefore, their music is going to pop up. A lot.
Even midweek, I'm certain.
I'm not a very musical person, as in, I can't tell if something is in key. If you asked me to sing a note, I'd sing it flat, shatter a glass, and make babies everywhere in the tri-city region cry. Even so, I have a song for every mood. One that reaches so deep to the core that it becomes part of my life's playlist. (I don't have one of those yet, but I will.)
Pain of Salvation has about... oh, I'd say 30 songs that do that for me.
I was listening to this song about a week ago when I when I needed just the right mindset to write a scene with my hero trying to push the heroine away, and it is spot freakin' on. He's lost. He's broken. He just needs to be alone to find himself.
In the concept album Remedy Lane where "Undertow" is kind of the turning point in the story, the ending is not so happily-ever-after. But I write romance, so you bet this resolves itself eventually.
Enjoy. And try not to cry.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Welcome to Evernight's Big Birthday Bash!
Hello, hello! Great things are HERE!
Between September 25th and October 2, Evernight Publishing is having it's first birthday party. Woohoo! To celebrate, we're giving away tons of prizes!
Evernight will choose one commenter from EACH participating blog to win a $5.00 Gift Certificate. (That means this blog, and every blog, so get commenting!) In addition, Evernight will choose three separate commenters from ANY of the blogs to win one of three grand prizes: a new Kindle eReader, $50.00 U.S. (gifted via PayPal), and a $40.00 Evernight Gift Certificate.
Many authors participating in this event are also offering their own prizes as well! Make sure you leave your e-mail address at each blog you comment on.
So, what can an as-yet unreleased author offer up for this birthday bash?
I'm giving away the VERY FIRST free copy of "Waking The Dead" to my winner! Yes, it's a few months out, but you have the bragging rights of being the first person to win a copy!
To be eligible for my drawing:
1. Become a follower of this blog
2. Leave a comment answering this question: Describe the most memorable interaction between a hero and heroine from any book you've read. Leave your email address as well.
3. For every person you refer that comments on this blog and becomes a follower, you get an extra entry into my drawing! Send me an email or leave a comment letting me know.
Even better... save your pennies, guys, and visit Evernight Publishing's website on October 1st for some great discounts!
Make sure you visit every blog to be eligible to win the big prizes!
Linky tool not working? Visit Evernight's blog HERE!
Friday, September 23, 2011
If you answered "yes" to one or more of those questions, then perhaps this is the place for you.
From September 25 to October 2, Evernight Publishing will be celebrating their birthday with a blog hop. In addition to their slew of awesome prizes, I will be offering one myself!
If you answered "no," well, then I can't help you!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Welcome aboard! Getting right into it, what steered you to romantic fiction, or your particular flavor of romance?
I became addicted to erotic romance a few years back. I couldn't get enough and read and read. Then I stumbled across a reallllly bad one, a real wallbanger. I figured I could do better, so I set out to try my hand at one. Been going ever since.
I have to say, I had the same feeling a few times before I started pursuing writing seriously! So for new or aspiring authors (or seasoned folks that like new perspectives), what is the most important thing you've learned as a writer?
I write every single day, seven days a week, even if it is only for a half hour. If I'm in a time crunch with work and school and my kiddo, I can always find the time to at least edit a paragraph or two. It is important to create the habit of touching your WIP everyday. If not, you won't become a productive writer.
I agree completely!
So what is your favorite scene from Night of the Dragon? We're already looking forward to reading it, so what should we be really excited about?
I love the scene in the excerpt for Night of the Dragon. I can imagine me stuttering through a conversation with a really hot man I was attracted to, and then standing there like a dweeb waiting for a kiss that never happens.
Night of the Dragon
A Berserker Mate's Story, 1
Ryden and Rayne are Berserkers, immortal warriors wrought of Odin’s lightning. They are cursed to walk the Earth for one thousand years without finding love. And then they smell her...
Karli is a manager for an amusement park, and during her daily tour, she runs across the most incredible men she has ever laid eyes on. The erotic visions swirling in her head push her to the edge, and she cannot ignore the two virile men.
But can anything develop between the Berserkers and their mate with a hunter sworn to keep them apart on their trail?
If Karli gave in to their kind of play, she was afraid she would walk away broken.
But no matter what she told her head, her body could not reject the heated combination of the two. Both virile, desirable men who seemed to stalk her equally, and innately she knew if she succumbed to one, she would also the other. What was crazier than the fact she knew it, was the fact her oversexed mind was running images of being sandwiched between both of their naked bodies. Of having them both possess her at once.
Karli was an independent, driven woman, who worked so much she rarely had time to date, let alone swoon over some random men she crossed in the park. She hadn’t had a date in, well, forever. Her career was her main concern. Once she got that in place, everything else could happen for her, marriage, babies, the little white house, with its matching little white picket fence. She was as boring and white bread as they came. And she wasn’t the type to go around fantasizing about screwing two men at the same
Hell, this was past fantasizing. It seemed it could become her reality if she wanted it and was willing to succumb to them and the images running through her head.
Regardless, the two fired something inside her, something she had never felt before. Her heart beat a staccato within her body, and she felt pulsing in places she wished she didn’t. Especially when she needed to focus on work and the safety of those inside the park. All around her the sounds of Scream Town began filtering back into her ears and she slowed her breathing down. She needed to get a hold of herself.
Straightening and taking one last long deep breath, she exited the dark passageway, and stood on the fringes of the sea of bodies milling around. This week was always the busiest, as Halloween was a few days away. Karli scanned the crowd, trying to ensure the men were not there. Relieved that she could again focus on her job, she walked the area, but kept looking over her shoulder.
Entering the Zoo compound, Karli passed the wolf enclosure and a glow of silver. Not able to ignore it, she moved towards the fence and realized the glow came from Giza, the female gray wolf that was one of their most popular animal attractions. Moving up to the fence, Karli watched the beautiful animal working with her trainers on the last animal show of the day.
A course of heat ran through her again. I need to see a doctor; I am much too young for hot flashes. Perhaps a psychiatrist too, to figure out my compulsion to fuck random strangers.
“Shame those beautiful beasts are caged here. They should roam free.”
Looking to her left, all she saw was an enormous bicep. Her eyes drifted up, and her gaze was met with a silver one. A shiver of yearning ran down her spine.
Karli moved her mouth a second or two before her voice caught up with her. “All…all of the animals here…are rescues. They were either hurt, or taken from people keeping them as pets. We give them…all the care…they need to heal...and then a safe home….if returning them to the wild…is impossible.”
Nice job, Stuttering Sue. I’m sure he thinks you are a moron now.
“Where they are put on parade throughout the day for stupid, fat humans to ogle instead of roaming the forests hunting like their natures demand.”
Stupid, fat…humans? “If we had not intervened, they would have…died.”
“And living in a cage is better than death? I wouldn’t want to live that way, would you? Just look at her eyes.”
Karli didn’t want to admit that she had often stopped here through her park tours and thought that the animals reflected sadness in their eyes. “We give them…the best care we can.”
“The best care would have been releasing them to the wild.”
“Giza was too badly hurt to go back. Plus, it’s too late for that now, regardless.” Unable to stop the words, the ones no one in the park was supposed to utter aloud. “They have been here so long that they would die if we released them.”
“You know this, yet you keep them anyway.”
“I’m not the one in charge of the animals.” Karli backed up a step as he drew nearer. A large hand moved to her face, one finger extended. His touch was feather light, as he stroked it along her cheek.
“No. No, you just work here. Another one of their caged beasts. Perhaps I need to set you free?”
“And how do you suppose you can do that?” A wave of desire spread through her, starting at the barely there touch upon her cheek. The finger moved under her chin, lifting her face to his.
“Like this.” Dropping down, he pressed soft lips to hers in a kiss that was a whisper of what it could be. A name whispered through her mind as his kiss ended…Ryden.
His brows furrowed as he stood back to his full height. “How do you know my name?”
The corner of his lips hinted at a smile as his eyes bored a hole deep within her. The man inhaled, deeply, lowering his head until it was level with her own. She felt his hot breath on her neck, and she arched her back slightly, her traitorous body demanding more of his touch.
Which never came.
Opening the eyes she hadn’t even realized she had closed, she looked up into his hooded gaze, the one that screamed an arousal that equaled her own. Tapping his finger on her nametag, the tugging blossomed into a full smile. “Well, Karli of Scream Town, I will be seeing you soon. Very soon.”
Buy Night of the Dragon
Next up on the agenda? Starting to pen the next installment of the Berserker’s Mate Stories, Jakob and Joran will get their time in the spotlight.
Can’t wait for more? A snippet of the story will be showcased in the short titled “Going Berserk” inside the Midnight Seduction Anthology, out in October from Evernight Publishing.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Alex! Now to everyone else (who I am sure has just dropped the AC down a few notches, because it got a bit warm in here today!), go give her some love at her blog, and check out her book list on her website. I know what I'll be reading tonight!
Monday, September 19, 2011
I decided, thanks to a very convenient alliteration, that Mondays will be the day I share the music that inspires me the most when I write. Also because I'm afraid I'll run out of sentences for Six Sentence Sundays.
This morning, while my wonderful partner was watching a not-so-wonderful movie and I was struggling to get my 1,000 words in for the morning, I opted for this album.
Sigur Rós is one of my favorite bands to listen to, when silence won't do, and when I need to concentrate. Hard. It's ambient, smooth, melodic. Oh yeah, and in Icelandic, so I don't get distracted by the lyrics!
Besides, if you read the translation of "Starálfur," it would completely change the meaning of the song for you. Listen first. Then translate.
Please try to ignore the picture from Life Aquatic staring at you the whole time.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Okay, that's not true. But I'm shielding my WIP until it's finished. Here is an excerpt from a short story I'd originally targeted for a Christmas anthology. (Okay, a Halloween anthology, then didn't finish it in time. Didn't finish it in time for Christmas, either!)
"Your magick is young, love.” Jasper's words were honeyed, yet Sadie could not help but pick out his condescending tone.
He reached a hand out, stroking her chin with a long finger. A shudder ran through her body and settled deep in her womb. “You were powerful enough to conjure me last night, which was an impressive feat for a witch of your standing. But your magick is not stronger than my will.”
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I got a taste of that the moment I received an email from Evernight offering to extend me a contract. But even after I signed and submitted the contract, for over a week, I thought that maybe they would realize they made a mistake. I'd receive an e-mail telling me on further consideration, my story was not for them. Even after I joined the Evernight Authors Facebook group. Even after my author page was posted.
So I waited.
During a conversation with Ju a few days ago, in which I'd expressed concern that I hadn't heard from EP since I'd submitted the contract, I made the decision to send a query making sure that the documentation I sent was kosher.
And thanks to my middle-of-the-desert dial-up connection, I hadn't realized that, four minutes prior to sending my "Hey, am I good to go?" e-mail, Stacey had sent me this:
And then I had my, "Holy crap, this is really happening" moment.
(By the way. I'm really anticipating Ju's next blog post, so get on it girl!)
Sunday, September 4, 2011
The following is from a MS that will likely never see the light of day, but is a sweetheart of mine. Hopefully I'll find the time/motivation to make it into something workable one day!
Oh, and, CELEBRATE! I have an AUTHOR PAGE at Evernight Publishing. Squeeee!!
There was something unsettlingly familiar about the sadness in those eyes as he spoke to her, words filled with promises of eternity, vows of protection and bliss. She was fascinated by his voice, timeless in its cadence, the subtle accent that became more audible the longer she listened.
Julia could not speak; she had tried to several times, only to find she could not will her vocal chords into use. Even her legs betrayed the logical side of her brain that told her to run.
“I’ll find you soon,” he added. She watched his eyes as he fought with something internal, a tortured look filling his gaze when he reached out to touch her cheek.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Honestly I don't mind if I get a negative response, because it was my FIRST submission, and still means that I've cleared that hurdle!
Also, a big thanks to Ju and Mel Teshco for the contest that one me one of Mel's backlist novellas. Woot!
Still in the midst of our cross-country move. I leave in (gulp) five days, for a (big gulp) solo 36-hour drive! I'm looking for good podcasts to download, because after singing for 12 hours straight I'm going to need something else to keep me awake!
What do you do on long drives to keep you entertained? That is... not falling asleep.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
If only it were that romantic. The story is a long and painfully stressful one, but it looks like we're moving to Arizona. As luck would have it, we found a nice spot to settle down just north of the Grand Canyon while he continues to work on his thesis, and I slave away in the outdoors.
All right, so I've never been to a desert. I don't know how wonderful it's going to be, but the fact that the ONLY rooms for rent were in an obscure artist colony about an hour away from anything that resembles a city (and I use that term loosely, since that "city" didn't have anything for rent).
Life-changing moves aside, I haven't written a word in weeks. I don't have my computer during the week at work, and I tried hand-writing a story but the agony of cramping fingers was not worth the drivel I was producing.
So to re-motivate me, I've been listening to writing podcasts, looking at pretty cover art, and hoping one day to find the inspiration to write something that will deserve such hunky heroes and pretty font with my name on it!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Spending five days a week, effectively alone and surrounded by nothing but trees, is not as inspirational for my writing as I had hoped. Nope, I'm no Thoreau after all.
Not to say it hasn't been fun! But I am very grateful to be home with the sweetie today before I head back into my self-imposed isolation tomorrow.
All right, it's not really isolation. I'm working with the public, while at the same time being able to enjoy the region's natural resources. I've been blessed with the opportunity to get up close and personal with an endangered gopher tortoise, watch a mother fox dig a burrow, glimpse a rare indigo snake slithering across a trail in front of me.
This has been a very spiritual experience for me. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I've been an atheist for the last eight years, after being raised Catholic. (And teaching Cathechism as an angsty mall-goth girl in high school! I still giggle thinking about me in church with blue hair, black lipstick and studded belts, teaching second graders about to make their Communion.) The more time I spend alone though, the more I am breaking down those walls that I've built that say there is NOTHING beyond what we experience on the physical plane. Though this may not turn out as I ever expected it to.
I have more self-reflection to do over the next few months. I have plenty of free time to do it, and with such a beautiful background!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
And then on Monday, when I return (yes, 40 hours of train rides for less than 48 hours in the city), I'll be moving into a small cabin in the woods of Georgia.
I'm excited and nervous. The next few days are going to be super busy for me, and this entire summer is essentially going to be me... alone. In a cabin. My partner will be taking care of our pets, and I'll be back at "our" apartment often enough, but this is a time of self-reflection for m.
Oh, writing too. Of course there will be writing. And waiting to hear back from Samhain on the submission I put in last week.
However, I've never been truly alone. I'm 26 years old this year, and I've never had the opportunity to really rely on JUST myself for any period of time. I moved in with my partner almost five years ago, after moving out of my college dorm room (essentially from my parents' house), and he was already an established adult. I haven't really had my own "grown up" time.
I know I sound like a crazy person. Trust me, if I had it my way I'd be living in a tent this summer rather than a two bedroom cabin with a full kitchen, running water, electricity, and even a television. But no working channels. Oh, and my AT&T service doesn't reach this part of the country. And there's no line for internet, either.
I'm starting to sound crazy to myself.... No internet?
Saturday, May 7, 2011
How do you edit?
Editing is new to me. I was one of those students that wrote a first draft only if it was a requirement, and only changed the parts of the paper that the teacher or professor deemed insufficient. Otherwise, my first draft and final copy were more or less identical. Unfortunately, to submit something for publication, brushing off the editing process is not an option.
It. Is. Painful.
Editing my own work, that is. Critiquing and beta-reading other writers' works is easy enough for me. I can pick out awkward syntax, errors in punctuation, plot holes and incorrect word usage fairly easily. In my own writing, however, it's more difficult. ("It's," by the way, was an error I found today in my MS that I blushed at, even though no one else was watching. I know the difference between "its" and "it's," yet I found one where the other belonged today while editing.)
How do you edit?
I thought editing was just glancing over the pages, picking out grammar errors and fixing them on the fly. And having MS Word doing most of the work makes it easy. No? That's not editing?
How do you edit?
Everyone seems to have their own techniques, from simply shipping their manuscript off to a beta reader and letting them do all the work, to reading and rereading their work until their eyes start watering and the bloody mess of a manuscript is begging to be shipped off to a publisher or agent just to be relieved of the agony of being ripped apart and stitched back together.
Since editing is new to me, and no one can give me a real answer as to how it should be done, the process I used for my first manuscript is this:
1. I set it aside for weeks and didn't look at it. (To say I didn't think about it would be a lie.) I went into the mountains and spent three nights sleeping in the woods, trying to forget about it. I went to Universal Studios and tried to shake the characters out of my head for a little while and enjoy my Butterbeer and pumpkin juice. It almost worked.
This is an abbreviated version of what I think was what Ray Bradbury did with his work. He set it aside for exactly one year, and then went back to it and reread it as if it were completely new to him. Well, I didn't have a year, I had two weeks where I just really didn't want to look at the piece at all.
2. I went through what my beta readers and critique partners had commented on, and fixed the glaring errors first. (Yet no one caught the "it's.")
3. I tried rereading it and realized I was skipping passages because I already knew what I had written, and realized that wasn't what editing was.
4. So I forced myself to pay attention to EVERY.SINGLE.WORD. I plugged each chapter into a text-to-voice program on my computer, and I am currently in the process of listening to a computerized voice read back my story to me. This way, I can HEAR awkward sentence structure. I'm forced to pay attention to sentences that could use more description. Just in the first chapter alone I've found major parts that need revamping.
Which leads to the next question....
How do you edit?
That is, how do you actually EDIT. I found that when I was going through my manuscript, I didn't just edit. I deleted. I rewrote. I changed names. I added characters. I wrote more. And by the time I was finished with my first round of edits, I had an extra 2000 words that needed... editing. When is the story done? When can you finally say editing is taking place, editing is finished, the manuscript is ready to be sent off?
So there it is. How do you edit?
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Zeus's Robber Frog, isolated to a small area of Cuba, is closely related to the more popular Puerto Rican coquí. The coquí, so called because of the chirping noise it makes, is found in El Yunque, the only rainforest belonging to the U.S. Forest Service!
The writer in me has a huge pet peeve. Everywhere I found information on this frog, it was written as Zeus'. So I've used "Zeus's" rather than "Zeus'," because that's just how it is supposed to be--you wouldn't say "my boss' car"!
I'm a little late, but I (mostly) did it!
Um... Sorry I'm a few days late. I was backpacking the Great Smoky Mountains all weekend and totally forgot to set this on auto-post! That's a story for another day though, and no, while bears were spotted near our campsite by other hikers on the second night, we didn't see any!