Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Snippets: Horror

http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-4775-99-blessed-be.aspxI bet you knew the theme of today's Saturday Snippet before arriving (and I don't mean from another Saturday Snippet). You're psychic, right? Or your Ouija board told you? Or the sayonce you held last night? Maybe it was in your crystal ball?

How could we not post a Halloween type post on Halloween? Of course we have to. Although I admit I wrote two posts today - the other (scroll down for it) is about NaNoWriMo which starts tomorrow - a huge month for us writers.


My treat for you this very special day is BLESSED BE prequel to TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE VAMPIRE WAY. And it won't give you cavities or calories. :)

Pssst ~ These are on sale for Halloween for $4.42 instead of the normal $5.20.

Shortly before her wedding, Chloe questions her choice of future husband. Lately, her sexy dreams about Luke—her beloved fiancé who disappeared seven year earlier—seem so real. Their scorching union cannot be shaken.

Although Luke's investigation of a Ft. Lauderdale vampire clan changed his life forever, he never forgot his feelings for Chloe. His astral projecting into Chloe's dreams has angered Anika, the Alpha vampire set on Luke as a lifemate. Now he must convince Chloe their love deserves one last chance, and protect her—at all costs.








An Excerpt From: BLESSED BE
© Copyright ASHLEY LADD, 2004.
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave, Inc.


 
“I see you’ve let that mangy cat inside now. I should call the Health Department. Or maybe I should just take him to animal control.” The sneer on Gerald’s lips leapt to his eyes. He snatched the cat and sprinted for the door.
The tomcat screeched and clawed frantically at Gerald’s face, drawing blood, forcing Gerald to drop him in a heap at his feet. Then it tore off across the room, its eyes glowing oddly silver in the dim light.
A look of utter amazement etched comically across the doctor’s countenance as blood clung to his fingers after he touched his torn cheek. “That does it. He’s going to the pound tonight. Or maybe I’ll just tie an anchor around his neck and sink him to the bottom of the ocean.”
“No! Don’t you dare touch my cat.” Chloe dove for the cat.
The vile Gerald scooped up the struggling, spitting creature first.
The door burst open, and the vampire from Chloe’s dream stamped inside. A legion of wicked-looking dwarfs hobbled closely behind, big ears sticking out, long hair billowing behind them. The raven-haired woman pointed a talon-like finger at Chloe and leered. “Take her back to the manor. Alive.”
Chloe gasped, her heart ready to burst from her chest and her respiration became shallow. She faced off against the trespasser, planting her feet wide apart. “You can’t be real.”
One of the hunch-backed ogres batted Chloe’s feet out from under her, so that she fell to the floor and thumped her head. Intense pain slashed through her, stealing her breath.
The cat let out a horrible screech and before her eyes, transformed into Luke, just as he always looked in her dreams.
Blinking, Chloe couldn’t believe her eyes. She had to be dreaming. Cats didn’t transform into humans. Luke was dead. The vampire was a figment of her dreams. Yet Gerald and Shawanda also stared open-mouthed at the ensemble.
“Who are you?” Chloe finally found her voice and gouged the fiend in his eyes, making him howl as he retreated.
“I know karate!” Shawanda threatened, shrieking and swinging her leg in a high kick.
The vampire merely chuckled and flew into the air, avoiding the blow easily. Hissing, her fangs burst from her gums. She punched the nurse, reeling her backward into Gerald who was cowering in the corner.
Furious, Chloe threw the phone at the cackling vampire who ducked so that the phone smashed through the window. “What do you want from us?”
“I want you to leave Lukas alone. He’ll never be mine as long as you’re alive.” The vampire swooped down on her, scooping Chloe into her strong arms.
Luke delivered a deadly chop to the attacker, making her drop Chloe. Cursing loudly, he caught Chloe just before she hit the floor. “Are you okay, darlin’?”
Confused, dazed, Chloe shook her head. “Yes. No. You were a cat…you flew in the air…”
“Shhhh. I’ll explain everything as soon as I take care of Anika. Will you be okay for a moment?”
“Long as one of those things doesn’t try to devour me.” Chloe couldn’t stop staring at Luke. He couldn’t really be here. Or maybe she was dead. If so, this obviously wasn’t heaven. And yet, what could be more heavenly than to be held in Luke’s arms one more time?
“You’ll be okay for a few moments? You’re not going to faint on me?”
She touched her fingertips to her spinning head, feeling like she was being sucked into a force five tornado. It felt heavy but she wasn’t in danger of passing out. “Yeah. I think so.”
Luke brushed a kiss across her lips shooting volts of electricity through her and laid her back gently. “I’ll return shortly.”
“Promise?” On second thought, she wasn’t at all fine. She was talking to a ghost and envisioning vampires and all manners of monsters. It was probably all a bizarre dream, but it had a very real quality to it that alarmed her.
“Promise.” His eyes glowed silver and he lifted his head and howled, an earsplitting, inhuman sound that sent chills through her.
“Damn you to hell, Anika! I will have your head for this.” The vigor in Luke’s voice made Chloe blink and shrink back from him.
Anika hovered high overhead, her eyes glittering darkly. “As you are so fond of telling me, Lukas, we’re already in hell. Your threats mean little to me.” She dissipated into mist and shimmered away.
Luke swore under his breath and turned to Gerald and Shawanda. He approached them furtively but non-threateningly. He waved a hand over their eyes, which instantly glazed over. “You need to sleep now. When you awaken, you will think this was a dream.”
Chloe absorbed his words, turning them over in her mind. Luke controlled dreams? So, maybe she hadn’t been hallucinating. Maybe all her fantasies had been real, cloaked in the auspices of dreams. Struggling to her feet gingerly, her head still reeled and her heart raced. A jumble of emotions threatened to tear her up. “You promised me an explanation. Am I dreaming? Was I dreaming all those other times? Are you real?”
Luke rejoined her, supporting her to the couch in her private office. “Let me settle those two and I’ll be right back.”
Fear that he wouldn’t return grasped her and she grabbed at his hand that felt very durable and not the least bit transient. She let her hand slip to his warm wrist and felt for a pulse. To her dismay, she didn’t detect a single beat. “Don’t leave. Explain first. I don’t understand. If you’re real, why have you pretended you were dead? Why did you leave me?”

BLESSED BE is available at: Ellora's Cave
 
Anya Bast
Eliza Gayle
Juliana Stone
Michelle Pillow
Lauren Dane
Moira Rogers 
TJ Michaels
Jody Wallace 
Kelly Maher
Shelli Stevens
Shelley Munro
Mandy Roth
Mark Henry
Savannah Foley 
 
 

Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

To Nanowrimo Or Not Nanowrimo, That Is The Question





While most of the Western World are disguising themselves as demons, saints and cartoon characters and gorging themselves on cheap candy, millions of writers all over the world have their keyboards poised to start Nanowrimo tomorrow.

Happy Halloween, by the way! (Don't eat too much candy).

As of the time I'm writing this post, a few days before Halloween, I'm still debating whether or not to join in nanowrimo this year. I did two years ago and wrote 50,000+ words. Last year, I was bogged down with several edits so I couldn't.

This year I have only two edits. But I have several physical therapy appointments lined up after work starting next week (sprained knee) and my daughter's still playing lots of ball.

And yet, stories nag at me to be written, nano or no nano. I want to submit stories for several of my publishers anthologies and the deadlines are close. So why not nano, get my goal done and commune with other writers worldwide. I had a great time meeting and spending time with local writers.

So why not try? So I think I'll join in.



Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday Fill-ins October 30th

And...here we go!

1. It was a dark and stormy night, when I started my new life in the Air Force, when I was transported from Lackland AFB in Texas to Keesler AFB in Mississippi - thirty years ago.


2. The other reviewers were busy so I offered to take the books myself.

3. Rushing out, my father-in-law forgot to put on his pants. (true story) :)

4. My son's playing his harmonica again that the dog loves to sing with...I think I heard a howl!

5. Shhhh...Grandma's snoozing.


6. Trick or Treat, smell my feet give me something good to eat!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to editing (what else?), tomorrow my plans include having a sayonce and watching a scary movie marathon (and editing) and Sunday, I want to go to the nanowrimo local kickoff party! (if my car's not in the shop getting brakes fixed still).


Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Make Sure Pretentious Words Don't Turn Off Your Readers

Yesterday I read a story that made me want to run to the dictionary several times. I didn't but the strange, long words kept pulling me out of the story.

Granted, the pretentious words were only in the hero's dialogue so that was obviously done on purpose as part of his characterization.

Still, there were so many pretentious words I didn't like him and wondered why the heroine would be interested in such a snooty, boring man.

Yet, I love good dialogue. I love to spice it up with different speech patterns and words for each character.

When I began writing, however, I went overboard with dialogue myself. Too many strange words or saying is worse than too little. If the reader has to go to the dictionary chances are they won't come back. The chances increase each time they must do so. If I'd been reading a novel instead of a very short story, I wouldn't have finished. As it was I was tempted not to.

We walk a tight line writing. We want our dialogue (and everything else) to sing in harmony.
Be mindful of too many pretentious words (or silly words or dialect).



Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's The Dog's Fault




My new toy...& hopefully my weightloss salvation. on Twitpic



I finally followed my doctor's advice and bought the mini trampoline. I need to lose some serious weight and get back in shape.

I've been down this path before so I should know better. I lost 95 pounds several years ago - then gained a lot of it back. Idiotic, I know.

When I lost so much weight, I let my writing career slide to focus on my health and weightloss. I looked and felt great except I barely produced any books. Once I finished exercising a couple hours a day after I got home from the day job, I was too tired to do anything else and fell into bed.

Then I got back into writing. I started blogging - not just writing my own blog posts but visiting other blogs. Those hours I used to spend walking, swimming and biking went into writing and promoting. I've written several more books since then.

Somehow I need to find a happy medium. I need to get healthy again, lose weight and not let my writing career go down the drain, either. It sounds a lot easier than I'm finding it. Of course, I relied a lot on exercise and not enough on diet before. A full lifestyle change is called for.

I give myself excuses - stress from my new position at work, stress from the kids, my writing, my daughter's constant softball, my legs hurt... Sure, those things make it harder but I did it before. I didn't give myself excuses before.

I'm tired of excuses. I'm tired of how I look in photos.

I should be in that picture with the trampoline, but I'm embarrassed to show myself. It's one of my goals to post pictures of myself on a successful fitness journey and not be embarrassed.



Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If I don't like you I don't want to read about you

My daughter's watching a teenage show set in a high school while I'm in her room writing. She just said, there's not one girl at that school that I like.

There's at least one female character on the show I think is okay so I asked, "What about that one?"

My daughter said, "She's stupid." (The girl had been putting up with a really mean boyfriend for a long time, one that got her into big trouble.)

Perplexed I asked, "Then why watch the show?"

She said, "I like that they show real situations even though they're overboard." And even though she thinks all the characters are unlikeable.

If the TV were in my control, I'd turn it off or change the channel. If I were reading a book in which the characters annoyed me so much, I'd stop reading.

It's okay for the villain to annoy me in the show. In fact, I expect that to happen. But not the protagonists. I'm not into ditzy, TSTL people.

That said, I think almost everybody can have the occasional ditzy moment. Everybody can do something stupid every now and then. If not, then why would a supposedly intelligent human have an affair with a dangerous vampire? Vampire romance lovers overlook that.

When a hero or heroine is too silly, too stupid, or for any reason is unlikeable to the reader, the story falls flat. There are too many stories - movies and books - to waste time on one in which you can't care about the main character.

It should be easy to write about only likeable, lovable characters then, right?

I wish.

Writing is hard work. Not just the grammar or stringing words together. A lot of writers can write beautiful prose but their plots and characters fall flat. And vice versa.

Getting all the elements right takes practice. It takes a lot of perseverance. It helps to have a second pair of eyes and a second opinion.


Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Snippet Saturday: Emotional Excerpts

My husband is trying to have AT&T U-Verse installed. So far, 
after four days, our Internet service has been down most of the 
time. Thus, I've missed you for the past few days and I'm sure
I've also missed important emails. If you've sent anything to
me and I haven't responded, please keep trying.  
 
Also please excuse the formatting. I'm having trouble straightening 
it out tonight and have little time to do it. But I can't let 
down the group. 
 
This is an emotional excerpt from my Christmas m/f erotic romance 
"Christmas Miracles".
 
Christmas Miracles is available at: Total-E-Bound 







Tiffany gasped for air and then frantically felt around her body taking inventory of all the parts when she came to in a dim, chilly room. Squinting, she felt out of place. She had no idea where she was and she was thoroughly discombobulated.
She looked around and found the ghost less than a foot behind her. Startled, she let out a little yelp. Then anger set in and she glowered at the phantom. “Okay, you, take me home this instant. I don’t like being hijacked. What do you think you are? The Ghost of Christmas?”
The apparition emphatically nodded and then pointed deep into the room.
“Yeah. Right. And I’m the Pillsbury Doughboy.” She rolled her eyes.
The ghost floated deeper into the room and pulled her with him. How, she had no clue, but she seemed to be caught in a tractor beam.
At first, the room didn’t look familiar, but then her memory was tickled. Suddenly her memory flooded back and she regressed fifteen years into her past.
Off kilter, her breath ragged, her pulse skittering in her wrist, she inventoried Dax’s apartment, the one she’d thought to share with him one day, the one she’d practically moved in, if not officially.
Still in disbelief, still frightened, she ran toward the two people in the room, doubles of herself and Dax. “Help! I’ve been kidnapped. Call the police.”
But the other people didn’t flinch. They acted as if she wasn’t there.
Frustrated, about to scream, she grabbed Dax’s arm to shake it, to make him notice her.
Unfortunately, her fingers went through him. She didn’t feel a thing.
Frightened out of her mind, she jerked back and on her ass went sprawling back several feet. She landed at the Christmas creature’s feet.
She looked up at the spectre and accused, “You’re the Ghost of Christmas Past?”
The creature nodded.
She still didn’t believe it and pinched herself, digging her nails into her flesh. It stung and she jerked back. “Ouch!”
The ghost forcefully pointed at the scene unfurling a few feet away.
Compelled, she watched as Dax took her in his arms and kissed her as if he couldn’t get enough. “I don’t know what I’d ever do without you, baby. You’re part of me.”
With a dreamy smile her other self melted against Dax and looped her arms around his neck. She rubbed her nose against his. “Why do you say that? Aren’t we going to be together forever?”
Tiffany snorted and her heart threatened to break all over. She knew what was awaiting her hapless former self and she moaned. “Get out now while the getting’s good,” she warned under her breath, willing herself to flee.
But her younger self didn’t budge. In fact, her younger self burrowed deeper into her lover’s arms, naïve and setting herself up for heart break.
Her gut roiling, she turned away, unable to live through this twice.
 
Jaci Burton
Eliza Gayle
Michelle Pillow
Mandy Roth
Juliana Stone
Lacey Savage
 McKenna Jeffries
Moira Rogers 
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
 Sasha White
Ashley Ladd
Victoria Janssen
Shelli Stevens
Shelley Munro
TJ Michaels
Lauren Dane
Beth Kery
Leah Braemel 
 
Recent posts you might like to read:

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Is Everybody Passing Me When I'm Speeding?

Yesterday morning I was running late to work so I hopped onto the toll road. As I was trying to get on, several cars sped around me as if I was crawling. When I looked at my speedometer, however, I was going 75 mph – in a 65 mph zone.


What the hell?

I hate that.

It reminds me, too, how I keep comparing myself to others even though I know I shouldn’t. I worry that I don’t write enough, that I don’t publish enough stories a year, that I don’t write longer stories, that my stories aren’t published with a bigger, more prestigious publisher.

Why do I put myself through that hell?

If I were sitting at home all day being lazy, maybe I could understand my feeling. But I don’t. Yesterday for instance was a really crazy day. First, my son hurt his ankle so I had to take him to the pediatrician. It had a bad sprain. I missed three hours of work.

While I was at the pediatrician’s office, I got a text from my older daughter that our cat was hurt, that her tail was cut and wouldn’t stop bleeding. When I took my son home for my daughter to watch, my daughter said the tail was hardly bleeding. I thought it would be okay, so I went back to work.

I was only back at work a couple of hours when I got wind that two of my staff were heating up a disagreement. Before I could deal with that my daughter called back frantic – the cat’s tail was still bleeding. So I called the vet who told me to bring the cat in right away. Again I left work early, ran home for the cat, took the cat to the doctor (not too bad thank God), then decided I should make up time at work, so dropped the cat and my daughters at home (the younger daughter had been at work with me so she could volunteer in our Mail Center).

Then I had to go to a late night MRI to check my knee – from 8-9 pm. That was scheduled during the couple hours I was back at work between the pediatrician and the animal hospital.

This was the ONE evening I had off from softball and volunteering at the softball field concession stand, to write, spend time with the kids, maybe go to the pumpkin patch, buy my daughter a pair of jeans she needs, etc. I really wanted to type in the rest of my story and work on it.

I was really stressing out. I couldn’t ask my husband to help because he had a very important appointment down in Miami he had to attend.

So although I’m moving as fast as I can, so fast I feel breathless, on the verge of a nervous breakdown and I’m not moving fast enough. My writing’s at a stand still. Everybody is passing me by.

Yes, I know I have to stop sometimes to live life and get ideas. But it also seems like so many people are passing me by. I wonder if I’m too busy that I should even try, that I should come home late at night and stay up late to write a blog post, or should I spend this bit of time writing stories.

I wonder how so many other people have time to write so much, to publish so many books, what I’m doing wrong that I can’t even begin to keep up. I wonder why I worry when I know I should only judge me against myself.

Recent posts you might like to read:

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies 

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why Writers Should Be Like Zombies




If you want to read a great October article for writers that will make you laugh out loud several times check out Why Good Writers Are Kinda like Zombies by Gabriel Gadfly

Being October, I had to check out this post - I couldn't resist such a great title. Plus one of my favorite movies is "Night of the Comet" which hinges on lots of scary zombies.


Also, I heard somewhere that zombies may be the in-thing this year - for romance writers? Vampires are passe. Werewolves are getting old. It's time for new trend. What's left?


Hey, zombies worked in "Night of the Comet". At least it worked for me as long as the zombies were the bad guys and there was a cute, sexy hero like Hector (Robert Beltran aka Chakotay from Voyager).


But I digress.


Zombies are tenacious creatures. They single-mindedly go after what they want. Even though we might find it yucky, you have to admire their determination, in a gruesome sort of way.


Writers need to be tenacious, too. Even if you've written the best story in the world, it won't get published unless you send it to agents and publishers. After that you must promote the hell out of it.


Zombies don't care if you like them. They don't get put off because you run from them. They're going to do their best to get you. They don't give up. They'll claw their way through a wall to get what they want.



Writers need to be more like zombies. They need to grow a thick skin and not take it personally when an editor rejects their work. They need to get over poor reviews. They need to keep writing, keep submitting, keep promoting even if their last book had poor sales, even if they're wracking up rejections.


I never thought I'd say I want to be a zombie - or even like a zombie - but I could use some of these traits.


Recent posts you might like to read:

How to Make the Most of Twitter By A Regular Person

Take A Break From Writing To Write Better Stories

Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

How to Make the Most from Twitter - By Regular Person




I'm a Twitter groupie or addict or whatever you like to call it. I tweet several times a day. I'm sold Twitter is a good marketing and information tool. It's also fun.

When I first started Twitter, it fascinated me. Actually, it didn't happen when I first started. I started, barely looked at it then let it sit stagnant for six months. Not much happened from my perspective. Then I read something that made me want to look at it in more depth and give it another whirl. The second time I really got into it and started deriving benefit.

I'm not a techie or a marketing guru, just a regular person. But I'm getting a lot of value from it so I'm going to share some easy tips in case you decide to try it.

First, you'll get more out of it if you follow a lot of people. If you only follow a few, you won't get much news coming into your feed. Nor will many people follow you unless you're a big celebrity like Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres or Miley Cyrus.

Secondly, don't limit yourself to reading your personal Twitter feed. Follow hashtags. Hashtags are similar to links but are found in tweets and begin with "#", i.e. "#ashleyladd" (without the quotes). They enable you to tune into conversations of interest to you or to see the top ten things being discussed on Twitter. You can save up to ten favorites for quick reference. Since I'm a reader and writer, I like to check into these conversations.
I don't want to follow just anyone, however, and I presume you don't either. I could care less about discussing football, brain surgery, or the reproductive cycle of an alligator. In order to tune into tweets and conversations about reading and writing, I search for writers and readers and follow them, in particular romance writers and readers. Since I'm a mom, I also like to follow other moms. I find them by using the search box and inputting keywords such as "romance writer", "romance reader", "erotic romance writer", etc. I also find them through the hashtags. Another way is to put the name of someone you know in the search box.

Once I find a peson who has tweets that interest me (you can read a person's tweets on their profile page), I click on the "follow" button to follow them. For more suggestions I check out who they follow and who follows them. The follower's and followee's last tweet is shown by their name. If the tweet looks like a real, interesting person, I usually follow. If it looks like the person sent spam email or an email that turns me off, I don't. Rarely do I follow celebrities like Ashton Kutcher as I know they won't follow me back. I also don't follow people if they have a lot of followers but follow few. Of course I make exceptions for people I really want to follow like the SmartBitches. If I really want to check out what Ashton Kutcher is tweeting, I can search for his name and read his tweets that way without hindering my following limit.

Initially, you can follow up to 2,000 people. Then you will hit a plateau where you can't follow more people unless the ratio of people following you is close (I think it's within 10%). To get past this quickly, use a Twitter tool such as Tweepular to find out who's not following you back and unfollow them. This frees you up to follow different people who hopefully will follow you back and help you get over the 2,000 limit.

The only drawback I've found from doing this is that there's no easy way (that I know of) to see who you unfollowed so that you don't refollow them by accident. My memory's not good enough to remember every person I unfollowed when I do a bulk unfollow and it didn't occur to me to copy every name I unfollowed so that I wouldn't refollow in the future. A couple people have blocked me, probably because I refollowed them. (Or maybe they just don't like my face or object to the fact I write erotic and even m/m romance - Who knows?) Don't worry, I won't try to sue them for unfollowing or blocking me. Life's too short to worry about such nonsense.

Once you follow a decent number of people (and a decent number follow you), magic starts to happen. Not only have visits to my blog increased, but I've booked author interviews (for myself on other blogs and booked other authors to be guests on my blog), run contests, entered contests, helped charities, found out about local tweet-ups and other local events, stayed in tune to romance writing industry news (i.e. hear about RWA and RT conference news hot off the press), and found reviewers for my books. I've also found out about free meals from KFC, coupons for other restaurants such as Boston Market and free books from Harlequin. Best of all, I've made some friends through Twitter which is not something I expected but am enjoying.

Using Twitter is a lot easier and less time consuming than joining 15 (or more) Yahoo Groups and trying to keep up a conversation and failing because you don't have all day to and night to follow the conversation. Commenting here and there on Twitter is acceptable. Too many tweets are considered spamming. On email loops an occasional post is considered a "drive-by" and very much frowned upon. Also on Twitter, you can quickly catch up on conversations by using hashtags instead of slowly searching through emails.

Twitter can also be used for customer service. Type in your Twitter name, book's title, or other name associated to your product  in the box under "Favorites" on your Twitter home page. Everything ever tweeted about it will pop up - good and bad. If good, you get a warm gooey feeling. If bad, you get a heads up that you may need to do damage control. Some big companies are using this very well. Since tweets appear instantly from a worldwide audience, on the spot news reporting and consumer feedback are instantaneous. It's much faster than waiting for opinion polls, newspaper articles, or even blog posts. It's much more proactive than waiting for a customer to call and complain. And they're easy to find by searching even without hashtags or @yourname.

Since I can't be online all the time and sometimes I want to let my followers know I have a book coming out that day or about another important event, I can preschedule my tweets. I use Tweetlater It's easy and free to use. There are also secret Twitter email addresses to use from places like your day job, but that may not be a good idea in case your employer becomes wise. With Tweetlater, you set up tweets on your own time.

One last piece of advice. Mix up your tweets. Be human, be friendly, be entertaining and provide benefit. In other words, don't just tweet about your book release, your new blog post or your product. On the other hand, don't tweet innocuous things like "I'm going to the bathroom" or "I'm going to bed now", either. When you do have something important to tweet, ask people to "Retweet" (retweeting will spread the word among their followers and start a viral buzz) and be polite - use the word "Please".

It's also polite to be generous. Help spread other people's news and pleas for help by Retweeting or mentioning their news.

Here are a few of my tweets so you can see examples of what I'm talking about.

"I lost my mother and my aunt (my dad's sister) to cancer. It's past time we beat it! #beatcancer"

"http://twitpic.com/lwi5o - This squirrely fellow wants to be in 1 of my books." (I also like to tweet a lot of pictures of Florida wildlife, scenery and funny things for the entertainment value).

"Have you ever been ghost hunting? At a haunted hotel? #halloween http://bit.ly/UbxPq"

 "All nighter for charity tonight. Help feed poor in Haiti. Also good entertainment tonight online. Please RT. http://bit.ly/qycnT"

 ""Sticky Wicket" - free m/m short erotic romance. Please retweet. http://bit.ly/1wSMBC"

"I just got great news! My book Caught in the Middle is going into print next month. http://bit.ly/1v4OAY"



"I'm the guest author at Linda Kage's blog today. Please RT. http://bit.ly/3HvjWq"

"Reading: "Molly's Musings and her excerpt from "Love is Sober"" (http://twitthis.com/sskuj3)"

This is a very simplified and quick overview about getting started on Twitter so that you can enjoy it as quickly as possible if you so chose. There are many more articles you can find if you want to find the hundreds of Twitter applications available. When I have time and want to learn more, I simply google "Twitter" and find enough reading material for days.

By the way, I'm the guest blogger on Emma Lai's blog today. Please pop over and leave me a question or a comment. :)

Also, it's my day to blog on the Rom-Erotica blog.

Recent posts you might like to read:



Author Interview: Claire Ashgrove


Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Take A Break From Writing To Improve Your Stories

Often I hear writers bemoan the fact they don't have enough time to write, that they need more time. But because of other commitments - day jobs, spending time with family and friends, exercising, church, etc. - we can't spend as much time as we'd like writing. I'm one of the guiltiest. I admit it.

Yet, if we were to stay behind our computers all day, all night, day in, day out, we'd soon run out of things to write about. Our creativity would be in danger of drying up. We need to get out in the world to see what's going on, to be inspired by God's beautiful world with all its vibrant colors, scents, and sounds. We need to feel the squish of wet grass under our feet, the waxiness of a leaf between our fingers or the hard concrete underfoot that makes our feet ache to remember our heroes and heroines need to experience similar things to bring life to our stories.

This morning instead of writing while my daughter practiced soft ball, I exercised. I took a long walk in a neighborhood where I've never been. As usual, I had my cell phone with me, so I took several pictures that I also sent to Twitter. This will serve to remind me what I saw and to share the beautiful scenery with my friends, family, and followers.

Here's a picture of a beautiful butterfly that let me get close enough to take its picture. I've tried before to photograph butterflies but I've always scared them away before. This time, I got lucky.

Beautiful butterfly i saw while out 4 my morning walk today. on Twitpic


I also saw several of these little lizards scuttling about. They had very curly tails and are four or five times the size of the geckos that live in my garden. So I was able to get close enough to this one to take its picture, too. Unfortunately, this particular one doesn't have as curvy a tail as its neighbors.

More wildlife sightings on my walk. What type lizard? on Twitpic


After my walk, when I was in my car trying to write, this little guy kept posing for me, so I had to take his picture, too.

This squirrely fellow wants to be in 1 of my books. on Twitpic


I got a bit distracted taking pictures instead of plotting full-blown stories, but the details are just as important. I very well might add one of more of these characters to a story. Or I might mention how the lightning detector went off and five minutes later a rain so hard came we got wet even huddling under the pavillion. I'll remember how the temperature dropped from the sweltering magnitude that had made my cheeks hot and flushed, to a wonderful cool breeze that kissed them instead and how fresh and clean the air smelled after the shower.

Had I slept in late like I longed to do this morning, I'd have missed that butterfly. I'd have missed seeing these beautiful houses and grand Ft. Lauderdale canal. This isn't like the little, unassuming canal that runs behind my house. This is a huge canal that runs through the ritzy part of town where the home owners have their own docks and boats. The biggest boat was named "TomKat". I wonder if that's "TomKat" as in Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes... I can only speculate, but speculation often inspires new stories or takes them in different directions.

Ft lauderdales north grand canal. Getting good story ideas. A... on Twitpic


Another day when I took time to socialize with the other softball moms even though I was itching to write, one gave me the perfect idea for my book. It unblocked me. Had I forced myself to write, I'd have missed this great turn for the story.

Of course we writers must write and cannot always socialize or take a walk. But it's also good to leave our desks behind from time to time and experience the world and enjoy the people around us.


Recent posts you might like to read:

Author Interview: Claire Ashgrove


Ghost Hunting at a Haunted Hotel

Welcome to the Spookiest Month of the Year (+ don't burn your Ouija Board!)

People Don't Fall Out of Trees - Without Reason 

I'm Part of a Tribe 

Big Brother Is Watching You - This Means You BLOGGERS!

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!


You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook,
Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch,
Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape
are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snippet Saturday: Holidays Excerpts

This week's theme for Saturday Snippets is: Holidays.
I love holidays, in particular Christmas. But usually you'll find me writing
Christmas stories in July. To get in the mood, I'll watch Christmas movies, 
especially my favorite "White Christmas". I also listen to Christmas music, 
bake Christmas cookies, burn Christmas-scented candles and sometimes deck
my bedroom and writing area with Christmas decor. If I could make it snow, I 
would. Unfortunately, I don't even get snow for real Christmas here in South
Florida. Not yet, not in the twenty years I've lived here.
Since Christmas isn't far away (Oh no! I haven't started my holiday shopping 
yet) here's a Christmas snippet. I hope you'll enjoy it. 
By the way, this is an erotic m/m romance and is published at: Total-E-Bound

 
Drew's had other Secret Santas but never one like this - one that
gives him erotic sex toys every day of the week leading up to Christmas.

When Ryan picks Drew's name in the office Secret Santa draw, he can't help
but spoil the man of his fantasies. He finds that it really is better
to give than receive when he has fun sneaking sex toys into Drew's
office every day of the week before Christmas. He hopes Drew will be as
turned on as him, and that Drew will return his feelings to make this
their best Christmas ever.
 
Excerpt from: Naughty Boys
 

Ryan Holt fished around in the Santa cap his co-worker Angie held out and pulled out a name. He wondered if he would throw away good money again this Christmas.

Last year, his secret Santa had given him a box of envelopes. Not fancy stationery. Just envelopes.
He scrunched his brows.

What a cheap bastard!

And he’d spent a lot of time and effort getting a good gift last year, and he’d dropped a wad of cash.
He hoped he’d picked his own name as he had his eye on Josh Groban’s Christmas CD. He could hear Josh’s golden tones caressing his ears now. He could feel them vibrating in his soul.
In holiday heaven, he rocked back in his chair and unfolded the slip of paper as he hummed the tune tickling his mind.

His jaw dropped when he stared at the name written in bold, sexy scroll and his heart skipped several beats before racing full speed ahead.

Drew Mason.

God, Drew was what he really longed for Santa to leave in his stocking, all six feet three of gorgeous, delectable man. Forget Josh Groban.

Drew’s blond vision flashed in his mind, and Ryan drooled. His cock flexed, as he longed to take his fantasy man into his arms, drink deeply of his lips, and strip him of his clothes. He yearned to see every naked, mouth watering inch of him. He lusted for carnal knowledge in the worst way. His two-year old bed was still a virgin, and it was high time it got worn in.

A grin tilted his lips as he envisioned wrapping his fully aroused body around Drew’s and pulling him into the cradle of his thighs. He could almost feel Drew’s cock rubbing against his, could feel his powerful thighs fitting against him as if they were made for each other. Their musk overpowered the scent of Christmas pine and peppermint. Already, their sweet juices oozed from their cocks which were so ready to fuck one another.

Their gazes glazed over with passion as they caught and held. Ryan grew hotter still when Drew’s tongue darted out, moistening his suddenly dry lips. Then slowly, sensually, Drew lowered his lips and his breath coasted over Ryan before plundering his lips with a hot, fevered kiss and rubbing his groin against his.

Ryan’s blood was on fire, he couldn’t wait a moment longer to make Drew his. Savouring his closeness, the feel of his hard body, he let his ragged voice whisper over his lover’s warm flesh, “Love me. Let me love you. Fate brought us together.”

Drew huskily drawled, “Stop talking so much and kiss me again.”

Oh, he wanted a whole lot more than a mere kiss, but he laid a big wet one on the man as he reverently laid him on the bed. When he came up for air, he lubed his cock then he rocked back and hoisted his lover onto his lap.

“Fuck me now,” Drew implored, his beautiful eyes adoring him, his hand pumping his cock. “Before I come without you.”

From the hazy edges of his peripheral vision, Angie snapped her fingers in front of Ryan’s face. “Earth to Ryan. Come in, Ryan.”

Embarrassed, aware of the humongous bulge in his pants, he rolled his chair beneath his desk to hide his obvious erection. Not that Drew worked in his end of the building. It was unlikely the man would walk by and see him, but Angie would blab to anybody who would listen. Worse, she might think him hot for her.

“Uh, I was just thinking about my, uh, work project…”

Damn! He cursed himself for how raspy his voice came out.

 
Michelle Pillow
Mandy Roth
Anya Bast
Lacey Savage 
Jaci Burton
 McKenna Jeffries
Moira Rogers 
TJ Michaels
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Jody Wallace
Shelli Stevens
Shelley Munro

Friday, October 16, 2009

Food 4 Thought Friday - another meme

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


A little feast without the calories!!!

This week's questions:


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Breakfast
Would you or have you ever gone sky diving?
 
NO WAY Jose! I don't even like to fly and avoid it unless absolutely necessary. Why should I jump out of a perfectly good airplane???
 
However, some of my heroes and heroines are daredevils so some of them might decide to do so. Stay tuned...
 


Lunch
What do you think about President Obama receiving the Noble Peace Prize?

I don't think he's done anything yet to qualify. What he says he wants to accomplish is good, but I want to see it accomplished first.
 
I am tired, however, of the people who bash him. Give the man a chance.

Dinner

What is the last movie you saw? Did you enjoy it?
 
Transformers 2. 
 
Nope. I did NOT enjoy it. Although I love action and adventure movies, I don't enjoy them if they're all or almost all car crashes, fighting, or shooting. It was almost all battles.
 
The men in my family loved it, however.


Midnight Snack
How much of a worrier are you?

Sometimes I'm a huge worrywort like my German grandma was. Other times, I try so hard not to worry, I ignore things I shouldn't. But I would go crazy if I dwelled on them and so sometimes let my hubby do some of the worrying.





Recipe of the Week (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?)

Help the destitute poor who need a helping hand. Go to http://www.foodforthepoor.com 

If you go tonight (Friday October 16th) be sure to check into the all-nighter and all the great entertainment. There are some awesome vocal groups online tonight.

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Yes, I know this is my second meme today, but it's cute and Friday will be my play day online. Join in if you like. :)

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